Flavours of GreeceBy Rosemary BarronGrub Street, £18.99ISBN 978-1-906502-60-7
Originally published in 1991, Flavours of Greece quickly became one of the most authentic and authoritative collections of Greek recipes. Rosemary Barron's considerable knowledge of the subject stemmed from having spent much of the 1980s running a cookery school based in a 450-year-old village house on the island of Crete, and later running courses on the volcanic island Santorini.
This new, full-colour edition, which coincides with Barron opening a new cookery school on traditional Greek cuisine on Kythira - another of the Greek islands - is a celebration of a food that has its roots in the ancient culture of the classical country.
Most of the 250 regional and national recipes are simple, based on good, fresh ingredients and the aromatic scent of the Greek countryside.
While the UK can never hope to grow the glorious sun-ripened tomatoes or figs that are plentiful in every Greek market at this time of year, chefs here can faithfully replicate Barron's dishes by the careful sourcing of ingredients.
Amongst the book's delights is a country tomato soup, involving the slow cooking of onions, celery and carrots perfumed with thyme as its base, its sweetness enhanced by a drizzle of honey. Cinnamon lamb with aubergines is a full-flavoured dish with the sweetness of raisins and honey balanced by the pungent vinegar and capers, while sticky yogurt cake would provide an ideal accompaniment to a dish of fresh figs.
An excellent introduction to the essentials of the Greek kitchen such as olives, olive oil, vinegar, fresh herbs, spices, honey and yogurt, an extensive glossary provides the reader with the knowledge required for selecting the most suitable ingredients for authenticity.
There is also a useful selection of ideas for balanced menus which can be put together for different occasions.
With Barron's delightful introduction to each recipe, providing some historical perspective and context to the ingredients used, Flavours of Greece is a joy to read. It is also probably the most comprehensive recipe book regarding Greek cookery on the market today.
http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/09/09/334996/fresh-fig-custard-by-rosemary-barron.htm" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">View the recipe for fresh fig custard from the book >>