These biscuits are perfect for Holy Week’s frugal diet – especially Holy (or Great) Friday’s. Many devout do not cook on Holy Friday, but if they do, traditional foods are simple, usually boiled in water (without oil) and seasoned with vinegar – like beans – or thin soups like tahinosoupa, a soup made with tahini.

Petimezi Biscuits are often prepared in advance and pair wonderfully with homemade jams or raw honey. We love having them with olive leaf tea, mountain tea or wild mountain herbs, like sage.

Preparation: 30’ Wait: 1 hour & 45’ in total Baking: 45-50’

Ingredients

1 portion of dry yeast
500g all-purpose flour and 500g soft flour sifted and mixed
200ml evoo –we recommend using our 22°C
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 glass of petimezi/ grape molasses

Method

Sprinkle yeast over ½ cup of lukewarm water and let it stand for 10 mins. Afterwards, add 2 teaspoons of flour, stir to combine and leave it to rise for about 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine flour, drizzle some evoo and knead it until it looks like tiny pasta. Add spices and yeast to the mix and stir to combine. Later add petimezi to the mix, stirring between additions and knead gently. The dough should be smooth, elastic and firm. If needed, we can add some water – or flour- to achieve the desired texture. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 mins.

Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead the biscuits to the desired size and form. Place the biscuits on a large baking pan (covered with lightly greased baking paper) in about 5cm apart as they really grow in size. Cover loosely with a towel or plastic wrap, let them rise for about 45-50’ and preheat the oven in the meanwhile. Finally, bake the biscuits at 180°C for 45-50 mins. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!

Inspired by Voutsina E. (2009, April), Easter at the countryside, Gastronomos,  36.]


If you haven’t tried Greek tsoureki before, then you are certainly missing out! Soft, fluffy, with a beautiful brown semi-soft crust and an amazing stringy texture. Its distinct, rich flavour and intense aromas come from the two aromatic spices used: mastic and mahlab, which give a really characteristic flavour and smell. Freshly ground mastic (masticha), is an aromatic spice from Chios island, and aromatic mahlab or mahleb (mahlepi), is a spice made from ground seeds of cherry.

Ingredients

40g fresh yeast
60ml water
75g special flour for tsoureki (a flour mix, high in protein)
45g butter 82% fat
135g sugar
100g eggs
85ml milk
10g mahlepi (a spice made from cherry stones)
20ml orange juice
Zest from an orange
3g grounded mastic (resin obtained the mastic trees in Chios island, PDO product)
1g salt
A portion of vanilla (powder)
425g special flour for tsoureki
40g melted butter 82% fat, in medium temperature
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
40g thinly sliced almonds
Red eggs (if desired)

Method

Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water and let it stand for 10 mins. Afterwards, add 75g of flour, stir to combine and leave it to rise in a warm place for approximately 45 mins.

In a pot combine 45g butter, sugar, eggs, milk, mahlepi, juice and orange zest, mastic, salt and vanilla and warm up the mixture until it’s lukewarm. Stir to combine with a whisk. Add the mix to the electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and start adding flour gradually, stirring between additions. Combine the initial mix (with the yeast) as well and mix until the dough is elastic. Finally, add melted butter and keep mixing until the dough doesn’t stick to the mixer bowl anymore. Transfer the dough into a buttered bowl, cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 45 mins, until doubled in size.

Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and cut the dough in 350g balls. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Divide the dough into three and roll into three stands. Plait the strips together, place on the baking tray and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately an hour, until doubled in size. Brush the top of the bread with egg wash, sprinkle some almonds and push the red eggs (if desired) into the bread. Finally, bake tsoureki at 170° for 40 mins. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Καλό Πάσχα – Happy Easter!


Although fermentation seems to be one of the oldest methods for preserving food, lately it feels like the most fashionable thing a foodie can do or consume. It’s not some crazy science but the breakdown of complex molecules in organic components caused by the influence of yeast or other substances. There are two types of fermentation: lactic acid fermentation and alcoholic fermentation.

All around the world people have been transforming food with the help of microbes for thousands of years. Some of the most popular –and sought after- fermented products are sauerkraut, kimchee, fermented vegetables, kefir and yogurt. One of the first fermented products recorded seems to be Garum (Γάρος), the centuries-old condiment of fermented and salted anchovies with sharp, savoury flavour which Ancient Greeks and Romans used to add to their dishes.

