Food from Many Greek Kitchens
Food, culture, celebration, and memory are inexorably tied together inside Tessa Kiros’ cookbook, Food from Many Greek Kitchens. As the follow-up to her best-selling cookbooks Venezia: Food and Dreams and Falling Cloudberries: A World of Family Recipes, her new cookbook explores Kiros’s Greek-Cypriot heritage and takes readers on a colorful journey into the Greek kitchens of her friends and family as she catalogs the traditional foods for fasting, festivals, and feast days. Recipes like Vassilopitta New Year Wish Cake, Lamb in a Flowerpot with Dill and Red Wine, Yamopilafo Wedding Rice, and Easter Soup are accompanied by short introductions that explain each dish’s cultural significance. In addition, lavish full-color photographs take readers on a tour from the local Mediterranean fishmongers and markets into Greek family homes and kitchens to experience the best in authentic Greek cooking. With a glossary and more than 200 classically prepared Greek recipes, Food from Many Greek Kitchens adds a greater depth of flavor to each dish through Kiros’s warm anecdotal introductions.
Tessa Kiros has cooked at London’s The Groucho Club and in Australia, Greece, and Mexico. On a trip to Italy to study language and food, she met her husband Giovanni, and now lives in Tuscany.
I picked up this cookbook and was immediately enthralled by the colorful photographs, which seemed to transport me directly to Greece, a place I would so love to actually visit someday. Then, as I started to flip through the recipes and look for ones to try, I became excited that although they all seemed exotic to me, they all also seemed highly accessible — which for me means that, generally, the ingredients are not hard to find and the cooking processes are not overly elaborate. Poached Fish with Lemon Oil, Beets with Yogurt and Pistachios — I can do that! Still, I started thinking that this book would be much better served with a review by someone knowledgeable of Greek cuisine. And that “someone” certainly isn’t me. Once that decision was made, the next decision was easy: the recipe testing and review needed to be done by my favorite Greek blogger, Peter from kalofagas.ca. If you want to know what kalofagas means, head over to his blog. If you haven’t visited it already, you’re missing out…
Luckily for me (and you), Peter agreed to review the book and test a recipe — and he agreed to do so before leaving on a trip to Greece, where he is now. I suspect he might even be eating keftedes …
Cooks&Books&Recipes Guest Cook: Peter, kalofagas.ca, Greek Food and Beyond
There are a lot of cookbooks out there, and I must add that there are many Greek cookbooks out there — a testament to this old cuisine’s popularity, surviving the many food trends that come and go year after year. My cookbook collection is extensive, and I’m very happy with the Greek cookbooks in my library. In fact, I thought I had just about every Greek cookbook, spanning both the Greek and the English languages.
I was recently sent a review copy of Tessa Kiros’s Food From Many Greek Kitchens from Cooks&Books&Recipes. Yes, there are a lot of Greek cookbooks out there, but even I would want to add this latest Tessa Kiros book to my collection. Kiros is better known for her Floating Cloudberries book, and I also have her cookbook that pays homage to Portuguese cuisine. Kiros has a reputation for compiling authentic recipes that read easily. Her books are accompanied by stories and a blend of stylish and sentimental photographs. The best testimonial one can give for a cookbook is that the recipes work out!
Kiros was born in London to a Greek-Cypriot father and Finnish mother, and after publishing seven cookbooks, she finally dedicates a book to Greek cuisine. Kiros spent her formative years in South Africa living among the large Greek community, was baptized Greek-Orthodox, and was immersed in Greek culture through schools, attending plays and Greek music events (clubs and concerts). In each aspect of her life, food always had a significant role.
The photos in the book are not staged, nor are they the product of a props department. All the photos were taken around Greece from cafes, tavernas, homes, kitchens, markets, and streets. The book is visually stimulating, and each recipe is accompanied by a story or brief intro. Once again, the recipes are easy to follow, and none are too complex.
Ready to try a recipe from Tessa Kiros’ cookbook?
We recommend the Keftedes (Fried Meatballs) recipe