I just had a chunk of baklava that was so sweet I think one of my teeth is about to fall out. Next door to my hotel is a lovely Greek restaurant. This being as close to Greece as I have ever been, I gave it a try.
First there was the pita bread - hot from the oven and sprinked with some herbs that we did not have to order. It just appeared with our appetizer. Which was amazing despite how it sounds - tuna with lemon and mayonnaise. The tuna was fresh tuna and the mayonnaise was home made and the lemon was just right. And, suprisingly enough, it did not taste at all like tuna salad even though it sounds like it should have. I am discovering that everything in Europe melts in your mouth, slowly and wonderfully coating your insides with the warmth of good food. I have never experienced this with tuna and mayonnaise until tonight.
Dinner was grilled lamb ribs with fresh tomatoes and onions and a side of fries. (Even the fries are better here, and I thought we invented them.) The lamb was tender even being cooked a bit longer than I like it. It tasted like meat and salt and fresh grill. There were no sauces with this dinner, not even ketchup for the fries, but I can't imagine wanting to put anything else on that meat. I chewed the bones and licked my fingers un ashamedly.
And then came the baklava - the larges piece I have ever seen in my life. And unlike anthing I have ever gotten in the States. It was the saem in that it was philo dough filled with chopped nuts and spices and honey. But the spices were fragrant and strong - cinnamon and nutmeg and clove plentiful enough to make my lips tingle. The honey was sweeter than the standard clover honey in the US and tasted like the raw honey I get at the farm stands on Harford County. About half way through I knew I was done, but I pressed on until the very end. The flavor still lingers so intensely the rest of the dinner is fading into memory. There are wosre things than a mouthful of baklava.
|Tuna and mayonnaise, but not tuna salad|
|Lamb with fries|
|Oh baklava how my teeth ache|