When you strip it all back, the foods that nations are built on can easily be joined together dot-to-dot. A Lancashire hotpot isn’t really all that different to the tagines of North Africa, and whether that dough of egg and flour is pasta or noodles really comes down to the continent on which you were born. The notion of coating fowl in starch and then deep frying might be karaage in one country, chikin in another, or just plain KFC in the U S of A. As much as we cling on the idealism of certain foods being owned by countries, it is much like religion; a singular narrative that has become jumbled, bastardised, reimagined and re-homed over centuries.
I was thinking about this in All Greek. I was chowing down on the most Greek of dishes; souvlaki, gift wrapped in a bouncy pitta bread that contained tomatoes, raw onion, mustard, ketchup, a feta based cheese sauce with plenty of heat, and chips (chips!), amongst lots of meat. Ignoring the protein for a second, the sauces had amalgamated into something familiar, there was the bite of salad, cheesy notes, salty fries, and bread that worked as the perfect mode of transportation to the mouth. The Greeks are going to hate me for saying this, but this is their Big Mac and fries, albeit a much more healthy version. It turns out they have much more in common with the yanks than Brad Pitt playing Achilles. Either way I quite enjoyed it all, with the exception of the bag-to-fryer fries.
Claire had a similar one of chicken souvlaki that skipped out the mustard, ketchup and the chips, instead choosing to focus on the ‘cleaner’ elements of the wrap with the addition of a spritely tzatiki. She loved it. No complaints. I wish I was that wrap.
I wasn’t planning on writing this, but there is an honesty to the offering here that warrants it. Everything is fresh bar those chips, the service is charming, and, with every wrap nudging the fiver mark, it is cheap. Get those sauces, kick back with a glass of something and enjoy real Greek food, whatever the roots of that may be.
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