Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shaken Not Stirred

After all my years of trotting about the globe, it never fails to amaze me how much we still have to learn about each other. At least, that's a bear's philosophy - I'm not sure how you humans work into the equation. Anyhow, whenever I used to think of Greek beverages, drinks like ouzo and retsina always jumped to my mind first. Until I visited Greece ...

And although I'm not suggesting that thousands of litres and litres of ouzo and retsina aren't drunk in Greece every day - because I'm sure they are - I was surprised to find that, for the past several decades, Greece has become a Frappé Nation. Maybe it should be renamed Frappé-opolis.

Like all great ideas, the frappé began as a very happy, if not frothy, accident. In 1957, at an international trade fair in Thessaloniki (in northern Greece), a Nestlé food rep couldn’t find hot water to make his coffee. He improvised and used cold water instead, giving birth to the caffeine-packed frappé - now a staple in the Greek diet.

Nowadays, everybody seems to have a frappé in hand as they walk down the street, and those who don't, are sitting in a sidewalk café drinking one. My male bipedal started drinking them almost the second we arrived in Athens - sort of a "when in Rome thing". Except we were in Athens. Anyway, my female turned her nose up at them until she tasted one and, rather than buying one herself, just kept taking mammoth sips from everyone else's.

That's me above with one of mine. That frapp
é was particularly delicious: it was on the rooftop café of the brand-new Acropolis Museum, which overlooks the Acropolis where I was banned for being a toy!. It was such a costly museum to build that the city is charging only 1 euro for admission as a special thank-you. Isn't that nice of them? And they make awesome frappés.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a recipe with you if you want to make your own frappé at home. Of course, there are some minor differences between recipes but this one pretty much nails it:

Grey Bear's Authentic Greek Frapp


2 teaspoons instant coffee (locals still favour Nescafé)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Cold water
30 ml evaporated milk or regular milk (this is optional but I don't think it would be a frappé without milk.)

Assembling GB's Authentic Greek Frappé

1) Place coffee, sugar, and 60 ml cold water in a shaker, jar or drink mixer (anything with a lid).

2) Cover and shake well for 30 seconds or, if using a standing or hand-held drink mixer, process 10 seconds to produce a thick, light-brown foam.

3) Place a few ice cubes in a tall glass.

4) Slowly pour all of the coffee foam into the glass.

5) Add milk, if desired (you really should), according to your taste.

6) Fill with cold water until the foam reaches the top of the glass.

7) Add a tall, bendy straw (this is mandatory!)

8) Serve with glass of cold water on the side (because this is Europe).

9) Slurp & enjoy!

Yum! Doesn't that sound delicious? - and I just saved you the cost of a plane ticket ... but I hope you do go ... and remember to ask for a frappé! And until then, I'll try to rustle up some recipes for ouzo and retsina - oh! and γεια μας - and in case that's just Greek to you: cheers!


Anonymous said...

Do you think Bond likes his Frappes shaken and not stirred??

Grey Bear said...

I don't know but he is a dapper dresser, don't you think? I bet he looks smashing in grey flannel!