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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13 comments:

  1. Yes, I was slightly worried when I saw 'the word'.

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  2. Mou thimizei ola ta 'dwrakia' pou mas stelnoun k emas apo katw!

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  3. maria giasou...diavazw to blog ...ka8e mera...seuxaristw pou me ferneis toso konta sta xania....vaso kafakis..........shmera phga sto makara.....

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  4. Γεια σου Βάσω, τι κάνει το χωριό μου???
    Καλό Πάσχα!

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  5. ειναι καλα....καλοκαιρι ακομα!!!!!!Βασω.......καλη ανασταση!!!!

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  6. όταν ξαναπάς στο Μάκαρα, θύμιασε πάνω στης Ζαμπίας, αν θυμηθείς...

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  7. Yummy cheese! Can't believe it is almost time to dye the eggs! Happy Easter, good health and peace!

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  8. mapia mou...8umiazw panta....kai afhnw kai 1 louloudaki....to ligotero pou mporw na kanw gia sena....einai 2 seires prin to makh....se skeftomai panta me agaph...na eisai gerh...gia th xapitwmenh sou oikogeneia prepei na eisai yperhfanh!!!!!!!!vaso

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  9. Mmmmmmm that cheese looks fabulous! (I gave up cheese for Lent, and am enjoying reaquainting myself with cheese this week :) ).

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  10. Thanks for you comment about my Athens experience. There is an American school of archaeology that the Greek gov has allowed to work at the Agora for decades now and I was lucky to work there for a year. Amazing place.

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  11. Nice, poem...ending a little "malakismeni"...in the good sense of course!

    I hope I find some source of this cheese until I finally visit Crete..then I'll be a "malako-fagas"!

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  12. I love cheese, and I enjoyed reading your earlier linked post. It's very interesting to learn about the different Creten cheeses.

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