Monday, October 15, 2007

Wedding Traditions

Before the Wedding ... Tradition in Greece is to have your “Bed” made before you actually sleep in it with your new spouse. During this ceremony, the bed is “made” with hand-knit linens and then adorned with Koufetta – almond candies, rose petals and, of course, money from friends and family for good luck. In many Greek villages, they gently roll babies on the bed to insure fertility. This ceremony is usually followed by a light meal and drinks. We can do this right in your hotel room the day before the ceremony, or during the morning of the ceremony, together with a lovely brunch. You can also purchase the handmade blanket used on your wedding night to have as a keepsake of this memorable ceremony.
When attending a Greek wedding, guests might wear a small “Eye” to ward off evil and keep the Bride and Groom protected from bad luck. You will see these for sale all over Greece.

Greek Brides often put a lump of sugar in their glove for a “sweet” marriage.
In Ancient Greece, Brides often carried Ivy at the weddings as a symbol of their never-ending love.
Traditionally, during medieval times, the bride was abducted from her home and village by force. To do this, a large expedition was formed, led by the groom, which attacked the bride's home so as to kidnap her. The reason for this was biologically based in theory. Since villages were remote from one another, and since each village was basically inhabited by one extended family, the incursion by an expedition from another village literally brought "new blood" to the gene pool, assuring stronger and healthier offspring. In more modern times, however, due to the establishment of large cities and towns, creating a more mobile society, only a farcial re-enactment of the expedition took place. In this case, musicians played the central role of the bride and groom, and the bride's relatives were "bribed" to let the bride go, rather than to have actually have been defeated in battle. The whole ceremony was accompanied by special music and songs specific to each individual community (marriage songs, "tragoudia tou gamou"). The best of these songs eventually managed to spread throughout Greece and are considered to be fine jewels in our rich cultural tradition.

Nowadays, after the wedding ceremony, guests are offered bombonieres. These delightful gifts of sugar-coated almonds are wrapped in net and attached to a small memento of your wedding. And, by the way, another hallmark of modern weddings is the wild and deafening loud concerto of automobile horns before and after a wedding ceremony. You can smile when you hear this, since you now know the tradition behind it ... the bride has been abducted!!

Samaria Gorge, Chania, 2 videos

Music and musicians in Crete

Cretan Cheese... yammy!

Anthotyros xeros
(dried anthotyros )
When anthotyros is dried you get anthotyros xeros.While drying it is heavily salted and therefore it is rather savoury.
It is a wonderful cheese, eaten plain as well as grated over pasta.It can also be turned into the delicious ladotyri ( cut in cubes and packed in olive oil )

It is made of either sheep or goat’s milk . It is a very tasty, soft, sweet, white cheese.Since it is not rich in fat, it is very healthy. It is eaten in the same way as myzithra.

Myzithra glykia
(sweet myzithra )
It is made of either sheep or goat's milk ( sometimes mixed as well ) .The best myzithra comes from goat's milk.It is delicious and light.

(sour myzithra )
It is made of either sheep or goat's milk (sometimes mixed as well ) .It is an ex-cellent kind of cheese, very tasty but rather rich in fat. Both cheeses are eaten in numerous ways, for examle ; plain, or with paximadi ( hard bread ) in salads or as a filling in kaltsounia ( traditional cheese pies) etc.

(gruyere )
It is made of sheep's milk or mixed with goat’s milk. We should say that it is not only famous locally but universally as well.

It is made from staka when it is processed and of cource it is equally as rich.See our recipe section about its use.

It is made exactly as graviera .The difference is that kephalograviera is aged more and therefore it is more savoury ( due to the larger quantity of salt it has absorded ) Of cource the quality remains the same.

Pheta/ feta
Typical cheese of sheep's or goat's milk or mixed .However it can not be classified as a traditional product of Western Crete since its production has started only recently.

Yaourti paradossiako
(Traditional Yogurt )
It is made of top quality sheep milk ( hour's fresh ).Due to its freshness, yaourti has a high consistency of fresh milk fat which makes it delicious.

Any cheese like graviera , kephalograviera or anthotyros xeros can be turned into ladotyri provided it is aged and dried for over a year.
It is then cut into cubes and packed in virgin olive oil.This very old process presumably originated in harsh times, when refridgeration facilities were not available.
Staka or Anthogalo
It is the cream of the milk, the first product of the milkprocess.
If it is beaten, we get fresh butter.
It obviously has a high consistency of fat.

Malaka or Tyromalaka
It is a fresh cheese (tyromaza) and is used as a filling in Kaltsounia.