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The monastic diet is to be trademarked

14 May 2014 / 14:05:28  GRReporter
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The Greek Ministry of Agriculture and Food has announced the creation of a sign to designate the area around monasteries, thus aiming to link the Greek monastic diet with the international vegetarian movement. The sign will be provided to those restaurants that will offer dishes that are representative of the diet in the monasteries within the designated areas.

The monastic diet is considered as a continuation of dietary habits of Ancient Greece, which were preserved in Byzantium through Christianity and were part of the classic dietary habits of Greek families by the end of the 1970s. By creating a trademark for them, the Ministry aims to acquaint the public with the monastic diet and cuisine, and to support local producers of agricultural products as well as tourism companies in the regions around the monasteries.

The idea was presented at a conference on "Monastic diet, agricultural production and development of agricultural regions," which the Ministry had organized at the newly established museum of gastronomy in the Psiri neighbourhood in Athens.

University teachers, researchers and practitioners presented the benefits of the monastic diet for the body and its relation to everyday traditional dishes. "Both our culture and our religion, which has had a significant impact on our gastronomy, play a crucial role in our diet," said teacher Georgia Koffina.
 
According to other researchers, "80% of our daily diet is identical to that in monastic communities." They indicate that monasteries could also be included among the manufacturers of products with trademarks of origin and a protected designation of origin. "We must not forget that the monasteries have preserved traditional Greek crops and of course their seeds," stressed former director of the Centre for Ethnography at Athens Academy Ekaterini Polimerou - Kamilaki.

"The Greeks are not familiar with the monastic diet and its benefits for the body. Studies show that teenagers have turned away from the traditional eating habits and this is one of the main reasons for their obesity," said theologian and teacher Ioannis Anastasopoulos. He cited data showing that during breaks, 28% of the pupils aged between 6 and 12 years have sandwiches, 20% toast, 10% eat croissants, only 5% have some fruit and 8% eat nothing.

The main products in the monastic diet include fish, seafood, pickles, pulses, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, bread and honey, which is why it is considered to be one of the healthiest diets. Conference participants noted that it might be partially or fully introduced in the eating habits of certain groups of people with specific requirements or preferences regarding their diet, such as diabetics, people with heart disease, athletes and others.

GRReporter offers below a recipe presented in the show of popular chef Ilias Mamalakis.

Cod monastic style

Ingredients:
10 sun-dried tomatoes

200 g mushrooms

1 green pepper

1 yellow pepper

5 cloves of garlic

10 small onions

3 leeks (white part only)

2-3 potatoes

3 zucchini

2 carrots

½ kg cod

1 cup olive oil

3-4 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp cayenne pepper

Juice of 1½ lemons

You can watch the preparation of the recipe here:

More monastic recipes are available on the website of the monks of Mount Athos www.monastiriaka.gr/sidages.php

Tags: SocietyMonastic dietEatingTrademark
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