I am so proud of my Greek roots, especially from Mani! March 25th marks a special day for us! We are celebrating the 200-year mark for Greek independence.
Greek Independence Day!!
My father is from Mani Greece, and we are proud of our homeland. Mani is also known as ‘Maina” years ago, and is part of the Peloponnese region, lying on the southern coast. Both my grandparents are from Mani, one from Parasyros which I just learned that a war took place there years and years ago, and the other from Kotronas. If you were to drive to these places you would see a sign that said left Paraysros, and right Kotronas. I guess my grandparents met in the middle??
My father told me many stories about Maniates “the people of Mani.” but I didn’t really believe every story told. I thought maybe it was a myth, but now I am guessing my father was right!!
I was reading a story about Mani from 210,000 years ago, a skull was found in a cave in Mani. A Homosapien skull, stating that this was the oldest evidence of home sapiens. Wow, that is really unbelievable! Maniates are known to be one of the only strong-willed warriors in Greece. On March 17th, 1821 Mani was the first place to declare war against the Ottomans! My grandparents fought in the war and I have their medallions. I wanted to share this with you as it is something really special to me.
I am wishing all my fellow Greeks a happy Greek Independence Day! ” Ζήτω η Ελλάδα ” to all! Here is to our people who fought very hard!!
Here is one of my favorite songs to celebrate this special day!
Let’s get to the cooking!! One of my favorite garlicky dips is SKORDALIA! It pairs perfectly with fish, vegetables, and anything really.
Skordalia (Mashed Garlic Potatoes) – Σκορδαλιά
- 1 pound of potatoes
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 cup olive oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- Pinch of black pepper (to serve)
- Some fresh dill (to serve)
- Prepare the potatoes by peeling and cutting them into cubes. Place them in salted boiling water. Once boiled, drain water and let cool.
- In a food processor, process the garlic cloves, olive oil, and salt.
- Hand mix the potatoes, making sure they are well combined. Add the garlic-olive oil paste to the potatoes and whisk together. Add the lemon juice and red wine vinegar to the potatoes. Chill the skordalia for a few hours so that the flavors combine.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle some black pepper and fresh dill on top.
Skordalia is perfect with fish and chicken