Eurozone Crisis: 'Starvation Recipes' Cookbook Finds Success In Recession-Hit Greece
Everyone knows that times are hard in Greece. But when you're grinding coffee out of chickpeas instead of making hummus, you know that something is really wrong.
Strangely enough that's just what's happening in the economically stricken country, where a World War Two-era trend for "starvation" recipes that cost as little money as possible has taken off.
Eleni Nikolaidou is the cook responsible for this sudden rash of domestic austerity.
Her book (also named 'Starvation Recipes') gives Greeks such thrifty tips as pushing eggplant through a grinder instead of using meat, sweeping crumbs into jars for later use and even simply chewing your food longer to feel more full.
Many of Nikolaidou's recipes were originally published in "survival guides" printed in Greek newspapers during the occupation of the Nazis. Nikolaidou searched through 6,000 of those recipes to produce her book, which has sold well and is now on its second run.
"It was all about getting by with very little," Nikolaidou told the Associated Press. "I read an article from the front page of a newspaper, 'How to collect crumbs' — a little each day so that you could have a cupful of crumbs by the end of the week, something extra to survive. It really struck me."
Other ideas that inspired her book include:
- using horseshoes to reinforce old (human) shoes
- preserving lemons in sand
- hunting cats and dogs for spare meat
- pulping raisins to use instead of sugar
Up to 90% of Greeks said in a recent survey that they are spending less, and cutting back on meat and other luxuries.
So while times have not approached anything like the hardships of wartime - 300,000 people died in Greece during the 1940s due to lack of food - this is certainly a trend that reflects the times. Whether chickpea coffee will make the transition to a luxury item is another question.