The Greek sweet red wine | Mavrodaphne

ingredient192_mavrodafni red wine
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Mavrodaphne (μαυροδάφνη), a Greek sweet red wine. There is a great variety of Greek wines. But if you are a wine lover and have got a sweet tooth, then you will definitely love this red wine, high quality Mavrodaphne. Mavrodaphne is a rich and sweet Greek red wine that is served cold after a meal. So make sure you put it in the fridge when you start cooking your meal. It is blue cheese’s best friend. Sip it slowly to enjoy the after-meal time and feel its dense aromas and flavours of chocolate, caramel, coffee and raisins. Some people prefer it at room temperature as a liqueur, served with dark chocolate and nuts. 
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The Mavrodaphne wine tastes just like the Portuguese port. The hot Greek summer sun loads the grapes with sugars thus producing a really sweet wine. It is produced in the Achaea region, Northern Peloponnese.

Other food pairings of this wine are platters with fruits, mature yellow cheeses, puddings and fruit tarts. Read more...

Tsipouro, Greek meze’s perfect companion

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Tsipouro (τσίπουρο) is a strong, crystal clear, distilled spirit, an authentic Greek product, made from high quality grapes. It is served in short glasses with or without ice, to a group of friends, while having Greek meze (μεζές). It brings togetherness, cheerfulness and hospitality.
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Tsipouro is produced in many areas in Greece with different names such as tsikoudia or raki in Crete. In certain regions aromatic seeds of anise are added in the still for flavored taste, completely different to the pure and plain one. If you haven’t tried tsipouro before, try both of them to see which one you prefer most. 

It is said that tsipouro made its appearance in the 14th centrury and was produced by the monks in Mount Athos. Since then, apart from its main use as a spirit, it has been used as a remedy or medicine. Keep some portion of tsipouro on the tooth that aches to numb the area and take the pain away temporarily. Rub the area on your body where you feel muscle pain to take the pain away. Or drink hot tsipouro with honey (also known as rakomelo) to relieve your sore throat. Read more...

Submarine desserts, the ideal dessert for a hot summer

Submarine dessert (ypovrichio) is a traditional Greek sweet spoon served in a glass of iced water. Once dipped into water it gets softer and easier to eat it. You lick it slowly and then you leave the spoon in the water for a little while, and lick it again, leave the spoon in the water and so on. Once finished you drink the water in the glass. The most popular flavours are the vanilla submarine and mastic (Chios Mastiha) submarine. These delicious sweet spoons are also sold online.  Tip: Dip a spoon of Submarine dessert in ouzo for an ultimate experience

Aegina pistachios variety is considered the best in the world

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Pistachio is a nut, delicious and with high nutritional value that comes from the pistachio tree. They are mainly found in Asia, America and the Mediterranean countries. There is one variety of pistachios in Greece that grows on the island of Aegina in Greece, named kilarati, which is considered the best variety in the world. The first pistachio tree in Greece made its appearance in Aegina in the late years of the 19th centuries and has been a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product since 1996.  
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  The island’s dry climate, it’s poor soil composition and the proximity to the sea, give pistachios trees excellent conditions to flourish and to produce pistachio nuts  with extraordinary taste and fine quality.  Many European countries import large quantities of the Aegina pistachio variety which has boosted the local economy.   
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Aegina’s pistachios are widely used in Greek cuisine mainly in desserts such as halva. It can also be cooked as a sweet spoon, if prepared fresh, still with its outer skin on.  You can buy Aegina’s pistachios from Yolenis.com website   Tip: If you visit the island in September, after the harvesting, do not miss the Pistachio Festival in Aegina with loads of events and happenings.

Zea or Zeia , the main grain of the Ancient Greeks’ diet

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One of ancient Greeks’ main diet ingredients was Zea flour (Triticum Dicoccum is the scientific name). They wouldn’t eat food containing wheat. They used wheat as animals’ food. The grain of Zea is probably the oldest in the world.
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It looks similar to wheat’s grain, but its nutrition facts differ significantly. Zea flour (other names Emmer, Zeia and Spelt) is high in fiber, minerals and protein. Its products are considered to be more nutritious and palatable. Sometimes is confused with the German Dinkel grain. 
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Zea is two times richer in dietary fiber than wheat, two times richer in protein with a high amount of vitamins A, B, C and E. It is also high in magnesium and very low in gluten.
Until about 100 years ago, Zea was the most popular grain in Greece. But in 1928, according to Santorini Food Lovers, its cultivation was banned for financial reasons as the imported cereals crops of rice and wheat were more profitable. The revival of the ancient Zea grain has lately been taking place in few areas of Greece’s mainland.