x

Food

The Greek Nutritional Treasure: Raisins

Odysseas Elytis, the Nobel-awarded Greek poet said, “if you dissolve Greece, you will find an olive tree, a vine, and a boat.” Meaning that with these three, you can reconstitute this special country. That is the level of importance of the vine, dating back in ancient Greek festivals in the name of Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest, wine, fertility, religious ecstasy, and festivity.

June is the time where grapes are starting to develop as the fruit in the ‘complex’ vine cultivations in Greece. Even though vines are easily grown in Greece’s terroir, making quality products from it is so complex that agriculturists must check the fruit more than once a day and a lot of expertise is required in order to have a good result. Wine and edible grapes are the most common products from vines worldwide. But one of the most historic products of Greece since ancient times are dried resins, mainly in Korinthos, an area in the Peloponnese, where the production of black raisins dates back to the Copper Age. Black raisins are actually grapes, traditionally dried on the vine.

The economic importance of the product started with exchanging them for slaves in ancient times, followed by huge exports to European countries from 15th century.

The nutritional power of raisins was known from ancient Greece. Even though ancient Greeks consumed raisins on a daily basis, the healing effects were also described by ancient writers. At the core of the nutritional value of resins are antioxidants, iron, and selenium. Antioxidants and selenium enhances the immune system. Iron is found in raisins in large amounts, and raisins are one of the must-have foods for pregnant women who have greater needs for iron.

A great snack from ancient Greece is still used nowadays: goat Greek yogurt, honey, raisins, and dried Cretan bread – ‘ntakos’. Another offering straight from ancient Greece is greens salad with raisins, ntakos, olive oil, and vine vinegar. You can add some sour hard cheese like kefalotyri or parmesan and you will have a full meal with protein, healthy carbs, and fiber. Simple, cool, and healthy for a hot summer day in Greece!

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication

RELATED

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, try the following appetizers for your next festive get-together.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Warnock or Walker? Georgia Runoff to Settle Last Senate Seat

ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday are set to decide the final Senate contest in the country, choosing between Democratic Sen.

Back in January, 109 container ships waited off the California coast to unload cargo in Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's two largest ports.

NEW YORK – The major American news outlets watched with great interest as the historic Vespers at St.

NEW YORK — In 2022, the story of book publishing was often the industry itself.

NEW YORK — The Rev. Al Sharpton has been called a lot of names in his public life: a hustler, a racist, an opportunist, a fraud, a rat, a jester.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.