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Ikaria Hardcover – 5 Dec 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (5 Dec. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623362954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623362959
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 2.8 x 26.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 239,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Award-winning author DIANE KOCHILASdivides her time between New York, Athens, and her family's ancestral island, Ikaria, where she and her husband, Vasilis Stenos, run the Glorious Greek Kitchen cooking school. She has written 18 books on Greek cuisine. Her latest book, The Country Cooking of Greece, was hailed by the Virtual Gourmet as her masterpiece and the Best Cookbook of 2012. She lives in Athens and New York City.

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Knud-Erik Jørgensen on 15 April 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the book there is too much about food and too less about the people and their way of living on the Island.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting book but it helps to have experiece of cooking. This is a nicely presented book which includes some of the history opf food anpd nutrition on ikea. However, if you don't live Ikaria you won't be able to make all of the recipes. If one is an experience cook of course one can substitue ingredients however the author does not offer suggestions! Lack of foresight perhaps. So a great book but certainly not for a cook who dies not understand flavours and substitution.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 35 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
We can all stand to learn a thing or two about eating and living well from Ikaria! 24 Oct. 2014
By Bundtlust - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a vegetarian/pescetarian, Greek food has long appealed to me. Two of my favorite Greek cookbooks are The Greek Vegetarian: More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Traditional Dishes and Flavors of Greeceand Meze: Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table, both by Greek-American cookbook author Diane Kochilas. Kochilas has written nearly 20 books on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and is a collaborating chef at Molyvos in New York. Her cooking philosophy is rooted in the tenets of the Greek-Mediterranean Diet: keep it simple, respect seasonality, use ingredients that have integrity and are easy to find, eat lots of greens and vegetables, share, and finally, the golden rule - Nothing in Excess.

So I was super-excited to see that Kochilas had a new cookbook coming out that focuses on the cuisine of Ikaria, her ancestral homeland and the location of her cooking school Glorious Greek Kitchen. Kochilas has devoted her life to promoting the natural, healthy and delicious foods of Greece.. Her new book "Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die" chronicles the wisdom and food traditions of generations of Ikarians. More than just a collection of excellent recipes, this is a unique glimpse into an island where time seems to stand still and the worries and stresses of modern life melt away.

Ikaria is one of the world's Blue Zones, a place where inhabitants reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States. The organic, unprocessed diet of Ikarians, as well as regular physical activity, laid-back attitude, and arguably nonexistent relationship with time (shops around the island read "Clocks, Anxiety and Stress Have No Place on Ikaria") are likely all contributing factors. Kochilas' interviews with Ikaria's octogenarians and above reveal a positive attitude and joy for life that we can all learn from.

After an introduction explaining the Blue Zones, The Ikaria Study and the rhythms of traditional Ikarian life, the delicious recipes begin. In keeping with the unprocessed foods of Ikaria, most recipes call for only a handful of ingredients. There are instructions for making homemade goat cheese, homemade phyllo dough, and for drying vegetables for preservation. The chapter on salads features a very thorough lexicon of edible greens and wild herbs, including medicinal uses. Along the way, sidebars provide more in-depth info on particular ingredients, techniques, and local festivals.

Not surprisingly, vegetables play a starring role in this book. An entire chapter devoted to using vegetables as a main course includes baked, stewed, braised, and stuffed veggies that will give you plenty of creative ideas for how to make the most of the season's bounty. One of my favorite discoveries was a delicious variation on stuffed grape leaves using collard greens and dried corn. The chapter on savory pies and breads includes a recipe for homemade phyllo, spanakopita and stuffed pies, fried hand pies, and skillet puffs and griddle pies.

Ikarians are blessed with an abundance of fish and seafood, which is integral to the Ikarian diet. Small fish are fried, while large fish are generally grilled, baked, or made into soup. Meat is "consumed regularly but sparingly, more as a condiment than as a main-course protein," according to the author. Goat meat is the most popular meat on Ikaria, and you'll find several wonderful, unfussy preparations here including baby goat braised with fennel, oregano-roasted goat, and baby goat with yogurt avgolemono that are the perfect introduction to this versatile staple.

In addition to making several of the mezedes (including the whipped feta spread), I loved the lentil salad with fennel, onions, and lots of herbs; the touch of mint and dill gave an unexpected brightness to the lentils. I opted for a lemon-infused olive oil as I thought it would pair well with the fresh herbs (many of the legume recipes in the book call for a splash of lemon juice). I absolutely adored the baked zucchini fritters with oregano and mint and appreciated that several of the fried recipes also included lighter baked alternatives. As a sweet finale, I baked the spice cake for the revealing saint (fanouropita) in a decorative Bundt pan -- it makes the perfect afternoon treat with a cup of Greek coffee.

Sprinkled throughout the book are gorgeous portraits of Ikaria's landscape and architecture, Ikarians engaged in daily activities and festivals, and mouthwatering food photography. The book is rounded out with resources, including a bilingual Greek/English bibliography, and a very handy metric conversion chart that also features pan sizes. Recipe names are given in English and transliterated Greek.

This is a fabulous addition to your Mediterranean cookbook library and a wonderful introduction to regional Greek cooking. We can all stand to learn a thing or two about eating and living well from Ikaria!

(This review originally appeared on Mediterranean Living as the October spotlight review)
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Great book--good background info + tasty recipes 20 Oct. 2014
By J. Donnelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a belated birthday gift from a friend. I started reading the front and couldn't put it down. It's rare that cookbooks are page-turners, but I learned so much about the culture, the way healthy people eat and live, and how their culture slightly differs from nearby Turkey and the Greece mainland. While there are a few ingredients that are not found in my part of the world, the writer offers up very suitable substitutes. I was also able to source some of the ingredients (such a tarama) from Amazon. I bought several ingredients and look forward to cooking with them this week. I already made one bean salad, which was fantastic. For those who want flavorful, healthy recipes, I recommend this book. A lot of the recipes are actually surprisingly simple.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Bravo, very interesting book 18 Oct. 2014
By figman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book with many interesting recipes. I just read the whole book in less than 2 days. I could not put it down. For those that are interesting in the characteristics of the longevity diet of Ikaria, this is the best written account that I have found. This is more than just a cookbook, it has history and hints about the reason for longevity on Ikaria. I am really glad I bought this book and am thinking of buying more and giving them to others.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
New Cookbook Spotlights the Food, the People and the Lifestyle of Ikaria 12 Nov. 2014
By Maria A. Karamitsos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Complete with beautiful photos shot by her husband, Ikaria native Vassilis Stenos, plus beneficial nutritional information, “Ikaria” not only shows us how to cook like Ikarians, but how we can be more like them.

Diane explains the importance of meze – shared food – as well as some island wisdom on medicine, using greens and teas. She reveals the beauty and simplicity in each meal, each dish with complex flavors and a multitude of health benefits.

If eating like Ikarians doesn’t give us the same longevity, at the very least, exploring the world of Ikarian cuisine will make you healthier – and happier.

~ Maria A. Karamitsos - Associate Editor, The Greek Star newspaper
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
better than your average dietary book 26 Dec. 2014
By Patricia H. Stell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally, a book that references longevity as a whole-spirited thing instead of just eliminating fats, or carbs, or particular grains, etc. An absolute delight to read, not to mention the recipes.
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