|Clemenceau once said "Lunch is too important to leave to the Chefs."|
After intensive study I came to some tentative conclusions. First, the Greeks have a social security system that is unsustainable (I mean worse than ours). Retirement at 55? Really? Second, way too many of the Greeks work for the government and all of them belong to a union. Third, they have 25% unemployment despite that (or because of it). So I can tell you I have realized that the Greeks as a nation are pretty bad at running a government or paying their bills. They compounded their problems when they made some recent bad choices in a socialist leader and an "OXI" (No) vote as to a bailout plan (and then got stuck with a deal that was worse). Damn Germans.
But there is one thing I know for sure about the Greeks: They have some of the best food in the world. Exhibit A is yours truly. Let me explain.
Since I was a boy in Ireland and until May 2015 (a span of about 60 years) I had never NEVER ever even once tasted or eaten a raw tomato. Ketchup and salsa was fine, but a sliced or cubed tomato was consistently removed from every hamburger or salad presented to me by the chefs of Dublin or the Gump. I was Chase "Hold the Tomatoes" Allpots. I know some of you understand where I was on the question of tomatoes. I see you picking them off your sandwiches.
So what changed?
The answer is: Greece. More specifically, the Greek salad as served in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece.
You see the Heiress--who is one-quarter Greek--decreed that I could accompany her in May 2015 to a Papanikolau family reunion in Palouri, Greece (on the Kassandra Peninsula) where she would meet her cousins for the first time and introduce me as her "male friend" or 'fi le mou' in Greek. Since I had never been to Greece, we were flying first class and, most importantly, she was paying for everything, I gracefully accepted. Bait a trap with a free trip to Greece with a handsome woman and you will catch ole Chase every time.
After arriving in Athens and before departing by train to Thessaloniki, we spent a few days at the Hotel Electra (separate rooms of course) near Syntagma Square where the Greek Parliament meets and where you saw all the demonstrations on CNN. While the Heiress was off shopping in the Plaka district under the Acropolis, I was left to my own devices to stroll up and down Ermou Street where during lunch time I took a turn over to Metropoleos Street and came upon a restaurant on Monastiraki Square named Thanassis. There, for some unexplained reason I ordered the same salad I saw on a table next to me oddly called a "Greek" salad.
|This is what a Greek salad looks like.|
|Another Greek salad with a jug of wine. Opa!|
For more Greek food porn check out: Our Big Fab Greek Adventure.