There are many proverbs in Greece and many are related to food. For example there is one that says “Love goes first through the stomach”. It seems our ancestors new something indeed. Stop right there and also read this rich article for Greek food experiences all over Greece.
While many people outside of Greece have heard a lot about roasted octopus, souvlaki and the Greek salad, they will savor some delicacies only when they will come to Greece and get initiated by locals. Along these those who want to go deeper into some of the ancient secrets of love potions (aka, aphrodisiacs) will find quite some intriguing information.
So, here are 10 things about the stomach and another 7 for the love part!
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1. Snails (Kohli “Bourbouristi”). Snails fried with their shell that make a popping sound when cooked. Is considered a delicacy especially in Crete.
2. Splinantero. A weird looking kind of sausage. Normally, it is made from the heart and spleen of lamb, both minced and staffed in the large intestine taken from a big male goat.
3. Patsas. This is the belly of the lamb chopped in small pieces. Varies from think to thick chopped pieces. It is a soup and is considered a great food after drinking lots of alcohol. The ultimate hangover reliever.
4. Sea urchin Salad. Either in a salad or raw with a twist of lemon, directly eaten as ripped from the sea.
5. Lamb’s head. Will you be in Greece through Easter time? Lot’s of lambs are roasted everywhere and chances are that if you are a guest Greeks will honor you with offering this to eat, eyeballs, brains and all.
6. Octopus fried ink sack. No, not the octopus. Just the ink sack is removed and then deep fried. Usually met at Kalymnos.
7. Marinated Gavros. Very small fish cooked in salt and served with a bit of oil as a food snack (“meze”).
8. Kokoretsi/Kontosouvli. Both are also prepared for Easter day (Sunday) and the first is made with leaver and fat, along with herbs all through a roasting spit and wrapped with the intestines. Kontosouvli on the other hand is like having lamb chops also through a roasting spit.
9. Kaltsounia sweet. Usually met in Crete. Is made with a star shaped dough, white cheese (myzithra), with some honey and cinnamon.
10. Karidaki Sweet. It is made from a whole walnut which is prepared for many days along with its shell to become very soft. It is eaten like that.
7 Ancient Greek Aphrodisiacs
History says that Hippocrates recommended to eat lentils if a man wanted to stay as he grew older. This was followed by the Greek philosopher Artistotle. He cooked lentils along with saffron. With his turn, Plutarch suggested the been soup (Fassolatha), in order for a man to have a strong libido. Moreover there are many mentions in Greek tradition for things like artichokes and weeds and herbs that were helping in child conception, even “ensuring” that a woman would give birth to sons!
Of course, people were seeking pleasure. They always do. Thus, a series of herbs became famous about having aphrodisiac results. Some were also considered due to their shape who resembled the shape of man/woman genitals. You know… like walnuts are good for the brain, tomatoes for the heart, carrots for the eyes, etc.
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1. Garlic: Garlic was believed to have magical and aphrodisiac properties since the ancient times. It was part of the daily nutrition of ancient Greeks, in a variety of ways. One popular dish (which can easily be hosted as 11 in the list above) is “skordalia”. It is made with garlic, cucumber, oil and yogurt.
2. Pomegranates: The juice was considered very nutritious along with its aphrodisiac properties.
3. Leek: It is awarded with such properties perhaps due to its resemblance as a phallic shape.
4. Mushrooms: Truffles were considered as great aphrodisiac. It was also an expensive one. Still is.
5. Satirio: Both Plutarch and Dioscorides considered this wild orchid as a great aphrodisiac.
6. Stafylinos: This was a plant that grew sexual appetite so strong that was consider an actual sex potion.
7. Mint. Here opinions contradict since Hippocrates thought mint was weakening the sperm, while Aristotle considered mint a great aphrodisiac. All and all mint goes well with chocolate and real chocolate is a strong stimulant too.
So, there you are! Next time you are in Greece give it a try with these Greek foods and come back here and tell us how you felt (OK, you can just skip the juicy details).
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