by Markus Stolz

# Greek hospitality

byMarkus Stolz
November 17, 2009, 1 Comment

AsparagusGreeks are extremely generous people. Sometimes when two different cultures come together, the outcome can be surprising. I am of German heritage, and before we settled down in Greece my family and me lived for 18 months in a small German village called Oberjosbach. It is not easy for newcomers to make contact in such a small rural community, so we invited everybody who lived in our street around for drinks and food. The event was a success and the ice was broken.

A few days later we invited a couple that we particular liked to our place for dinner. Germans are often quite reserved people, and although they accepted the invitation, they felt at unease that we would again provide all food. At the time, it was the season for white asparagus, and the couple insisted that they were to buy the asparagus, and we should provide the side dishes only. Alex, my wife, went out to buy ham and potatoes. Being Greek, she picked three different kinds of hams, and bought 20 slices each, so that every one of us could have 5 slices of each ham with the asparagus. She than boiled a large pot of potatoes, melted half a kilo of butter for one sauce, prepared another one, which was a Sauce Hollandaise, fixed two salads and cut 2 different kinds of bread. I provided two different bottles of wine.

Our neighbours arrived and handed over a damp teacloth just as we went inside our kitchen. When they saw the side dishes that Alex had prepared, their jaws dropped. So did ours when we opened the teacloth: They had bought a total of 12 stalks of asparagus for the four of us. The German couple would never waste any food, and would always make sure to not cook too much. This is unthinkable for Greeks, where it would be considered a major failure for the host if all food would be eaten.

We all had a great evening, and of course discussed at length the different cultural aspects when it comes to providing food for friends. Over the next months, we often had the couple over for dinner at our place, and they never offered again to make a food contribution :)

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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.

  1. MarieDecember 2, 2009, 4:51 pm

    This is a very charming story! Yes, the Greeks are indeed very generous hosts and very warm-hearted people. Thank you for sharing this.