Tuesday, April 25, 2017

INTERNATIONAL: BORDERLESS CUISINE 3 - Catalonia's and Roussillon's Influence on the cuisine of Andorra

Links to previous Borderline Cuisines at boom of page

LINK to Languedoc, ROUSSILLON and Midi-Pyrenees

LINK to French Wine VIDEO at the Languedoc-Roussillon Week

LINK to 【4K】WALK VIDEO Le Boulou LANGUEDOC ROUSSILLON Occitanie France 4k - Walk through the market - No real sound!

This Borderless Cuisine part covers the cuisine of Andorra, Catalonia and an old region called Roussillon which was part of Catalonia (called Northern Catalonia) but later in history it became part of France.  It was first called Roussillon, then Lanquedoc-Roussillon and since the recent change in French mapping it is not called Pyrenees-Orientale (Midi-Pyrenees and Roussillon-Languedoc). 

Below are maps of the 22 older sections of France and the new regions (12).

The map below shows the Midi-Pyrenees area of France.  All of the dark pink is the Midi-Pyrenees aka Pyrenees-Orientale. The bottom number (66) in dark pink is old Roussillon and the little dot to the left of it is Andorra. (Note: This area was called Septimania centuries ago; this area was captured by the Moors from Africa but then the Moors were chased out; had an influence on the cuisine of this area.)

 Andorra is a small country in-between old Roussillon (Pyrenees-Orientale) (old Northern Catalonia) and Catalonia, Spain.  See maps below.

Andorran cuisine is a mixture of Spanish Catalan cuisine and the cuisine of Southern France.  (NOTE:  Catalonia has been trying for years to become independent of Spain but to no avail.)  It is a European cuisine which is adapted to mountainous cuisine with high quality ingredients. 

As with many cuisines Andorran cuisine is seasonal.  For example, in autumn game such as wild boar and & hare and mushrooms play a major part.  A sauce for stewed or grilled game is a white sponge mushroom sauce with chile peppers and saffron.  Meat dishes, made on a grill or stewed on open fire, are served with Catalan garlic sauce aioli *.  Mushrooms are also served with mashed potatoes and special sauces.  Hare and wild boar are also stewed in red wine are popular and are served with vegetables and wild mushrooms. 

(*Where did garlic sauce, aioli or garlic mayonnaise come from? It originated in Egypt and was introduced to Spain and France by the Romans.)  Classic Catalan all-i-oli is used on fish, meat,vegetables & salads and is made without egg yolks and with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice or wine vinegar. Two other versions ajolio and ajiaccite are made with the same ingredients but use eggs.  

For Halloween, they make a dough out of sweet potatoes, almonds and cedar nuts which is baked and then served with fruit, nuts and chestnuts and served with a white Muscat wine. 


In winter they eat hot veggie dishes such as cabbage or beets.  

In Andorra, Roussillon and Catalonia the cabbage dish is called Trinxat.




Popular in Andorra and Catalonia and Roussillon aka Northern Catalonia is a dish called escudella (stew) in Catalonia and Andorra and ouillade in Roussillon.  There are several types of escudella but I have chosen the one with beans!!

LINK TO RECIPE  Roussillon Ouillade

LINK TO RECIPE  Andorran Escudella

LINK TO RECIPE Catalan Escudella


All three countries make their own version of Catalan Cream, a dessert. In France it is called Creme Brulee.

LINK to Creme Catalane - Roussillon

LINK to Crema Catalana  - Catalonia


The people in all three countries like 
their bread and tomatoes.

LINK FOR RECIPE FOR  pa con tomate - Roussillon

LINK FOR RECIPE FOR  Pan con tomate - Catalonia


Pa Amb Tomaquet (Bread with Tomato) - Andorra


LINK to Part 1 - Grits

LINK to Part 2  - Filled Pastries


Monday, April 24, 2017

INTERNATIONAL GREECE: Part 2 - Grikos cuisine merges with Italian cuisine

Greek presence in Italy begins with the migrations of the old Greek Diaspora (see world map below)

The darker the red in the photo above means the more Greeks in the area.  

Dark Red: 1,000,000 or more
Next Red:  200,000 or more
Next Red:  50,000 to 100,000
Next Red:  20,000-50,000
Next:  1,000-20,000
Gray 1,000 or less

Greek Americans (Greek: ΕλληνοαμερικάνοιEllinoamerikanoi) are Americans of full or partial Greek ancestry. About 1.3 million American people are of Greek descent, although there are estimates that raise this number to 3 million, and 321,144 people older than five spoke Greek at home in 2010.

in the 8th century BC, continuing down to the present time. There is a linguistic minority known as the Griko people, who live in the Southern Italian regions of Calabria (Province of Reggio Calabria) 
and Apulia or Puglia, especially the peninsula of Salento, within the old Magna Graecia region, who speak a distinctive dialect of Greek called Griko. They are believed to be remnants of the ancient and medieval Greek communities, who have lived in the south of Italy for centuries. Alongside this group, a smaller number of more recent migrants from Greece lives in Italy, forming an expatriate community in the country. Today many Greeks in Southern Italy follow Italian customs and culture.

During many centuries of cohabitation there was an exchange of knowledge between Griko and Southern Italians in the art of cooking. The Griko are traditionally producers of cereals, vegetables, olives and legumes.  Local Griko cuisine does not differ greatly from the local Italian population, however there local regional variations. Many typical Griko dishes are still in use among them. Some of them are mentioned below.

Sadly the Grikos culture is disappearing as they meld with the Italians in Calabria and Apulia. 


