on 8 February 2001
As the Greek Food Host @ Bella Online, I was delighted with this cookbook. Aglaia Kremezi not only compiles the best of the traditional recipes of the Greek islands, she also captures the essence of the islands themselves through well written, detailed, and interesting historical and geographical information.
This 298-page hardback begins with a comprehensive introduction to the islands of Greece. In addition to beautiful photographs, Kremezi provides a detailed description of each island and / or island group. The geography, history, and popular dishes are all highlighted, making the introduction alone a valuable reference tool.
The different types of food are divided among eight chapters; including appetizers, pitas and pies, seafood, meat, rice and pasta, vegetables, bread, and desserts. I really enjoyed the fact that each chapter is prefaced with additional reference information such as history, modern day adaptations, and substitutions for particular ingredients. In addition, background information is included with the recipes, which are not only delicious, but easy to prepare as well.
Another great feature of this cookbook is an A to Z glossary of Greek food terms. From Aleppo Pepper to Zante Currants, Kremezi clearly defines the traditional ingredients of the Greek islands. A Basic Preparations section offers recipes such as vegetable stock, tomato sauce, and yogurt that form the basis of many of the recipes offered. Most of the basic ingredients in this cookbook are readily available anywhere in the world, but Kremezi also offers substitutions for those ingredients that may be hard to find in your local grocery store. For ingredients that cannot be substituted, Kremezi provides a handy listing of Greek food suppliers from all over the country.
I highly recommend this cookbook not only because it is beautifully written, but also because the recipes are easy to prepare, flavorful, and truly capture the spirit of the Greek islands. In addition, the reference information included in this cookbook is superb.
on 12 September 2009
This writer was recommended by a friend who lives in Athens and I'm very glad I bought the book. The recipes are clearly written and work for me, the tastes are wonderful, and the snippets of history about the islands are fascinating. I do have to pause and translate the US measurements as I'm not so familiar with them, but it's worth it.