For our mother’s day feast 2015, my parents chose Ancient Greece as the theme. They may not have realized that classical antiquity includes about a thousand years, starting around 500 BC. In researching this period, I was reminded how many things we take for granted today that were developed during that time, including foods (pita, cheesecake, ice cream) and many intellectual fields, including geometry, the formal practice of medicine, and areas of philosophy. Vegetarianism also originated in ancient Greece! I wanted to create a meal that included only ingredients that could reasonably be expected to be available during this time period, used Greek ingredients and flavors, and represented some of the historical elements of that period. I also tried to avoid a lot of popular modern Greek ingredients that they didn’t have until later, such as red meat (other than pork) and chicken and eggs (I only used eggs at the end of the meal, attempting to parallel when they appeared in this period). Here’s what I came up with.
Breakfast with Pythagorus:
Ancient Grecian breakfast of barley pancakes, figs, feta, honey and sesame seeds, with geometrical plating
|Hippocrates’ multivitamin soup:
500 BC Farmer’s dinner of red lentil soup-stew, with onions, tomato, collard greens and puffed barley, containing USDA 100% daily requirements of vitamins A, B1,2,3,5,6,C,E,K, & Ca, Mg, K+, Fe, Cu, Ph, molybdenom, folate, protein, Zinc, biotin, choline, chromium, flavonoids, selenium, and omega3s. Served with whole wheat Pita.
|Spartan, yet Platonic:
Bracing spartan black broth, spartan loukanika sausage, octopus, skordalia, with harmonic plating
Greek Branzino, baked under salt, with herbs and olives, served whole, with Lesbian Sougania and Littleneck Clams
|Invention of Cheesecake
Honey proto-baklava rounds, molded early cheesecakes, served to Olympic athletes
Early olive-oil ice cream, available dairy, halwa, clouds
|End of the Empire Mignardises
A sweet, passionate bite