Greek gastronomy comes to Brookes

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

A food tasting inspired by the Greek island of Santorini has taken place at Brookes.

The Greek island of Santorini is home to an array of delicious foods and flavours. A tasting of some of these special foods took place at Oxford Brookes University, in Santorini: The Tastes and Foods of an Early Mediterranean Civilization.

The island lay at the heart of the ancient Minoan civilisation which disappeared so mysteriously. The Minoans, however, were not the first people to inhabit the Cycladic Islands, nor are the last. Although less than 20 square miles in area and with poor, volcanic soil, beautiful Santorini is home to some unique ingredients. Vineyards thrive thanks to an ingenious method of growing grapes which allows the plants to take advantage of the island’s blanketing night mists.

Delicacies on offer at Brookes included Santorini capers in brine, salted and dried; fava - a pulse unique to that corner of the world; sweet aubergines; miniature cheese and cinnamon pies; honey-rich figs; island wines, and regional olive oils.

Hosted by food writer Rosemary Barron, the evening took place at Brookes Restaurant. Combining the practical with the intellectual, it was organised by Oxford Gastronomica based within the Business School's department of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management.

'Food and drink, and the rituals surrounding their consumption, lie at the very heart of our cultures,' noted Rosemary.

'Exploring the origins of the island’s foods and food culture gives meaning to the pure pleasures of its tastes, and helps us appreciate the reasons they may have endured through this region's long, turbulent history.'