Lazarakia (λαζαράκια), meaning little Lazarus, are sweet, spicy small bread that are handmade on Lazarus Saturday, one week before the Greek Orthodox Easter. They represent the miracle of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead, after four days in the tomb. They are shaped like boys with crossed arms on their chest. Also their bodies seem to be wrapped in burial clothes.
Autumn is about new flavors in our kitchen. Our favorite fruits of this season are figs. Figs are ready to be eaten when they are soft in touch. Figs perish quickly, so the sooner you use them the better. Some people do not peel the before they eat them but we choose to peel them. Figs go well with nuts, blue cheese and prosciutto. Here is the recipe we used to make a delicious fig jam.
Sarakosti (The Great Lent is a Christian Orthodox tradition. It’s a 50 day period of fasting, during which people do not eat all meat & animal products(eggs, dairy) except seafood (however fish isn’t allowed). This is actually a traditional Greek version of a vegetarian diet, that’s also followed before Christmas, before the Dormition of the Mother of God in August and every Wednesday & Friday. Taramasalata (taramosalata) is one of the most popular dips that Greeks eat during that period.
Christopsomo (Χριστόψωμο), Christ’s bread is a very old Orthodox tradition. In most Greek Orthodox homes, the bread is made on the 24th of December with high quality ingredients and a lot of care. It is usually round in form with decorations on top. In the old times, people would fast until the morning church service on Christmas day and would eat this bread as their dinner just with olives and red wine.