Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The best boureki on the web (Το καλύτερο μπουρέκι στο διαδίκτυο)

Greek food blogging is highly competitive, or should I call it the Greek food blogosphere (depending on which one will get me more ratings): a day in the life of The Best Greek Food Blogger...

Kalimera everybody, and what a kali mera it is! What about a morning pick-me-up? How about some Greek coffee and a koulouraki to go with that? And a double Elliniko for all of those who are snowed in at work today and can't get out to enjoy the sunshine? What are you cooking today, everyone? Haven't made up your mind yet? Run out of ideas? That's why you've come here, haven't you, my glikoulia? Best Greek Food Blog saves the day again, once again! Again! Today I'm making the perfect boureki. You don't know what boureki is? No? OK, let me explain it to you. Well, where do I start? Boureki is a kind of cheese pie, but not your ordinary kind of cheese pie, oh no sirree! Boureki is the best cheese pie around, and my version of boureki would have to be the most perfect. Wait till you see the final outcome! (And if you cannot contain yourself any longer, just scroll down to the photos, duckies!)

OK, first things first. Don't confuse boureki with 'boreg', because, well, it just doesn't compare, as I will explain to you. Boureki from Hania is also very different from the boureki made in other parts of Greece, and you know where I'm from, don't you, so you know which variety of boureki is the best boureki in Greece, don't you, lovie-dovies? That's right! And that's why we can't fail in making the perfect boureki today, right? 'Cos I'm the boureki expert, and my boureki always works out perfectly, doesn't it?

boureki 2009
A perfect boureki straight out of the oven.

Let me start by saying that Haniotiko Boureki is a self-crusting pie consisting of potatoes, courgettes and mizithra, that delicious soft fresh white curd cheese that you can only get in Hania. In fact, it's PDO, so don't expect to be able to find it outside of the region, and don't even think of using mizithra from another part of Crete, because it's just not the same, and your boureki won't be perfect, will it? So you need to find the right kind of cheese substitute to make a perfect boureki if you don't live in Hania, and if you're not in Hania today, sweeties, I'll teach you to find a good suitable cheese substitute, which is one of the secrets I'm going to pass on to you today. But don't go spreading it round too quickly, will you!

tomato garlic boureki
My perfect boureki, just before the final layer of vegetables is placed over the cheese.

If you don't live in Hania, substitute fresh mizithra with some fresh Italian ricotta cheese that has had a bit of feta cheese crumbled and mixed into it to give that unique sour taste that mizithra has. And that's my secret! No genuine mizithra? No problem! It will still be perfect if you follow my advice!

My perfect boureki, looking mouthwatering; beware of phoneys! Not everyone can make a perfect boureki, so they just copy my photo of the perfect boureki onto their web page along with their own recipe, which doesn't bear any resemblance to mine whatsoever...

So do you want to hear my husband's verdict on this batch of my latest boureki? He looked at me, his dazzling eyes radiating onto my face, and he simply said: "That was the best boureki you've ever made, darling!" Doesn't it just make you wanna cry?!

So, my followers, may your hearts be filled with love and piety, and your stomachs with the best Greek food, which just happens to be here on my blog, and that's why you're here, aren't you, sweethearts? Don't you be fooled by the wannabes out there who troll my posts and wonder how they're going to raise their ratings by copying me directly! You know who I'm talking about, don't you, I don't need to mention names, there are so many copycats out there, stealing my food uninvited, the best Greek food on the best Greek food blog on the WWW! I mean, they don't even know the difference between mizithra and ricotta, and they claim to be experts on Greek food! Can you believe it, my poor souls?! It's such a good thing you have me here, to help you discern what is authentic and what isn't. Of course, I am above such practices, I couldn't possibly even put it in my head to copy or mimic other people's efforts, I'm just so perfect on my own, and I know this because you, my precious followers, tell me so all the time, and it's so nice to see some honesty on the web every now and then. I know my blog is the best Greek food blog in existence on the WWW, bar none. Selah. The writing, the content, the recipes, all top notch. But I've been a fool for so long, I trusted the wrong people, and now look how they're trying to bring me down, maligning me with lies and treachery, critiquing my posts and recipes, as if they were in a position to offer better advice!

boureki with thick filo phyllo pastry
My uncle is a better cook than I am - here's his perfect version of bourekicovered in pastry.

If you're following me just for the food, hey, there are plenty of Greek food blogs around, just take your pick. Feel free to discontinue following me, but I'm warning you, you won't find any other blogs offering the wealth of information that mine does, and I'm not going to force you to stay here, even if I do have a high opinion of myself, and I know I deserve to think of myself so highly. After all, you all know I'm worth it, don't you? Don't you? Hello, is anybody there? Hello? Den apantaei kaneis*?

Just in case anyone doubts me, just ask google which the best Greek food blog on the web is; it's me, it's me, you know it's me, I'm the best, I am, I really am!

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of us all?
Thou art the fairest, Lady Queen!

*** *** ***
Some people are prepared to go to great lengths for ratings, while others simply copy other people's web-published work (in my case, most of my Cretan food photos) in order to 'create' their 'own' work. It would be at least preferable if they had the decency to simply acknowledge that they are copying my work; I really do not like the idea of my food photography showing the results of my cooking (on my crockery, with my cutlery, in my kitchen) side by side with their own recipes to accompany my photos. Did they not make up the recipe thmeselves? Check out these two sites I recently discovered copying my very alluring boureki photo here and here and posting a different recipe to mine - kind of dumb, don't you think?

Blogs that stand the test of time and have a certain quality about them that differentiate them in some unique way will generally get good hits. That won't happen overnight; if it does, maybe it's because of the use (or overuse) of certain search strings that are eventually picked up by the Google tools. I recently mentioned the Greek TV series 'Glikes Alchimies' (Sweet Alchemy) on one of my posts. For the last few days following the post, people have landed on my blog from the search string 'glikes alchimies'. Most people realised I wasn't presenting recipes from the show and they left after one hit. A few others stuck around searching for recipes (none of which existed on my blog in the first place). My hits counter went up for that reason, even though most of the 'readers' probably went away disappointed, never to return. When ratings and hits statistics are conspired, they lose their value.

In any case, you know who's bound to turn up top of the Google pops today with boureki, don't you?

*Is anybody out there?

I agree, too much malarkeying as of late. How about some food for the next post?

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