Fried cheese. It almost sounds too much, but your mouth can’t help but water. And perhaps I’m doing Cheese Saganaki a disservice by reducing it to such simplicity. But that’s what cheese saganaki is; a simple Greek dish, prepared quickly and eaten even faster.
A traditional Greek dish, Lamb Kleftiko takes its name from the ‘Klephts’ (thief or brigand); highwaymen who took it upon themselves to oppose the Ottoman oppression, having taken to the mountains during the 15th Century.
Having no animals of their own, the Klephts would steal goats and lambs, cooking them secretly in sealed clay ovens in the ground. Slow cooked in a sealed container, the method of preparing kleftiko is clearly influenced by the forced conditions of food preparation in Klepht communities.
Lamb is, bar none, the favourite meat of those who consider Wales to be the land of their fathers. It is the quintessential meat and taste of my ancient, proud Celtic nation, which also, as the English would have it, finds itself inhabited solely by ‘sheep-shaggers’ or, to put it more politely, ‘wool-fondlers’. However, as the landscape of New Zealand or the cuisine of Greece suggests, Wales isn’t the only country in the world in which lamb reigns supreme. It is a meat considered by many, including me, to be the perfect balance between flavour and tenderness. Indeed, if you don’t mind my saying so, there are few things which exist on God’s earth as pleasant as the feeling of the freshly braised neck of a young wool-covered ruminant on one’s tongue. Anyway, that’s enough ruminating; too much deep-thought can do catastrophic damage to one’s mind.
Every settlement has its own benefits particular to that specific area. However, As Newton’s Third Law of Motion tells us, every object that exerts a force on another object, itself experiences an equal, but opposite, reaction. This quote may appear a little tangential at first, but it is a general law that can be applied to where one is situated. For instance, though one may say that it is a great benefit that Aberystwyth is, to all intents and purposes, relatively isolated from any British metropolis since it means that one may lead a peaceful and stress-free existence, it also ensures that travelling is problematic and that holiday-makers flock to the town in the summer. Still, you must be wondering what on earth this has to do with food – fear not for I am about to make an incredibly important point. As you might imagine, Aberystwyth is surrounded by a rural landscape, most of which is owned by farmers, as a result local food isn’t particularly difficult to come by (except seafood, ironically). This is great, but it means that more interesting and exciting items of food can be extremely difficult to find, the orzo pictured below being just one such example. It is sold nowhere – that particular jar of pasta was purchased just outside of London.