A live, unpasteurized, fermented food is quite dissimilar to a “pasteurised” one. Pasteurisation does indeed “conserve” the food, but unfortunately it also destroys everything in it, including all enzymes, nutrients and beneficial microbes. Culturing or fermenting food not only enhances the richness and flavour of the food or beverage, but also increases levels of beneficial flora and enzymes significantly, both for weight loss and for overall improvement of numerous symptoms, including depression, anxiety, brain fog, skin problems, hormonal issues, immune weaknesses, digestive problems, and fatigue. These foods are highly recommended as they are a type of natural probiotic, since they are packed in so many live bacteria along with many other crucial nutrients.

When thinking of fermentation, olives might not be the first thing that comes in mind. Let us explain in detail why we are so proud of the way our raw, unpasteurised Kalamata olives are produced and how they retain their full flavour and excellent nutrients. The main skill of olive preparation is in removing its bitterness, to make the olive more pleasing to the palate. As far as commercial olives are concerned, they are usually being artificially oxidised, afterwards added caustic soda (E524), in order to eliminate bitterness and later they are heat treated for antibacterial reasons. Commercially produced olives are either pasteurised (heated to 78 degrees for 5 minutes) or sterilised (heated to 125 degrees for 35 minutes). Tinned olives are usually sterilised; left soft and dry without any taste or nutrients left. As far as non-commercial olives are concerned, a traditional way of curing them is in salted water. This method affects their flavour though as well as their nutritious value, since sometimes they are heated in the jar.

Our olives are fresh water cured and left to naturally ferment. We don’t slit or crack the olives or use any mechanical or chemical means (caustic soda) to speed up the curing process. In this way the olives retain their beautiful shape and flavour. This is a slow and labour intensive process, which ranges from 6-9 months. Next the olives are preserved in organic extra-virgin olive oil, organic vinegar and mixed wild herbs.

This is why our olives are a true superfood truly superior in polyphenols than commercial olives. Such results are only possible when the olives are naturally and slowly cured to naturally ferment and they are not pasteurised.

Buy our organic, unpasteurised, naturally cured/ fermented olives!


What is so special about Greek mountain tea (tsai tou vounou)? It is freshness and wellness in a tea; you might find yourself feeling as if you were just trekking on the Greek mountains.

Sideritis also known as ironwort, shepherd’s tea and mountain tea is a genus of flowering plants widely known for their use in herbal medicine as well as an herbal tea. This special tea is historically known as “Shepherd’s Tea” because Greek shepherds would make a brewed tea out of the plants while directing their flocks on the hillsides.

This tea consists of select handpicked dried flowers, leaves and stems of the native Sideritis plant which grow wild throughout the mountainous regions of Greece. The specific plant is found on rocky slopes at very high elevations (over 1000 meters). According to the researchers, Sideritis genus includes over 150 available species. Not to be confused with regular tea rich in polyphenols, caffeine and a smoky, bitter flavour due to its tannic profile; this humble tea has a sweet, floral and earthy flavour and is caffeine-free.

The herb was well known to ancient Greeks, particularly to the pharmacologist/ botanist Dioscurides, philosopher Theophrastus and to the father or modern medicine Hippocrates. Back then it was used as a toning herb, commonly used to treat wounds –especially those from iron swords or arrows. Nowadays, it is mostly consumed in Greece and Spain; in Greece you can try about 17 different varieties from mountains around the country. Of these only one is cultivated, all others are wild. Its essential oils are used in a variety of herbal medicine and cosmetic products.

One of the main reasons of ironwort’s popularity has definitely been its wide range of health benefits. Since the antiquity, it was considered as a remedy for colds, aches, allergies, indigestion, respiratory issues and a boost for your immune system. All these claims proved to be true; an increasing number of researches confirm that mountain tea is packed with flavonoids and antioxidants as well that it lowers blood pressure. Recent studies at the University of Magdeburg argue that not only does Sideritis prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease but it also acts forestalling osteoporosis.

According to the a study published in 2011 at the “Journal of Ethno-pharmacology”, all Sideritis species plants were shown to have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic properties. They were rich in a number of natural antioxidants, including flavonoids, and almost all species also contained essential oils. In addition, according to a 2012 publication of the “Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology” found that extracts made from Sideritis helped lower blood pressure levels while helping blood vessels to relax.

The brewing process is rather simple: you simply need to pour some freshly boiled water in a cup with a couple of mountain tea twigs inside. Excellent with a spoonful of honey, it is also lovely with cinnamon or lemon. Since it’s naturally caffeine-free, it can be enjoyed any time of the day. Fresh, aromatic and flavourful – can be enjoyed either hot or cold. We stock 100% organic and wild, without any added ingredients, colourings, or flavourings from the mountains of the Epirus. Pop by our stall in Borough Market, find us at Spa Terminus or order it online. Make a fresh start this year and switch to herbal remedies, like this ancient one.

Your Greek grandmother would recommend a cup per day, especially during winter!