  • Cranu stompatu - a wheat dish, prepared in a simple way, by soaking and pounding the wheat
  • ricchiteddhe - type of macaroni
  • minchiarieddhi - a type of long macaroni
  • sagne ncannulate - a wide tagliatelle up to inch and a half

  • triddhi - irregular shaped pasta, specifically used for making Broth
  • Ricchiteddhe cu lle rape - Orecchiette with turnip greens, a popular dish in Grecia Salentina

  • Turcinieddhi - a type of tripe which includes grilled sheep innards
  • Mendulata te cranu - a dessert similar to Pastiera, filled with cream cheese, honey, sugar and vanilla

  • Le Cuddhure - a traditional Griko cake made during Easter, from the Greek Koulouri

  • Tiaulicchiu - Hot Chili peppers, extensively eaten throughout Grecia Salentina, they are usually stored dry, or preserved in jars of oil, with the addition of slivers of garlic, mint, and capers
  • Sceblasti - a traditional type of hand made bread from the Grecia Salentina region.

  • Aggute - a traditional Greek-Calabrian Easter bread from the Bovesia region, it is prepared with a mixture of flour, eggs and butter and the surface is decorated with painted hard boiled eggs, similar to the Greek Tsoureki

  • Scardateddhi - traditional Greek-Calabrian wedding sweets, made from flour, honey and anise seeds which are shaped like small doughnuts. They are then cooked in boiling water, and sprinkled with brown sugar before being served.

A book about the cuisine of the Griko of Salento has been published, entitled Grecia Salentina la Cultura Gastronomica. It features many traditional recipes distinctive to the Grecia Salentina region of southern Apulia.









                               GRIKO DIALECT VIDEOS

INTERNATIONAL: GREECE: Part 6 - Continuing The Cylades with recipe links, PHOTOS and VIDEOS

Links to previous posts








LINK to information about the Cyclades

The Cyclades

Approximately 20 inhabited islands extend from the southern tip of the peninsula around Athens and dot the central part of the Aegean. These include Milos, Kea, Naxos, Andros, Myconos, and Santorini, as well as many uninhabited land masses. The mainstays of the cuisine—savory barley and wheat biscuits, simple cheeses, and cured pork—have remained more or less unchanged throughout the centuries. The drystone terraces on the steep hillsides were originally built in antiquity to expand the scarce cultivable land of the islands so that the people could plant barley, beans, and vegetables. Barley, which has been cultivated in the Mediterranean since the beginnings of civilization, was for centuries the staple for the island people.
Greek Capers and Tomatoes
Paximadia, the barley biscuits, were convenient food for sailors, who took them on long voyages. Today, city people as well as tourists love these versatile crunchy biscuits, which are crumbled and made into delicious salads with the flavorful island tomatoes and capers, drizzled with fruity olive oil and seasoned with fragrant oreganoPaximadia are also topped with ksyno, a slightly tangy fresh local cheese.
The wonderful artisanal cheeses of the Cyclades—produced mainly from goat's milk, with some sheep's or cow's milk—are seasonal and most fall out of the DOC system, as they are produced in little shacks that do not even remotely meet European Union standards for exportation. The numerous myzithra (the term is generic for all kinds of cheeses), fresh and soft, aged and hard, can be excellent, though they are inconsistent and in short supply. On the islands of Tinos and Naxos, there are cheese-producing cooperatives that make the local DOC graviera from a mixture of sheep's and cow's milk. In Syros, the San Michali graviera, produced only from cow's milk, is probably the best of its kind in Greece.

Pork plays a significant role in the diet of these islanders. The winter family feasts and customs surrounding the slaughtering of the pig have not changed for centuries. Some parts of the animal, such as chops, are roasted in the oven or over the hearth fire, or stewed with celery and winter greens and lemon, often as part of a festive Christmas meal, while most is cured and stored for use throughout the year. Louza or loza—exquisite cured pork that can be compared to the best jamón serrano of Spain—is made from the tenderloin, which is marinated in wine, then spiced and smoked. Pieces of cured pork are also added to vegetable stews, bean soups, and island omelets, which are made with seasonal produce such as fresh fava beans, artichokes, or simple wild greens gathered from the hills. Cycladic sausages, seasoned with intensely aromatic dried savory or oregano and occasionally with wild fennel and orange peel, are often dipped in wine before being smoked. Seafood is not plentiful in the Aegean, which may explain why it has never been one of the basic foods of the islanders.

Santorini Tomato Patties / Tomatokeftedes Santorinis
LINK to recipe

Sifnos chick pea soup / Xespastaria 

LINK to recipe

Greek Omelette with Sausages and Potatoes / Froutalia

Kopanisti: Greece’s Rock Star Cheese

LINK to information about famous cheese (no recipe)

Stifado:  Greek Beef Stew

 10 Greek Desserts

LINK to 10 Greek dessert photos and recipe links

Bougatsa (Μπουγάτσα) – A cream filled phyllo pastry 

Ekmek Kadaifi (Εκμέκ Κανταΐφι) – Shredded wheat pastry topped with two creams

Galatopita (Γαλατόπιτα) – A baked semolina and custard pie

 Karidopita (Καρυδόπιτα) – A mouthwatering moist walnut cake

Loukoumi (Λουκούμι) – The Greek version of “Turkish Delight”

Moustalevria (Μουσταλευριά) – A grape must pudding with roasted sesame seeds

Pasteli (Παστέλι) – Nut bar with honey. Sesame bar is the most popular. 

Portokalopita (Πορτοκαλόπιτα) – A delicious sweet orange phyllo pie

Revani (Ρεβανί) – A moist and delicious semolina cake

Spoon Sweet (Γλυκό του κουταλιού) – Fruits or nuts preserves in sugary syrup.