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redsoxdw_

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I have some Greek recipes that call for Mahlepi (in Greek) - also known as Maheleb and other names, depending on the language. I have recently found a source near me - a place where I can buy it - so I can try some of the recipes.

I also did some research about what it is! Thought I'd share:

This unique spice has its roots in the fragrant cherry plums of the Prunus mahaleb tree in the Middle East. The seeds inside these little fruits are ground to make the mahleb spice that we've come to love.

Mahleb hits you with a sweet, floral scent, and a flavor that's a mix of bitter almond and cherry, with just a touch of spice. It's a star player in Greek baked goods like tsoureki, a sweet bread that's a staple during Easter but is also used in many other pastries and breads.
 
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I have some Greek recipes that call for Mahlepi (in Greek) - also known as Maheleb and other names, depending on the language. I have recently found a source near me - a place where I can buy it - so I can try some of the recipes.

I also did some research about what it is! Thought I'd share:

This unique spice has its roots in the fragrant cherry plums of the Prunus mahaleb tree in the Middle East. The seeds inside these little fruits are ground to make the mahleb spice that we've come to love.

Mahleb hits you with a sweet, floral scent, and a flavor that's a mix of bitter almond and cherry, with just a touch of spice. It's a star player in Greek baked goods like tsoureki, a sweet bread that's a staple during Easter but is also used in many other pastries and breads.
Yes! Mahleb is ground cherry stone from St. Lucy’s cherry trees, which are popular throughout the Mediterranean. I mention in my post for Tsoureki, which is where it's most commonly used here in Greece!
 
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I love the first moment of opening the bottle of mahleb. I never realized it's from a cherry tree, and I can totally see it - or rather smell it lol.

What I love about Mahleb is its subtle yet distinctive flavor that can transform simple baked goods into delightful pastries with a hint of exotic sophistication. It's not overpowering, which makes it a perfect partner to ingredients like almonds, sesame, and even cheese in pastries.

I use it in tsoureki of course but have experimented with it in other pastries - mainly cakes. I've also snuck a little bit in my baklava filling! It's delightful - I really like experimenting with it. I also discovered it pairs well with chocolate. I tried it in tiro pita once - it was good - and I've used it in cheesecake.
 

Best Greek Olive Oil for Salads?

I’m looking to elevate my salad game and have heard that Greek olive oil is a fantastic choice for getting that rich, authentic flavor. With so many options out there, I’m a bit overwhelmed and could use some guidance from those who have experience in this area.

What are your top recommendations for the best Greek olive oil to use for salads? I'm specifically looking for:
  1. Quality: I want something that's high-quality with a robust flavor profile.
  2. Authenticity: Ideally, the olive oil should be authentic and imported from Greece.
  3. Versatility: While my main focus is on salads, it would be great if the olive oil can also be used for other dishes.
I’ve heard brands like Kalios, Iliada, and Gaea are pretty good, but I’d love to hear your personal favorites and why you recommend them.

greek-olive-oil.jpg

Greek Watermelon Salad Recipe for Summer

I wanted to share a simple watermelon salad recipe that's perfect for summer! I've had this in Greece! I use mint that my family brought over from Greece a few generations ago!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup of cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, cucumber slices, red onion, and chopped mint.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the crumbled feta cheese on top.
  4. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. I don't like to use dressing, preferring its natural juices to season it.

Popular Greek Foods to Serve at Weddings?

I am involved with planning a wedding where much of the cooking is going to be done by family, just like it is in Greece.

What are the popular and most common foods to serve at weddings in Greece? In that family many of them had been born in Greece so I am curious about what to expect.

Many of them haven't told me what they are cooking and I want to make sure there's enough food. All they basically say is, "We are making typical wedding foods like you'll find in Greece."

Tips for Baking Greek Bread?

Does anyone have any tips or secrets for baking Greek bread at home? Here are a few specific areas where I could use some advice - I am new to baking bread, and most Greek breads I have had taste different than other breads I've had - so I am guessing there are nuances I need to learn.
  1. Are there specific types of flour or yeast that are essential for authentic Greek bread?
  2. Any particular methods that work best for achieving the right dough consistency?
  3. How long should the dough be left to rise, and are there any tricks to getting the perfect rise?
  4. Ideal oven temperature and baking times?
  5. Any traditional additives or spices that can elevate the bread?
I appreciate any insights or experiences you all could share!

Tips on How to Make Greek Olive Bread

I'm a big fan of Mediterranean cuisine and lately, I've been craving some authentic Greek olive bread. I've tried a couple of recipes, but I still feel there's something missing to make it just right.

Does anyone have any tried-and-true tips or secret ingredients that can elevate my Greek olive bread? I'm especially interested in:
  • Types of olives that work best
  • Tips for getting the perfect crust
  • Any herbs or spices that add authentic flavor
  • Baking techniques that ensure a soft, flavorful inside
Looking forward to hearing your suggestions! Thanks in advance for your help.
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