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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Gifts from Crete (Δώρα από τη Κρητη)

The little laughing olive tree
felt a tad homesick for Crete:
"When you come to visit me,
could you bring some Cretan cheese?"

what cretan athenians crave

So I filled up my suitcase
with the best food from my place:
some mizithra and graviera
and a thick slab of malaka.

To fill the gaps in my baggage,
I added a few oranges.
"Oh, thank you very much," she said,
"that'll keep us nicely fed."

And how much do you think I paid
to bring the bounty of my place?
2 kilos each of all that stuff
came to just over 60 (euro-)bucks.

"And when it's finished," I reminded,
"it's time you visited the island.
Which she'll do at summertime
when the weather's warm and fine.

*** *** ***
The above-mentioned cheeses are essential during the Easter period in Cretan cuisine, especially malaka (also referred to as 'tiromalama' by the more modest).

This is triple-A quality malaka (μαλάκα) from the Hondrakis (Χονδράκης) dairy station.
I guess you could call it 'hondromalaka' (χοντρομαλάκα).
If it was made by the Archakis dairy station instead, it would be 'archimalaka.'

For a better explanation of the unmentionable 'malaka', click here. 'hondro' means 'fat', while 'archi' means 'leader'.

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