Greek medicine can be sweet...story of Petimezi

dark grapes.JPG

There are so many unique  Greek food products but such a  few tourists know about them.  

One of the reason why? It is probably the fault of missing a proper  Greek marketing. To produce yes (with an obssesion to details and healty way!) - on a postitive side), to sell - we do not really know how? Kind of this type of a story. ...sadly!

So as I see, most of you come and buy olive oil, some feta cheese, drink frappe, consume a fat souvlaki and happily departure thinking they explored a  Greek culture and its cuisine. Not mentioning Greek salad! A big hit of Greek cusine somehow clumsily prepared out of  Greek borders... 

So this is a story about uniqueness of  Greek flavors! 

Since the winter slowly steps into our houses, even here on the island of Crete, let's check what's in a menu:

Petimezi (πετιμέζι) is a grape syroup after boiling it with some ...ashes & white soil. Sounds bizzare?

It is a little time-consuming but overall, nothing to complicate your life.  

There are 2 phases of getting real petimezi:

PHASE 1 - MOUSTOS (μούστος) 

Basically you need a quite descent amount of grape juice (5 kg of grapes should make it!).  To get the juice you will have to somehow squeeze those grapes: 

1/ either with your feet (home version - press them in a big plastic bowl, or wooden one if you happen to have it). If there is a winery in the neighbourhood, ask them to put some aside.

2/ tediously squeeze them with hands, help yourself with a grater and do it above the sieve to avoid seeds and other dirt getting into the juice

Boil the juice with 1 spoon of ashes (from the wood!) and 1 spoon of white soil (checking different blogs I came across the version that did not insist on the white dirt addition - so probably you would skip it) .

While boiling and producing bubbles, turn off your hob and leave the mixture for approximately 20 hours to cool down and relax. Right after boiling you may collect some dirt that came out to the top.

One day later, you pour the boiled juice throught the cotton and the sieve to get rid of any dirt! 

This is your moustos.  

PHASE 2  - PETIMEZI (πετιμέζι) 

Clean mixture needs some more boiling. 1,5 hour, stir to check the consistency.  

If it looks kind of honey look, this is the end!  

Pour it into the glass bottles and treat yourself depending on the occassion: 

  1. Great medicine for coughing and sorethroat
  2. Instead of sugar, goes with your evening relaxing tea
  3. May be treated as a balsamic vinegar for your salad
  4. Addition to your dessert - yoghurt, ice-cream, warm  apple pie
  5. Does not hurt to pour on your pork chop or any kind of meat...wouldn't try on fish (sic!) 

Next time in  Greece, do not forget to look for PETIMEZI!