Tahini could be called tahini butter, for it is sesame seeds roasted and combined with a little oil until it is smooth and blended. It, plus some lemon juice and garlic, is the basis of several Middle Eastern dishes, made with tahini. It gives almost any dish a nutty, creamy flavor, not only in main dishes but in desserts, as well.
Sesame seeds are said to be one of the first sources of edible oil, and the earliest reference is found in an Assyrian myth, where it states the gods consumed sesame wine on the night before creating the earth. Other early records state Sesame is from India with use dating back to 3,000 B.C., when they burned sesame oil for light as well as for soot for their ink-block drawings. African slaves called sesame seeds benne seeds and used that name when they took them to North America. Even to now, one of the favored South Carolinean dishes is Benne Seed Cookies. Sesame seed oil is still an important sourse of fat for those cooking in the Near and Far East.
The crowd responds with an excited chorus of “Opa’s!”
All too soon the waiter douses the flame with fresh lemon juice.
The warm, crusty, tangy cheese remains get consumed by all.
Ouzo is made from distilled grapes, flavored with aniseed, also mint and fennel. Some bottler recipes call for cinnamon, mastic (a resin), coriander, cloves or cardamom. Its alcohol potency ranges from moderate to strong and can pack a wallop. When adding some to an open skillet, take the pan away from the stove, as it flames easily.
Besides sipping ouzo it’s also a cook’s friend for a hard-to-figure-out, licorice flavor a non-Greek can’t put their finger on. Some compare it to the famed absinthe, and a museum on the Greek island of Lesbos is dedicated to Ouzo. Thoroughly enjoying the sipping of ouzo is considered a Mediterranean art. Though clear by itself, ouzo turns milky white when ice is added to it and changes it chemically. Continue reading →
Hot Buttered Rum, the drink, like a cake, starts with a batter! Originally a get-well drink for sea-battered sailors, Hot Buttered Rum over the years has become a sociable beverage for skiers, skaters, hikers, ice fishermen, sleigh riders and … Continue reading →