Pastry and pasta represent the wealth of cucina povera. With the humblest of ingredients, a little water, flour and salt, housewives could make tasty foods that would also fill the family’s bellies. There are countless variations, depending on the time, cooking method and also the introduction of more luxury ingredients such as olive oil, butter, fresh white cheese like myzithra, honey, cinnamon and anise.
The most characteristic pastry and pasta of Ermionida incude Gonghes, Dromses, Petoues and Ganakia.
Ingredients: I kg flour, a little salt, ½ litre tepid water, a little olive oil, butter, grated fresh Kranidi myzithra
Preparation: Make a well in the flour and pour in the oil, rubbing it in with your fingers. Add the water and salt and knead until you have a soft dough. Break off a piece of dough and with your hands roll out rods the width of a finger. Cut into match-size lengths. Press the pieces against a grater to give them a shell-like shape. Boil them in plenty of salted water for about 30 minutes and drain in a colander. Serve with melted butter and grated local myzithra.
Dromses or Striftades
Ingredients: A handful of whole wheat flour, a little water, a pinch of salt and a little olive oil
Preparation: Sift the flour and salt and then, wetting your hands repeatedly, rub the resulting dough into ‘little twists’. Cook them in plenty of boiling water until you have a rather thick soup. Serve in bowls drizzed with extra virgin (Kranidi) olive oil and grated local myzithra.
Ingredients: flour, water, anise, cinnamon, honey, olive oil
Preparation: Boil some water with anise and 1 cinnamon stick. Strain the water into a bowl and add flour to the perfumed water until you have a thick batter. Heat a little oil in a nonstick frying pan and drop in heaping tablespoons of batter. Nudge them from side to side and when they have coloured on one side, flip them over and brown the other side, until you have golden pancakes. Continue until you have used up all the batter. Serve hot, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon. Delicious!
Ganakia or Ganezes
Ingredients: ½ kg whole wheat flour, a little water, juice and grated zest of 1 lemon, tip of a teaspoon of baking soda, cinnamon, honey or sugar, a little salt and oil for frying
Preparation: Mix the flour in a bowl with water until you have a thick batter. Dilute the soda in the lemon juice and add to the batter, along with a little salt and lemon zest. Heat some oil in a large frying pan and pour in large spoonfuls of the batter. Fry on both sides until the ‘ganakia’ are a deep golden brown. Serve on a platter sprinkled with local honey or sugar and lots of ground cinnamon.
We thank the Laographic Workshop of the Municipality of Ermionida for their recipes and the opportunity to watch and photograph them being made.