- By Marco Richter de Medeiros
"Go to Greece and make yourselves fat from food, because one taste and you’ll want to eat until
Let’s talk about cooking. In a stranger’s apartment, you have no idea where anything is in the kitchen, whereas in your own, you know where every spice, pot, pan, and plate is supposed to go. Then you think about the food you’re going to make, and how it will taste. When you try it, it tastes different to how you thought it would taste. And then you think, “Wait, this food is not at all like what I eat at home”. I loved cooking in Greece, and if you get the chance as well, I hope you do too. When cooking in Greece, I cooked in a stranger’s apartment, thought about what it would be like, and also how it was different from the food I eat at home.
First, I thought about what it was like cooking in someone else’s kitchen. I thought that it was nice, though if I was to find the ingredients by myself, 1) I wouldn’t have been able to because It’s not my kitchen, and in my own kitchen, I know where everything is. 2) I don’t speak or read Greek, so I wouldn’t understand what it was that I found anyway. But luckily, we didn’t have to find everything we needed because our teacher just gave us the ingredients, so we didn’t feel totally helpless. The knives we had were colored pink and green, so it was kind of funny since they were knives. I mean, you don’t look into your cabinet every day and find a pink knife there right? Anyway, another cool utensil she had was like a carrot shaver but with another use. You stick it into the zucchini, then twist, and it makes a perfect hole through the vegetable. I need one….. I thought the lesson was fun, but if I was to choose between a kitchen I know and a kitchen I don’t, then I would choose the one I know.
In addition to having it be odd that you’re cooking in someone else’s kitchen, I tried to imagine what the food was going to be like. I imagined that the food would be like any other Greek food I have had such as gyro pita, tzatziki, roast lamb, and humus. I didn’t expect at all what we were going to make. Some of the dishes we made were zucchini latkes, zucchini pastries, and spaghetti with rooster. Our teacher said that the Greeks pie and stuff everything they make. One thing for sure, the food we had was unlike any other food I have ever had in my life. I imagined it to be souvlaki, a gyro that’s the size of my head and is packed full of meat, such as pork and lamb. In other words, I was expecting big food. But no, we ate finger food. Either way, I loved the food we made and ate!
Last I began to think about how our food that we made was different to what we made at home. Honestly, it was so different that I can’t even put it in the same category as what I eat at home. At home we eat meals such as rice & beans, steak, corn on the cob, and mashed potatoes - so a mix of Brazilian and American cuisine. At the teacher’s apartment we ate spaghetti with rooster, tzatziki, zucchini patties, zucchini balls, mini feta and spinach pies, Greek salad, stuffed zucchini, sausage, bread, and for dessert, we had yoghurt with walnuts and honey. Ok scratch the rooster being different, it was very similar to what we eat in Brazil because it was like a big meal with meat that was coming off the bone. The simple explanation of the rooster was a chicken plopped into a dish of spaghetti. It was delicious. The food looked different, tasted different, and smelled different. In simple words Greek food is edible happiness.
If you get the chance, go to Greece and make yourselves fat from food, because one taste and you’ll want to eat until you can’t stop. Cooking in a random person’s apartment was kind of weird though, because I felt that I was invading her space. When you begin the fancy cooking class, you will imagine the food different to what it’s going to be. Prepare yourself for what is to come; it’s going to be very different to what you will expect. Also, if you’re not Greek, then you will find the food very different with little similarities to what you eat in your house. Cooking in Greece was one of my favorite parts of the trip, and I definitely don’t regret it. If you can, try to get a class.