We came to realise that we did not yet tell you about our home. I mean yes we come from Greece but where from Greece, right? Yesterday was our home town's independence day so we would like to take this opportunity to talk a little about where we lived all our lives.
The name of the town is Alexandroupolis. It sits on the north east part of Greece, and it is the capital of the prefecture of Evros. Not a small town, not a big one either, just a little over 70,000 people but to tell you the truth I don't think all live there. I (Dia) grew up there but was not born there. My parents, like I think almost everybody's parents, are not from there but moved there for work. Kostas was born there but his parents are not from there either. That's the thing about Alexandroupolis, few people are actually from there. Most of us moved there and we grew up there and came to love it and make it our home. And what's not to love? Summers are wonderful with the closest beach being just five minutes away and winters are mild even though we are in the north. That's another thing about Alexandroupolis, it can snow one hour away but it RARELY snows in the town. I remember when we were going to school and other towns near by would have snow day and schools would be closed, we would be the only ones that would have to go to school because guess what? no snow!!! And when people think we are isolated think again. We can hop on plane and be in Athens in less than an hour (40 minutes to be precise). We can drive to Thessaloniki (the second largest city in Greece) in less than 3 hours and we can leave the country and drive to Istanbul in the same time. Bulgaria is also close by and has become the place where many go skiing in the winter. And not to forget Samothraki. The island just two and a half hours away by ferry. The island that we see every day from the balcony of my house. Unspoiled and beautiful. Alexandroupolis holds so many of our memories and we can truly say that we miss it every day.
Of course we could not not mention the local cuisine. Since it is a town by the coast, fish and seafood are very common. Fish taverns as they are called are everywhere along the coastline and in the summer times they are literally packed! Alexandroupolis was so famous for its fish that they used to and I think still do ship them to Athens for the market there. Unfortunately, overfishing has taken a toll on the local fish and seafood population and unless they soon do something about it they will be depleted. So, fish and seafood is a big thing in our cuisine. But then again so is pork and in Thrace, where Alexandroupolis belongs, it is very common and they cook it in all sorts of ways. Especially in the winter, when it is cold, they cook a dish that has cabbage and pork with some hot pepper in it to give it a kick. That's what we will make for you today. And also one appetiser that is our favourite. it is called bekri meze (μπεκρἠ μεζἐ) and it means the drunk man's appetiser. Why drunk? Two reasons: one because it contains literally everything you can find in your fridge, which means that only a drunk person could be tossing everything like this in a pan, and two because it contains LOTS of red wine! :) Try both and let us know what you think. In the meantime watch a video about our town made by Iraklis Rigas named "Alexandroupolis City short film stories". We...well....will try not to drink too much ;)
Kostas, Dia and of course our baby Tony!
Video made by Iraklis Rigas
Drunk man's appetizer
Ingredients for 6 people:
for more information on how to make the drunk man's appetizer please click here
Pork shank with cabbage (lahania)
Ingredients for 2 people:
for more information on how to make pork shank with cabbage please click here
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The Greek cuisine