Greek Cooking Vacation: Food Around Poros Island
Herbs and spices are prevalent in Greek cuisine, which you’ll discover in our culinary vacation “Greek Cooking Odyssey,” but there’s another dominant ingredient: lemons. Here, Chef Katerina shares what she’s learned about this bright-colored ingredient, and how you can cook with it during a cooking class with Chef Katerina on the island of Poros!
“I do not know how Greek cooking would be without the lemons! What would we squeeze on top of the fish? What would we mix with our olive oil? There is no way you will visit a Greek restaurant and have a dinner presented to you with not a slice or a wedge of lemon on the plates.
Lemon has an intense, acidic, fresh flavor that makes the taste of the rest ingredients only richer and more balanced! Its origin is a mystery, probably from North India following the silk road and came to Mediterranean area and north Africa. It is mentioned by Pliny, who called it Mallum Medicum, and later on it took the name Citrus Medica in the first century AD.
Lemons used to be one of the most commercially important fruits cultivated in Greece. Just across the island of Poros is the Lemonodassos or lemon grove. Up to 50 years ago, it was of great wealth to own 70 lemon trees or “gold” trees as they called them. Only a small portion of the cultivation goes to industry and exports nowadays. It used to be that the quality of our lemons was famous, and we would export them to Russia and Istanbul in the 18th and 19th century.
Our Lemonodassos must be the most romantic area of Greece. At Spring time, a walk through the trees of lemonodassos full of blossoms and the most beautiful smell of the white yellow flowers of the lemon trees will explain why writers and poets were so fascinated by it. So I could easily say that the lemon is the dominant gastronomical ingredient of Poros, and also our cooking classes!
We have so many recipes with lemon, sweet and savory, main dishes or starters, drinks or side dishes. Just name it, and we can cook with it.”
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This 7-night cooking vacation “Greek Cooking Odyssey” includes accommodations at either an apartment or a luxury hotel, all meals, four cooking classes, and excursions to places like the local lemon or olive grove, and the island of Hydra.By Liz SanFilippo Hall