Monday, June 7, 2010


I am an American, born and raised in Brooklyn, but I am a Greek, both my parents were Greek, from Asia Minor. I was raised in a Greek area, I had Greek friends, did Greek things, went to all the Greek events. I drank ouzo, I drank it in the evening, lunchtime, believe it or not, I even drank it in cocktails. Somehow it never seemed sensational, but I did it, because I was Greek.

We lived in London for a number of years, naturally we ate in the many Greek-Cypriot restaurants. Still doing my Greek thing, I would diligently order my ouzo. A rainy evening in London is about the worst place to have an ouzo, no matter how good the mezedes. Thinking back on all the times I tried ouzo, and in all the places, I was really a die hard Greek, and just as stubborn.

I finally came to Greece, and eventually retired here. Now I know what ouzo is, what I wanted it to be all those times I tried it. Ouzo does not seem to travel, you need the Greek sea, the sun, the grilled octopus, the salad, the olive oil, the friends, the atmosphere. There really is nothing like a swim and a bit of sunburn, a table overlooking the sea, the grilled octopus, the little carafe of ouzo some ice and water. When you have an ouzo, you have the best of Greece.

I now know what was missing when I drank it in all the other places.

It just does not travel, no matter how hard you try to recapture the experience. Ouzo, it is not a drink, it is a bit of the real Greece, a bit of the Greece that I hope never changes.

Yes, I know, the photo is taramosalata, not octopus, we ate it.


  1. Ouzo is to you like tzatziki is to me! it's just not the same unless you are in Greece! Maistraki ...on your patio a taverna next to ancient ruins...

  2. Now THIS could be the new ad campaign for Greece ;)