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Spanakopita

My Informant discussed with me a quintessential dish in his Scottish/Greek home. It was important to him, as it was a childhood favorite, and a frequent dish had in his household growing up, despite its main significance to Easter.

Informant: Spanakopita is basically the quintessential Greek dish. It’s simple, but difficult to make. Uh, you have to buy Filo Dough in tiny paper thin sheets, and paint each sheet with butter and paint them down and knead them down–this takes about an hour or an hour and a half to make this–this uh. Boat, I guess, for the insides. One of the first things my parents got me to eat that had vegetables in it, actually. Cheese, goat cheese, and spinach, I think, maybe some salt and pepper, but I think that’s. That’s it. It’s a food that can be made for special occasions, but we have it once every couple of weeks, really. Usually an Easter Dish, and you hide the coin in it. And if you bite into the coin it brings you luck.

He described it further as a dish for de-stressing at his household, accompanied with gin and tonics (only tonic for him when he was a child and to this day, due to his dislike for gin), and so it has a special comfort food like quality to him and his family. He did not remember if he had ever bitten into the golden coin, but he remembers once in his youth that a girl he liked bit into the coin, and he hoped that meant she would say yes to him if he asked her out, and unfortunately she said no. He went on to say that for Easter it has a bit of a bittersweet memory now because of this youthful heartbreak.

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