Saffron and Not Eating Like a Monk, in the Monastery

Day 5. Never thinking it can get better, it usually does. We began our day with a drive through the mountains to a 2 star Michelin restaurant and cookery school situated in a refurbished monastery.  Niko and his sister don’t have any backers, they purchased the property and have paid for everything themselves. The cookery school accepts 15 students a term. Niko mentioned that he is looking less for traditional cooking skills and more for those who have that creative knack. After a tour in what felt like Architecture Digest, we were treated to a 4 course lunch that began with cod foam and potato dumplings with olive puree and ended with deliciously cool servings of Saffron Creme Brulee…

….which transitioned beautifully into an afternoon learning about the local saffron industry. The saffron in this region is one of the most intense varieties in existence and is not only used for cooking but in all sorts of medicinal remedies. They use Saffron for everything from indigestion to birth control. We were taken down the road to a small farm to dig up a few saffron bulbs.

The amount of labor it takes to harvest the saffron absolutely justifies the price. It is still meticulously done by hand, around the family table by everyone, including the children.

That evening we went cross-country on an old dirt road (in the bus) up the side of a mountain to eat at a Slowfood restaurant  Never have I ever tasted a better gnocchi and chick pea stew in my life! I want to eat it every day. We also got to watch a massive thunder and lightning storm roll in over the mountains. As for the photos…my camera broke down at Nikos and never recovered so thank you Daniel Chia for sharing your photographs with me! They are beautiful. My blog posts would be so dull without the images, i think.


One thought on “Saffron and Not Eating Like a Monk, in the Monastery

  1. Your words would be wonderful, no matter what, Sarah. Not dull. The photos enhance and entice, of course. Thanks to Daniel Chia from someone who loves photos, as you well know.

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