Zambolis apartments

Zambolis apartments
For your holidays in Chania

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

In search of food (Φαγητό στο ψάξιμο)

We are all guilty of it - invading other people's privacy. I love to pry into other people's food forages. I do it out of curiosity. By looking into someone's refrigerator or supermarket trolley, I can find out (or imagine) what kind of food they're eating on a daily basis and how healthy their food purchases are. I know I'm just being nosy, but it can also be quite amusing. We all know the phrase "you are what you eat." And being very mindful of what my children eat, and how it might affect their health, it's only natural that I'm curious to find out other people's attitudes to food and compare my ideas with theirs.

We invade other people's privacy every time we look into someone's shopping trolley at the supermarket, and start imagining what they'll be eating for dinner. The Northern Europeans (primarily Brits and Germans) who shop at the local supermarkets here in Hania seem to fill theirs up with alcohol, with just a few bits and pieces of edibles sticking out amongst the cans and bottles: two tomatoes in a plastic bag, some packaged sliced ham, long-life sliced bread, canned peaches in syrup (even though the fresh produce section is brimming with the fresh stuff). The tourist residents (those Europeans who have bought a home in a remote area of Hania, and spend part of the year here, or come here to retire) are even more hilarious: in amongst the aforementioned, there are always large amounts of canned petfood and cat litter.

We also invade others' privacy every time we place a hit counter on our site. The minute we open our web page (the euphemism for 'blog'), we look up the statistics to find the answers to all the WH question words and phrases you can think of concerning the site:
  • who's been accessing it
  • when they entered
  • where they came from
  • what search engine they used
  • what words they used to search the web
  • what sites they found
  • why they entered our site
  • how long they stayed for
  • how many times they visited
  • which post was the most popular
  • and so on.
Most searches usually contain one or more key words: fava, freeze aubergines, Greek lasagne; the searcher usually finds links that are appropriate to what s/he is looking for. Some searches are more complex, more like a sentence: how to make plain cake, how many calories in potato fritters, rice cooked in leaves are some word strings that have led people to my site. Some of the people who visit my site return to it: maybe they like the food I cook, or the stories I tell. My husband thinks that the only reason why they return is because they like the photos, which just goes to show what he thinks of my cooking. But most visitors will be one-timers looking for specific information, which they may or may not get from my site, despite Google leading them to it. Here are some howlers (in order of howling sound, 1 being the loudest) that I've collected over the last few days from my statistics site counter. The search-string has been copied word-for-word.
  1. what goes with Greek salad: Lovers of the traditional Greek village salad will know just how ridiculous this sounds, and I'm not prepared to accept any criticism for criticising my readers. Our famous tomato salad could go with any main course - unless you're having horta...
  2. Greek style lentils without tomato: If anyone has a Greek mama that made fakes without tomato, do let me know.
  3. how to cook moussaka without aubergines: Haven't we already said that moussaka is the internationally famous Greek eggplant-potato-mince dish, and if it doesn't contain one of those main ingredients, then it can't be called plain old moussaka, but it must be called eggplant-less moussaka?
  4. frozen aubergine slices buy: Surely it's easier and cheaper to do this yourself than to actively seek out such a product; I suspect it must have been someone who doesn't want to stain their hands from the freshly cut flesh.
  5. cauliflower shelf life: Was that cauliflower organic? Soil-grown? Hothouse? In this day and age, we need to be more aware of what we're putting into our bodies.
  6. forgot my son's birthday: I used that in a storyline (the word 'nearly' appeared before 'forgot'); I hope they enjoyed my tale - but could you guess the post they landed on?
  7. what does the blue dragon eat: If blue dragons existed, I suppose they would have to feed off something... but you can always find out who ate blue dragon by clicking on the link.
  8. how is pizza made in Greece: The same way it's made all over the world, I suppose, unless you call ladenia pizza, which strictly speaking, it isn't. Even my koumbara knew that when I served up ladenia to her family: "where's the ham and cheese?" they all asked.
  9. blog pilafi: In between my link and a fellow blogger's was this one (probably the one that was being hunted down): 'Pilafi kai parthenes (virgins)'.
  10. verivaki recipe: Could the New Zealander that used this search string please come forward?...
And if there's anyone who would like to do a blog event on search string howlers, shopping trolleys or fridge contents, I'd love to hear about the results!

©All Rights Reserved/Organically cooked. No part of this blog may be reproduced and/or copied by any means without prior consent from Maria Verivaki.

See also:
Taste sensationlism
Western diets

To eat or not to eat?
Googling food
Eating locally
A day in the field


  1. Maria, funny post!

    Pizza in Greece, however is by & large atrocious. Don't get me started...just the thought of jarred mushrooms makes me cringe.

  2. Terrific post! I've been keeping a similar list - it makes me laugh. My favorite so far is "onions in jar cure insomnia" - I googled it myself and discovered that smelling onions is a folk remedy for insomnia so some people advice keeping a jar of onions by your bed just in case.

    My favorite of yours is "what does the blue dragon eat" - I wonder what they were trying to find out?