Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table

Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table


By (author) Christopher Bakken, Illustrated by Mollie Katzen

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 238 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 203mm x 28mm | 476g
  • Publication date: 6 July 2015
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520275098
  • ISBN 13: 9780520275096
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, black & white line drawings, maps, figures
  • Sales rank: 708,898

Product description

Combining the best of memoir, travel literature, and food writing, Christopher Bakken delves into one of the most underappreciated cuisines in Europe in this rollicking celebration of the Greek table. He explores the traditions and history behind eight elements of Greek cuisine--olives, bread, fish, cheese, beans, wine, meat, and honey--and journeys through the country searching for the best examples of each. He picks olives on Thasos, bakes bread on Crete, eats thyme honey from Kythira with one of Greece's greatest poets, and learns why Naxos is the best place for cheese in the Cyclades. Working with local cooks and artisans, he offers an intimate look at traditional village life, while honoring the conversations, friendships, and leisurely ceremonies of dining around which Hellenic culture has revolved for thousands of years. A hymn to slow food and to seasonal and sustainable cuisine, "Honey, Olives, Octopus" is a lyrical celebration of Greece, where such concepts have always been a simple part of living and eating well.

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Author information

Christopher Bakken is Associate Professor of English at Allegheny College. He is the author of "Goat Funeral" and "After Greece. "His poems, essays, and translations have been published widely in U.S. and in Europe.

Flap copy

"Christopher Bakken celebrates Greek food in the Greek style, sharing it with those he loves at joyous tables filled with overflowing trays of "mezedes," carafes of wine, and cloudy glasses of ouzo. But he doesn't just look at the way the food is prepared or harvested--or eaten--he also immerses himself in the process and introduces us to the friends he makes along the way. This is food writing that goes beyond the simple pleasure of eating--"Honey, Olives, Octopus" illuminates something about what it means to be alive."--Natalie Bakopoulos, author of "The Green Shore" "I have never been to Greece, or at least I hadn't until I read Christopher Bakken's poetic story of food and life on its islands. The book sings with Aegean beauty: the cobalt blue water, stoic olive groves, pine sap, and chicory I'd always dreamed I would find there. It is an absolute pleasure to take the journey with him in these pages." --Tamar Adler, author of "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace"