Honey, Olives, Octopus : Adventures at the Greek Table
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.
- Hardback | 238 pages
- 160.02 x 203.2 x 27.94mm | 476.27g
- 06 Jul 2015
- University of California Press
- Berkerley, United States
- Figures; Maps; Line drawings, black and white; Illustrations, black and white
The title of this enjoyable book is somewhat modest in its claims as it does not hint at the breadth of knowledge and understanding of Greek culture, past and present, that Christopher Bakken brings to bear on his exploration of Greek food there is much to commend in this engaging and enthusiastic discourse on all things Greek. --Jane Stewart"Pleiades Reviews" (06/30/2015)" "The title of this enjoyable book is somewhat modest in its claims as it does not hint at the breadth of knowledge and understanding of Greek culture, past and present, that Christopher Bakken brings to bear on his exploration of Greek food ... there is much to commend in this engaging and enthusiastic discourse on all things Greek."--Jane Stewart"Pleiades Reviews" (06/30/2015)
About Christopher Bakken
Christopher Bakken is Frederick F. Seely Professor of English at Allegheny College. He is the author of three books of poetry: After Greece, Goat Funeral, and the forthcoming Eternity & Oranges. His poems, essays, and translations have been published widely in the U.S. and Europe.
"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