In Greece, food is much more than mere sustenance – it is an expression of the exuberant Greek character, as much a part of the culture and flavor of Greece as blue and white seascapes, twisting cobbled streets and the ‘wine dark sea’.

Tessa Kiros’ sumptuous, gorgeously illustrated book reflects all of that, all those centuries of ‘Greekness’, brought together in recipes for baklava, honey cakes and galaktoboureko. Just thinking about these foods and their redolent, romantic names makes you long to be looking out over the Aegean from a white washed sun drenched balcony, a glass of mavrodaphne in one hand and a honey cake in the other.

Through page after page, you can soak yourself in the sunshine, the flavors, and the fascination of Greek life and food. Light permeates everything – strings of sausages hanging in a shop window, boats resting on incredibly clear a limpid waters, feta oozing out of stuffed peppers glistening with oil, sesame encrusted bread rings balanced on a three wheeled carrier – it is hard, sometimes, to distinguish which is art and which is food – it is all one here.

Browsing through this book is like taking a vacation in a sun soaked Greek village, looking over the shoulders of the local women as they work in their kitchens and suddenly understanding why this is a land of poets and warriors. It starts right here, with the poetry of sunshine and beautiful food. After you have devoured the pages, carry it into the kitchen, and devour some of the recipes. Sheer bliss and highly recommended as a gift for your favorite Greek cook.