The native people of Karaman and Cappadocia in Central Anatolia spoke and wrote in Turkish using the Greek alphabet but were Orthodox Christians. They became known as the Karamanlides who were forced to leave their homeland along with 1.5 million other Anatolian Greeks, as part of the immigration exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.
Today, Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani is a charcuterie and ‘mezetzidiko’ that honours their heritage, creating an Athenian modern day version of what was known as a “pastomageirio” or a “tavern of salted goods” that flourished in Byzantine times. An eclectic, uncomplicated meze menu has been assembled by Stella Spanou, a chef and cookbook author from Thrace, who provides a sensory journey to the East.
The Karamanlides and Cappadocian Greeks brought with them many specialist trades including curing and drying meat based on ancient traditions dating back to Byzantium. Many Karamanlides had become artisans of Pastirma or “Pastourmas” in Greek, that refers to a method of curing and drying meat after layering with a fragrant paste of cumin, fenugreek, garlic and hot paprika. The result is beautifully preserved meat that is full of flavour and is surprisingly soft and delicate on the palette.
The varieties of pastirma and other dried meats found at this Athenian mezetzidiko, are combined with organic, fresh local ingredients that has captivated both locals and visitors to Athens. Owner Fanis Theodoropoulos’ vision was very much about supporting Greek producers. “It’s about quality over quantity and keeping prices honest”, he said. “These Greek products are as good as anything you will find though out the rest of Europe.”
A grocery area stocks a curated selection of Greek products from small-scale producers including, cornelian cherry jam and liqueur, dried figs, Greek honey and the award winning Maleas olive oil from Laconia.
Fanis is no stranger to the local food trade, being the second generation in his family to run a small over the counter charcuterie across the road called Arapian, that was established in the 1920’s and run by his father through out the 1960’s, it became famous for their pastourma and soutzouki (dried sausage).
Sourced through Scoop.it from: whyathens.com