clove tagged posts

Lost and Found: A Pie

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I am sure you have lost at some point something. Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… And many of these items you wish you can get back: Your keychain, your wallet, your pen, your lighter, your dignity… Especially your dignity. The last one however is pretty much unrecoverable. But for the rest you can hope. And actually Greeks have gone to great lengths to strengthen their hope. They have a saint for that and it is very popular. His Name St. Fanourios loosely translates to appear, so it is considered the St. that makes lost things appear again. To his honor there is a pie that is made to commemorate his abilities and acknoedge him. And here is when things get culinary interesting. When tradition, religion and superstition meet, the mix is quite interesting. First of all there is a restriction that requires that you either use 7 or 9 ingredients. That is ok as long as there are other specific guidelines for the types or kinds of the ingredients. If not, the someone can easily cheats by adding nuts, or raisins, or fruits artificially raising the number of ingredients to the target value. So I will follow that rule just because tradition dictates but only to a certain point. I will not count for example almonds and walnuts as two ingredients, they are just nuts. The strangest of all, however, is that Greek orthodox tradition requires that deserts are made according to the lent rules: No Eggs, No Dairy and No Meat.

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Heart Warming Sider

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It is the fall, and even here in warm florida (well at least at the north part) it feels cold. It is the fall, and in the fall a heart and gut warming drink can do more good than any food. I am not suggesting to drink only, and don ‘t eat but I hope you get the point. So any way. To get cozy and warm let ‘s get a clue from from our friends in the north, far north that it is. New York (the state not the city) where apples are the most important crop of the year. 

Up there th...

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Baklava: A Desert with History

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One of the most recognizable greek deserts is baklava. It is a layered desert with lot's of nuts and a thick sweet delicious syrup. It a staple to almost every greek restaurant and pastry shop. The history of the desert is long and it is lost in past centuries, somewhere in the middle east. The first record of a desert like such was in ancient Syria where the Assyrians at around 8th century B.C. were the first people who put together a few layers of thin bread dough, with chopped nuts in between those layers, added some honey and baked it in their primitive wood burning ovens.

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Cinnamon

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One of the most recognizable aromas is cinnamon. If you think of it is the only spice with pepper that has food named out of it, cinnamon rolls, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (cereals by General Mils), cinnamon swirl cake, apple cinnamon cake and so on... It is the only spice that has its aroma extracted and commercialized for room fragrant. It is also a spice that is very closely bonded to holidays. How many can imagine Christmas and Thanksgiving without cinnamon? Not many... I know. Not to mention all this cinnamon flavored gums. But have you ever wondered what makes cinnamon... well cinnamon? Before we get started with hard science stuff let 's see where cinnamon is coming from. Well cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and the best cinnamon is still produced there. However the first reference to cinnamon was in the ancient China. A big difference between cinnamon and other spices that in cinnamon the flavor is not coming from the seed of a plant, but thin layers shaved of the bark of a small laurel-like tree; the (what else) cinnamon tree. The shaves are usually rolled to quills. There are two types of cinnamon you can find, the actual bark (actual skin) and thin layers that come out of the branch after the skin has been removed (picture above).

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