Tsikno-PemptiFeb 29th, 2008 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Greek Traditions
Afterall, for forty days we in the Greek Orthodox faith will be fasting by eating a vegetarian diet (of varying strictness).
This year, the Greek Orthodox Easter falls on April 27th, preceded by the Great Lent and currently we are in Carnivali.
Yesterday was Tsikno-Pempti. Tsikna means the aroma of charred meat and Pempti means Thursday. Put them together and you have Tsikno-pempti.
In Greece, city and town administrations will set up vast grills in the maina plateia (city/town square) and offer an abundant amount of meats…usually souvlaki and other pork meats.
Residents will set up their backyard barbecues, offering friends and family endless servings of meat with wine.
Tavernas will be packed with those too lazy to grill for themselves or just not up for the hustle & bustle of the crowds in the plateia.
Put all three scenarios together and you have one smoky Thursday in Greece. The only other time one will smell so much smoke around Greece is on Easter Sunday when practically every Greek household is roasting a lamb on the spit.
Greece consists of 11 million people and there are about the same amount to Greeks in the Diaspora. Us Greeks abroad try our best to hold the Greek torch alive.
For us Greeks in Canada, our climate can interfere in keeping such traditions alive. Last night the temperature here in Toronto was a -14 Celsius – outdoor grilling cancelled.
Look at these beauties! if you’re wondering, they tasted as good as they looked. I grilled some Macedonian sausages and some pork souvlakia tzatziki, some roasted red peppers, salad, fries and lots of red wine.
I’m going to keep you all in suspense until the warmer weather returns and I’ll share with you how I marinade a pork butt into the juiciest, most tender souvlaki you’ve ever had.
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