Late last year, my friend Tony from Olive Juice contacted me and told that he is hosting a food event called “Taste of the Mediterranean. It’s a food blogging event sponsored by igourmet.com and each month, a journey and celebration of each dish takes place, focusing on a popular dish from that from each of the regions of the Mediterranean.
Tony asked me if I would be a part of the panel for judging the dishes each month and I immediately said yes. It’s always been my goal to promote Greek food and this just the event to do it!
Last month it was “focus France”, and February it’s fabulous Greece. You can visit Tony’s site here to read the itinerary of this culinary tour around the Mediterranean basin. Having said that, do you fancy a trip around the Mediterranean? This month join us in Greece where we showcase the very popular dish called Pastitsio.
Pastitsio is Greece’s answer to lasagna where the traditional recipe is assembled using tubular pasta known as Makaronia #2 (bucatini), ground mince and a topping of Bechamel sauce.
There are many takes on Pastitsio around Greece, nutmeg being the prevalent spice in the Bechamel and any one or a or a combination of bay, clove, allspice and cinnamon are employed (in the mince) to kick up this favourite.
Be it Greek or non-Greek, eaten at a Greek restaurant or at your Greek friend’s home, one will find a slab of Pastitsio being served by your most hospitable Greek host or hostess.
Part of being Greek is being tolerant, pragmatic, inclusive. Melina Mercouri once described Athens like a mother, ever stretching her arms to embrace yet another child.
The Pastitsio canvass is wide open. Do you have a desire for the classic Pastitsio with ground meat, pasta and Bechamel? Perhaps you want to make a vegetarian Pastitsio? Are you in the mood for a Seafood Pastitsio? A Lenten Pastitsio or one with legumes?
There’s more…ever thought of a Dessert Pastitsio? The possibilities are endless. Celebrate Greek food and try your hand at Pastitsio. Be imaginative with the ingredients, the spices, the construction. I only ask that you have fun in the kitchen, enter the event with verve and celebrate Greek food and all Mediterranean food this month and in the coming months.
Each month, a winner will be selected by way of a vote from our distinguished panel. Your dish’s entry earns you a chance to win a $50 gift certificate from igourmet.com. What are you waiting for? Get in the kitchen and get cookin’!
Simply cook up your version of Pastitsio, take photos, relate the thought-process to your dish and blog it by February 28th. Link back to Tony’s Taste of Mediterranean page and you can even use the logo!
P.S. I encourage my readers from Greece (and abroad) to participate as well. Feel free to offer up a dish in Greek or any other language you are most comfortable in communicating.
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