As Easter is coming and the weather gets better, a desire for ouzo with seafood is created. Today we are going to talk about tsiros, a dried fish which is more often a small chub mackerel or a small fish that swims close to the surface of the sea and has enough fat. The salting and the drying process have been done traditionally during the summer. It used to be the way of conservation of the prime snack, which is currently hard to find in its initial form as a whole fish.

Our first move is to hydrate the dried fish by placing it into water for 20 minutes, in order to absorb the required humidity and to eliminate the extra salt. By baking it a little, as we add olive oil and vinegar or even lemon, we create a fine snack with intense taste that worthily earns a place among the top five ones that accompany ouzo. A second choice – when we have completed the watering process – is to add pepper and vinegar and place tsiros in a jar with olive oil. That is how it can be maintained into the fridge for a long period of time and we can have a ready snack at any time.

I recently tried the first labeled ouzo from Syros, after at least thirty years of absence of such a local product, of course accompanying it with tsiros. This effort for the creation of Syros ouzo is excellent, as we are referring to a ripe product with intense perfume and taste, which shows the potentials of its creator. In conclusion, tsiros with a moist rusk, a tomato, a cucumber or some cabbage, accompanied with ouzo, can voyage us to old traditional tastes.

Kostas Prekas

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