Melomakarona

Melomakarona

[Greek text]
Επιτέλους! Ευχαριστώ για τα μελομακάρονα ρε μάνα!Αν και μόνο 5 έφτασαν αρτιμελή, τα υπόλοιπα θα τα φάω με το κουτάλι. Μαζί έφτασαν αμυγδαλωτά και καρύδια. **Το μπουκάλι κοκα κόλας δεν περιέχει νερό.**

[English text]
Finally, my mom’s parcel with homemade Christmas sweets arrived (late and with 5/10 surviving ‘melomakarona’). **The coca cola bottle does not contain water – ‘tsipouro’ 38%vol**

  • Melomakarona are biscuit-like, traditional Greek sweets, made commonly during winter  for Christmas. They are based on flour, olive oil, honey, cinnamon and grated walnuts. The name origin is not certain; some claim a connection to the Italian ‘macaron’, some suggest relations to the work ‘makarizo’ for praising the dead. Either way it’s delicious and here’s a recipe by Akis.
  • Tsipouro is a widely spread, strong (40-45%vol), distilled spirit, made from grape byproducts. It is commonly sold both from official industries and from local distillers. It comes in two versions: pure or with anise flavoring, though i prefer the first version. Normally, it is served on the rocks or with water, and it can be drunk in shots at fun times. During winter, it is enjoyed boiled with honey, hence called tsipouromelo. 
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Japanese foodporn (Part 4) + Autumn delicacies and travel suggestions

Japanese foodporn (Part 4) + Autumn delicacies and travel suggestions

[Feature Photo: Come on! Welcome to our house, we have coffee and cookies!  — reminds me a bit of the ‘come to the dark side, we have cookies’ meme (Credits to Martin)]

Hey there! I haven’t been active for a while because I was busy EATING. Oh my god, this Sunday was the first day in two months that I managed to sleep later than 9am. But, the reason for not sleeping was having fun, so I guess it’s ok. Autumn is the best season for excursions, short hikes and roadtrips, I encourage you to do so. I strongly recommend: Nikko, Hoshinoonsen in Karuizawa,Teradomari, Yuzawa and Yahiko in Niigata, Matsumoto in Nagano, Hakone and anywhere else with nature nearby! If you don’t like nature that much, Xmas is closing up on us, which means —> ILLUMINATION TIME // BLINK BLINK PIKA PIKA LIGHTS EVERYWHERE! Enjoy the red autumn leaves (koyou) and remember that it’s the best time of the year for hot coffee, Irish hot coffee or warm sake with rice porridge (amazake). Also I suggest this version of hot chocolate : melt chocolate with rose petals, add milk,  a pinch of cinnamon, 1-2 threads of saffron, a blanket with cats and a medieval fiction book.

Regards! 

P.S. Mostly Japanese stuff with Greek, Finnish and Ecuadorian surprises.

Open the gallery images for detailed captions!

Enough about food, let’s check some cheap yet fancy cosmetics and random stuff!

Sweet-related random rants

Sweet-related random rants

Today I tried karumeyaki (かるめ焼き) randomly for the first time. Gosh, I should have filmed my reaction at the first bite! As soon as I saw the fluffy outside, the foam-like texture full of cracks was reminiscent of hazelnut or semolina cookies that bakeries in Greece usually make.

ghoriba

But when I tasted it… SOoooooo sweet! And then I realised ‘Hey, that’s pure sugar’ . And that was indeed, as this wonderful video kindly explains:

I bought it along with a pack of Kokutou Karintou (黒糖かりんとう), from an amazing store in Yokohama called 銀の杵 横浜中山店. I’ve been there more than once, the couple who owns the place are adorable, plus the ojiisan speaks perfect English.

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kokutou karintou (sugary sugar sticks)

Next stop: 100yen shop. It had olive oil shampoo made in Greece. Obviously, I was intrigued about who the hell exports this stuff here, so I checked the label in the back. Ingredients, usage, blah blah – Ah here it is , production location – where now?  >>>>>> Only a plain useless ギリシャ(Greece). I bet you , it’s fake af, Japanese (olive?) oil baptized as Greek to attract customers!

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olive oil products – fake or not ?

You probably already know that karaoke places are everywhere. Karaoke + live music? Hmmm, maybe it will be cool. But what about awfully designed posters of people with fancy 80s colourful suits, that look exactly like greek summer panigiria posters? Yeah, come to wagamama, it has the proper vintage vibe. Though people gave me strange gazes while I was taking the pictures. Maybe it’s a creepy place? Strictly for locals? I will never know …

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Old school, neighbourhood karaoke

Finally, as I was returning to the station, that weird Japanese way to promote political parties made it’s appearance. I have no idea what they were saying, even though I am an intermediate Japanese user, but they kept waving with their white gloves and sure seemed happy and confident. However, no one seemed to pay even the slightest attention to them, one could argue that this kind of promotion is completely worthless.

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Political promotion in Nakayama, Yokohama

PS. (From my visit in Hase-dera temple in Kamakura last week) :

What age NOT to have during 2017. Left for boys, right for girls. Red colour indicates absoulute-super-ultra-mega-dangerous age. As for black colour, ehm, there is a slight chance of surviving. In any case, a generous monetary offer to the temple will cast out all bad luck, for sure (#screw_them19yo). As you can easily notice, there is no bad luck for women after their forties. That makes sense considering that if you ever ask a woman how old she is, paradoxically the maximum age is 38.

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Table containing dangerous ages for the year 2017 (Hase dara)

Japanese foodporn (Part 2) [aaaand a little bit of Yotsuba~~~]

Japanese foodporn (Part 2) [aaaand a little bit of Yotsuba~~~]

Featured Image: Night sea in Kamakura, the foam on top of the waves was glowing with an awesome electric blue hue. No camera could capture that view.

You know, my main goal since I came here, is to try every silly food that exists. It’s the country of infinite possibilities! Also, after a quick experimentation session I decided that (apart from maccha that will always have a special space in my heart and stomach) my favourite flavour is kurogoma(黒ゴマ - black sesame). Subsequently, I started using kurogoma oil in pretty much every dish I cook at home.

Also, I tried to cook a traditional Greek dish with green beans the other day, you know? Ah, didn’t work out well. The beans that I bought at the supermarket had the correct colour, correct shape, correct texture – but they were not the normal green beans! It was soy beans, the ones that Japanese grill and eat while drinking alcohol. You cannot eat the outside part, so my whole dish was ruined, it was a disaster. Meh, they do say that ‘as long as you live, you learn’.

Finally, let’s hear what Yotsuba (from Yotsubato!) has to say about Taiyaki.

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I personally conclude that the only reason the taiyaki shop went bankrupt was because of bad management – Taiyaki is soooooo much better than pudding.

What about this week’s stuck song?
Hydrogen Sea – Beating Heart (Always thankful to Suicide Sheep for the music he introduces us to)