Sunday, 27 August 2006

SALAD DAYS

What is more perfect than the perfect Greek Salad?


It is a meal that represents a deeply satisfying combination of taste and textures, pleasing, rewarding and gratifying to both eye and palette: the cool crunch of cucumber, the full-bodied fruitiness of tomato, the tangy bite of onion, the zingy sting of olives combined with the subtly-salty, tongue-tingling taste of feta cheese, anointed with oil and blessed with a scattering of herbs…

And, here, for those who want a taste of tradition, there is the Kalymnian salad which uses a hard, rusk-like, bread called koulourg twice-baked - like ship's biscuits - in order to maximise the ‘use-by’ date for the men who used to sail on the sponge-fishing fleets.

Locals and seasoned visitors (though only those in possession of their own teeth) think nothing of chewing on these rock doughnuts in their dry, natural state; but in a salad the bread is soaked in a little water and oil and then mixed with tomato, cucumber and onion - chopped rather than sliced as in a Greek salad - olives, herbs and kopanisti, a locally-made goat’s cheese that is soft, creamy and more delicately flavoured than feta.

This is, frankly, not a salad for the faint-hearted, but if you enjoy tasting dishes that are steeped in cultural history then a Kalymnian salad it must be.


If, on the other hand, your idea of a salad is either a gem lettuce drenched in Thousand Island dressing or rocket and Parmesan drizzled in balsamic vinegar, then maybe you should take another look at the menu…

3 comments:

Scrooge said...

That's it then. Straight down the chippie lads !

Raúl said...

Hi there Brian, my name is Raúl, i'm from Spain and i've just come back from the island of Kalymnos in Greece, and there i fell in love with their salad, i read in your blog that they use a kind of bread called "koulourg", i have one "bread machine" in my house and i would like to ask you how is tah bread made, i guess it's a difficoult question but i hope you can answer it
un abrazo y gracias

Brian Sibley said...

I've never made it, Raúl, but there are some recipes here...

www.krinos.com/article/breads_of_Greece.pdf

Good luck...