Honey, Olives, Octopus (Hardcover)
Adventures at the Greek Table
University of California Press, 9780520275096, 238pp.
Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Combining the best of memoir, travel literature, and food writing, Christopher Bakken delves into one of the most underappreciated cuisines in Europe in this rollicking celebration of the Greek table. He explores the traditions and history behind eight elements of Greek cuisine--olives, bread, fish, cheese, beans, wine, meat, and honey--and journeys through the country searching for the best examples of each. He picks olives on Thasos, bakes bread on Crete, eats thyme honey from Kythira with one of Greece's greatest poets, and learns why Naxos is the best place for cheese in the Cyclades. Working with local cooks and artisans, he offers an intimate look at traditional village life, while honoring the conversations, friendships, and leisurely ceremonies of dining around which Hellenic culture has revolved for thousands of years. A hymn to slow food and to seasonal and sustainable cuisine, Honey, Olives, Octopus is a lyrical celebration of Greece, where such concepts have always been a simple part of living and eating well.
About the Author
Christopher Bakken is Frederick F. Seely Professor of English at Allegheny College. He is the author of three books of poetry: After Greece, Goat Funeral, and the forthcoming Eternity & Oranges. His poems, essays, and translations have been published widely in the U.S. and Europe.