Greek Bread - Psomi
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Greek bread has always played an important part in the Greek diet.
Psomi has been the main staple, especially in frugal times, when the Greeks would survive on a thick chunk of it with either cheese and a few vegetables or a bean soup and then dip the bread in it.
Today, a laid table is not complete without a basket brimming with fresh, crusty bread. The Greeks will go out of their way to buy a good fresh loaf, with everyone having their favourite bakeries and a good relationship with their baker. They still prefer to buy a fresh one daily.
Packaged sliced bread has still not made an impact in Greece. Occasionally people will buy one to use in toasted sandwiches, otherwise it is still hard to find good sliced bread to use in fresh sandwiches. It is just not a snack that has been adopted here in Greece.
There are many different
types of bread,
as well as special
Greek psomi recipes that
are only made for
certain times of the year
such as Christmas and Easter.
Before households had their own ovens, Greek housewifes would make up several batches of their own recipe at home, maybe once or twice a week, put the ready to be baked dough into a wooden carrying board (that normally had sections for each loaf), and carry it off to the local baker to be baked in his oven. Hours later the women would return to collect their baked loaves.
The bakers oven became the focal point of village life, even acting as a communal kitchen, as the women brought in not only their breads to be baked, but also their individual casseroles to enjoy long slow cooking in the embers of the bread oven when the days baking was done.
In some villages today,
you will find the bakers
will still take in food
to be cooked in
the old traditional way.
Even today, when life is easier, bread still has an almost religious significance in parts of Greece.
Do not be put off by the idea of how to make your own bread. There is nothing better than the aroma of home made baking bread wafting from the oven and it is so much tastier than shop bought ones. You also know there will be no preservatives and other chemicals when you make your own. Healthier and tastier, what more could you want.
Kali Orexi - Bon Appetit
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