Heart and Soul
“If you deconstruct Greece, in the far end see an olive tree, a grapevine, and a boat remain. That is, with as much, you reconstruct her.”
One of the most unforgettable quotes by the poet Odysseas Elytis goes deep at the core essence of the Greek identity, only to discover the basic elements of this blessed land.
Olive trees have been so important since ancient times, their branches were used as a symbol of victory and peace.
A typical Greek appetizer or ‘meze’ consists of olives, cheese, bread and some wine or ouzo.
I remember planting around fifty roots of olive trees in Paros, about ten years ago. Today, those 15 cm little saplings have taken in so much love and care that they provide our family with around 300 kg of pure, top quality virgin olive oil.
Fresh olives can left in salty brine for days, until all the bitterness goes away and then saved in big jars with olive oil and vinegar. Small black olives are delicious when simply kept in rocky sea salt and green, giant olives are delicious when marinated with lemon.
These summer days and endless hanging out by the table all you need are some olives in different shapes, sizes and colors, a variety of Greek cheeses and some stone-oven baked bread… perfect for a lovely meze ensemble.