Somehow it didn’t dawn on me immediately, that I was in fact living this nutrition nerd’s dream…I WAS ACTUALLY EATING THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET! 🤯 😍  Like, the real-deal, legit, bona fide, honest-to-goodness, original, dinkum 1960s Greek diet.

That realisation occurred to me, I think, on the very remote island of Ikaria, not far from Turkey. After walking several kms from our already remote village to the next, we entered the tiniest of shops (and there was only 1), and slowly surveyed every single thing on offer to that community. Which prompted me to turn to my daughter and insist she immediately take a photo of the disproportionately large shelf-space dedicated to legumes! Ah yes…can’t travel with them…(nats/nuts/herbies you know who you are!)

Now of course, and I’ve acknowledged this before, in some regards I’m a bit slow.  Because this fact was there from the outset for the taking – along with all the figs (fresh, dried & every stage between), pomegranates, grapes, blackberries, almonds, walnuts, prickly & wild pears, freely available, growing along most roadsides, footpaths, farmers tracks & parks, that we enjoyed collecting on any & every walk.  With the bounty deposited straight into my open mouth, all my and my bag’s pockets and even my keep-cup, which proved a great way to protect delicate delicacies.  With more time I even scaled-up, employing egg-cartons for mass-movement of figs, when making our teary but timely departure from the Dodecanese & return to Athens.



In this way, while consuming them in abundance every day, we were able to consistently cross ‘fruit and nuts’ off the list. Shopping done!

And perhaps it might have occurred to me after the 5th, 6th or 17th taverna meal, comprised essentially of all my favourite vegetables, absolutely swimming in olive oil, with a small bit of lamb, goat, fish, or seafood, tucked in there somewhere for good measure. Or given the meat’s exquisite flavours…’self-seasoned’ as my partner called it…tasting of the wild herbs & greens the animals themselves had eaten, all served with a side of beans – either fava, giant beans or lentils and oh my…we must discuss the bread… but next time.

I’m just getting started with tales from my feast field research trip…there’s so much more to tell (if you can bear it!!)