Leaning into the wind on the deck of a ferry boat bound for Mykonos, I closed my eyes and savored the light mist of salty sea air spraying my face each time a swell broke against the side of the boat. This was the first tangible indication that summer was upon us, laid out in front of me in all its dazzling splendor. My “winter” body however, was also here. I had mercilessly been abusing it for months, through endless hours hunched over a computer screen, squirming in the driver’s seat in countless traffic jams, bent over the stove cooking the meal of the day… It was time for my yearly Mykonos Spa visit.
…“I belong to a small country. A rocky promontory in the Mediterranean, it has nothing to distinguish it but the efforts of its people, the sea, and the light of the sun. It is a small country, but its tradition is immense and has been handed down through the centuries without interruption”. Excerpt from the speech given by Nobel Prize in Literature winner Giorgos Seferis at the City Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, December 10, 1963.
There are some flavors that trigger memories as they melt in your mouth. Freshly-baked bread drenched in olive oil and with a sprinkling of sugar, a heaping spoonful of traditional Greek vanilla preserves dipped in a tall glass of ice-cold water, raw cake batter before it’s poured into the pan. However, flavors are not universal. Every nation has its own unique cuisine that has been molded and shaped over time by the environment and traditions of its people.