What do we think about when we think of Greek food? For many, it is the meze and traditional plates of a typical Greek island taverna from summer holidays or from Greek restaurants at home. This book takes us into and beyond the taverna to offer us a unique, comprehensive history of the foods of Greece. Andrew and Rachel Dalby discuss how the land was first settled, what was grown, and how certain fruits, herbs and vegetables came to be identified. Moving through prehistorical and classical Greece, and the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires, they explore the variety of Greek foods among communities outside the national borders as well as the food culture of the regions and islands of Greece itself. Through a synthesis of modern Greek food, with all that it owes to Christianity and to Greeks of the diaspora, they lead us into a discussion of Greek hospitality. Greek food is brimming with thousands of centuries of history, lore and culture. With many superb illustrations, and traditional recipes that blend historical and modern flavours, Gifts of the Gods is a fine account of this rich and ancient cuisine.
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