why Greek women live so long

Women in Greece up until now had longer telomeres than men and therefore outlived them, according to this Harvard University study. Take note of the over-representation of women in this vintage family photo (my great-grandmother sitting in centre, front-row).

My grandmother was a legend when it came to her cooking prowess. Her food was influenced by her upbringing in Asia Minor.


the laughing boy

Today is a sobering day. It marks the anniversary of the coup d'état of 21 April, 1974, the start of the Greek dictatorship which lasted a total of seven years. That regime was supported by the U.S. government and remains a dark chapter in Modern Greek history.

Maria Farantouri sang a memorable performance of a song at the first concert given by legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis in Greece after the fall of the dictatorship in 1974. The song is the popular song "To gelasto paidi" ("The laughing boy"), whose composition actually has its origins in Ireland.

The song is a call for the spirit of democracy, which should never be taken for granted.

Have a good evening folks.


#therealmykonos: Easter in the Aegean

Christos Anesti, to all. For those not familiar with that expression, it translates to 'Christ has risen', which all Greeks along the cascade of faith (from academic atheists to devout Greek Orthodox Christian grandmothers) say from midnight on Holy Saturday and onward for forty days. It is one week since I had the pleasure of spending Easter Sunday feasting in Mykonos. A massive thank you to Vicky Kousathana, my dear friend, who hosted me at the fabulous boutique establishment Terra Maria Hotel. My lovely room was conveniently situated over her uncle's bakery. Nothing like waking up in the morning with the beautiful fragrant smell of masticha.

My top-secret food project brought me to the island, and I will be sharing in the coming months some of the recipes and knowledge on my quest to discover a bit of old Mykonos on a plate. I have coined the hashtag #therealmykonos to underscore that there is much more to the island than sushi in the summer, and Moet champagne along the shores of Super Paradise Beach. Not to dispute the sheer fun associated with summer on the island, but there are layers of tradition which Mykonians value, and perhaps that is no more evident than around Easter. Hence, my visit.
Preparing glorious kouloures (the Easter bread-coils, a specialty in Mykonos) by Yannis Vamvakouris in his bakery during Holy Week 

My friend Thanassis' mom prepared a legendary feast on Sunday along with her husband and children. This was the centerpiece at the table.

The patriarch. Mr. Panagiotis Kousathanas. The man is a legend when it comes to meat. Responsible for the lamb, kokoretsi, giaxni, and kodosouvli.

The group of friends.

Afternoon in Gialos.


Until next time, my friends.