My fascination with the wonderful world of Greek mythology started even before we formally learned it in class during High School. The fact that there are a group of Gods and Goddesses guiding the mortals, and having their own society in Mt. Olympus triggered my imagination factory, and I guess, any other imagination factories out there would start to turn their gears once they hear about the Gods of the Ocean, War, the Underworld or the Goddesses of Beauty, Wisdom or Fertility.
I mean, really? Who wouldn’t want to interact with them?
I remember watching Disney’s Hercules and, being just a kid, I had this feeling of being able to personally know him and Pegasus. The emotions I had during that time when Meg was just about to die but the heroic Herc was able to save the damsel was intense for me. As I got older and went to High School, each character became more concrete and back stories were involved. Relationships were made. That widened the Greek horizon even more. Now, as I get adventurous with cooking and with food, it is with the cuisine, the Ambrosia, that I am fascinated with.
My palette is no stranger to Meditteranean cooking, especially Greek. My first taste of Greek food was in a restaurant here in the Philippines and it was then that I had the urge to try and cook, just even one, authentic Greek food. I have made one dish from Greece, a dessert – Baklava. It sounds and looks so delicious and enticing but my baking skills back then was not at par with the level of difficulty that the recipe called for. So here I was, made some way to be able to make me and my family some moussaka, souvlaki, tzatziki and some Greek pasta salad. The great thing with cooking at home is having some extra hands so my dad, who just came home from overseas work, helped me in grilling the chicken souvlaki over charcoal. I can broil it in the oven but where’s the fun in that? Grilling over charcoal is much more legit and authentic for me. The entire experience in making this meal was enriching. I was able to educate myself on ingredients that I have not tasted on their own such as feta cheese and artichokes. That is another thing that I love about cooking, especially when trying out international cuisine – the opportunity to try new ingredients.
Everything was well-received but the gold star or stars went to the souvlaki and the tzatziki sauce. I don’t blame them. While we were grilling the souvlaki, the aroma released was incredible. We were literally restraining ourselves from consuming just one stick. And it was worth the wait. The tzatziki gave us the same excitement, however, we were unfortunately unable to resist the tangy and refreshing sauce. We took a couple of dips with some homebaked pita just to make sure it was well-seasoned – and it took a lot of dips just to be very sure.
My opinion on Greek food? Brôma theôn.