Honeys that come to life on steep wuthering cliffs, honeys gently cooled from the sea breeze, olive oils from the most ancient olive grove in Europe, olive oils from olives that remain unharmed since hand-picked one by one, baklavas that bring blossomed fields to mind, raisins that dry out hanging like regal earrings under sunshades, sour cherry drinks straight out of the kitchen cabinet of our childhood, Smyrna cookies from notebooks found only in one’s family hundred year old treasure chest, and all those blessed products that are truly worth a place in the Arc of Greek Food.
The starting point was painter Theofilos whose “bread can fly off his painting and only land in the mouth of good people”. We took off from there and went to meet producers that bring products to life with the responsibility and passion only met when parents raise children, chefs as well as local cooks from the tavernas-“havens” of our lives, domestic nurturers that anonymously nourished families without expecting anything in return, fishermen, bakers, sellers from the farmer’s market and all those officiating at the “Sacred Everydayness”.
Proverbs, adages and sayings, local customs and traditions, daily rituals and “peculiar” habits, recipes that are recorded as classics, along with recipes recited by grandmas and papas who use no measurements of ingredients, excerpts from literature and songs, treasures from the folk tradition, testimonies, oral accounts, and all that can fit in the Arc-custodian of the words that describe the Greek culinary life.
We attempt the effort to prepare glossaries from A to Z, to place on maps the products, producers and recipes that compose the numerous, freestanding gastronomic worlds to be found on Greek territory, to plan seminars, to record as many sources possible for one’s further exploration and to overall detect all that can constitute the theoretical background for someone to better comprehend the living experience.