So, I used to live in the UK and before that in Germany.
One “complain” I had while being abroad, was about food. Obviously when you live in another country other than your own, you should look for all the positives and embrace the local culture, the food, the way of life and at the end, if you don’t like it… you can always move back!
… when you live abroad for some time, you begin to miss “little” things that have been infused in yourself over the years of you have spend in your own country and food is one of those “things”.
So every now and then, I would attempt to make something Greek. The easiest dish you can prepare is of course a salad. And here’s the actual complain… it was awful. Every time! 100 out of 100 times, I never enjoyed it and now I -finally- know why!
The answer goes back in time.
Years and years ago, when farmers would go to work, when agriculture was still done by hand and the occasional help of donkeys or other livestock, people were -in general- poor. They couldn’t afford to prepare a meal to take with in the field, so everybody would bring over what little they had to put together, so everybody can eat something on their break. Someone would have a couple of tomatoes, someone else a couple of peppers, a cucumber, half a bread… this and that… And everything would go in one pot, mixed slightly and there you go! Hard working people enjoying a quick snack before getting back to work. Those few vegetables were always what people had, because is what people would grow in their homes. So in time, this was established as an obvious choice of ingredients for a salad at the family table (when there was still one), without ever anyone noting this down as a “recipe”. There was never a recipe. It’s what you had on you, on the way to the field. In areas that people where herding sheep, they had cheese with them, in areas where people were farmers, they had vegetables and so on. This is how the everyday poor people’s salad, became in time “the Greek” salad.
I met people while living abroad who claimed to know the 12 or 10 or 9 ingredients of the Greek salad and I always laughed inside me. I read recipes, watched videos by many so called “experts”… it’s all worth nothing.
Because the secret to a good, tasty Greek salad, is not in whether it contains feta cheese or olives, or eggs or cherry tomatoes… or normal tomatoes… it’s in using home grown ingredients! Tasty, organic produce that will melt in your mouth and fill it with an explosion of good taste.
The secret to a good Greek salad, is to make it with love. Always cook with love, ingredients that you handle with care.
The secret to a good Greek salad is to make it the way you like it and not worry about the 12, 10, or 9 ingredients that it “must” have!
As history teaches us, the people who originally mixed their -bring from home- vegetables, they… they didn’t have a recipe in mind, they didn’t bother to prepare something specific, they just need food. Food that happened to be the best quality one can wish for. No chemical, no nothing. Even the water was from a well, no chlorine or fluoride, everything was growing in the most natural way. And “that” was the big secret behind a good and tasty Greek salad.
(By the way, don’t put any lettuce or basil…. I mean… Jesus…)