I hope that this Year of Zealous Health is off to a great start for all of you and that it will bring us even closer as a community. One of the things I always loved in our zealous journey is to listen to you, your ideas, suggestions, feedback and even requests for new products. I also love discovering new products and sharing them so that you can enjoy the true flavors of Greece. In that spirit, 2021 is off to a good start, with new products from Tragano Greek Organics and Sparoza.
From the very start, our community has been asking for Greek honey, yet I was hesitant to bring it to the States. Honey quality can vary so much and often what we get here in the States has a different flavor and texture from what I grew up with in Greece. Still, the requests kept coming and when our friends at Tragano Greek Organics told me they had discovered some exceptional organic honey from Crete, well, I decided to take the plunge! After all, Cretans are renown for their health and longevity and I knew from my travels there that the yogurt served with every breakfast was outstanding.
True to their mission, Tragano Greek Organics found a single estate, Cretan apiary established in 1920. An agriculturalist by upbringing and education, Manolis Stefanakis has dedicated his life to creating rare types of honey from the wild herbs of the Cretan countryside. Manolis’ scientific background and his longtime involvement in the family business led him to associate the microclimate in different Cretan areas (according to altitude, relative humidity and soil composition) with the organoleptic & biochemical characteristics of the produced honey. The result is outstanding! Collected from Cretan wild thyme, sage, Cretan mountain tea (Sideritis Syriaca), and Cretan ebony (ebenus cretica), this organic honey is harvested in the Spring. The unique Cretan climate, mountainous terrain and wild flora make this honey full-bodied, light in color and high in nutritional value, a true wellness gift.
I say a wellness gift because in Greece honey has always been seen as a health and wellness treasure, on top of being a favorite food. It has been part of the Greek diet since antiquity, part of Greek mythology, and Hippocrates himself mentions it as "medicine" for many conditions. Honey, and especially raw honey, is perceived to be an excellent anti-oxidant, a natural purifier for the gastrointestinal system, a beauty elixir, and it was even used to heal wounds. Personally, I love it with tea to settle my stomach or to soothe a sore throat. Rumor has it that honey helps with hangovers too!
Yogurt and honey are a classic Greek breakfast that just about every visitor to Greece enjoys. Another treat with yogurt is the famous tzatziki, a cucumber/herb dip that accompanies souvlaki and Greek salads for lunch & dinner. Making all of these typical Greek dishes has just gotten so much easier, thanks to our other new arrivals, Sparoza's Greek Cuisine Classics line of mixes: the Greek Farmer's Salad Mix, Greek Granny's Tzatziki Mix, and Greek Shepherd's Souvlaki & BBQ Mix.
Handcrafted under the demanding eye of Efi Ekmetzoglou, these Greek Cuisine Classics are made with the finest herbs found in the Greek countryside and are of course all-natural, with no additives, artificial flavors or fillers. The conveniently stackable whimsical tubs are designed by Xenia and Nikos, the daring duo behind Sparoza's beautifully and meaningfully-designed products. As with other Sparoza products there is a simple and delicious recipe in each one pack. You can easily make 35 bowls of tzatziki, 50 Greek salads, and marinate 60 large souvlakia (shish kebabs) with each tub!
Efi never ceases to amaze us, with her constant need to innovate. She is a restless, creative mind, with deep knowledge of Greek gastronomy but also of flavors and herbs. Her mixes, teas and cooking blends have a loyal following and it is not a surprise. Once you open them, you are transported to Greece and its countryside. Even more now, as that countryside seems so far away, we hope that our new products will at least bring Greece a little closer to your kitchen!
Stay tuned for more recipes and ideas on how to use these delicious new products...and send us your own pictures and thoughts, too, we love sharing them on social media!
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In this blog, we want to share with you stories of people and places and things that reflect zēlos, that Greek energy and enthusiasm that characterizes all we do. We hope you enjoy finding out more about this small, resilient, fascinating country and all it offers and inspires.
At Zelos Authentic Greek Artisan we want our customers to experience the true tastes and flavors of modern Greece and enjoy the same genuine flavors that we grew up with. We only choose organic or natural products, without a hint of preservatives, that are produced locally in Greece by small businesses. When you buy one of our Artisans' products, you support a very small business with big dreams, one that embodies contemporary Greek culinary excellence.
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