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Tsiknopempti - "Charred Thursday"

By February 23, 2011

Greek Style Grilled Pork Chops

Mmmmm, can you smell it?

It's the unmistakable aroma of charred meat known in Greek as "tsikna" (TSEEK-nah).

In villages and towns all over Greece, folks are firing up the grill to participate in a national feast day known as Tsiknopempti (tseek-no-PEMP-tee) or "Charred Thursday."

Unfortunately, it's not a great time to be a Vegetarian, because the smell of grilled meat will assault you just about everywhere you go.

On the brighter side, there will also be music and dancing and general merriment, which may distract you from the overwhelming aroma of meat cooking all around you.

Pork Souvlaki

The forefathers of the Orthodox Church were very pragmatic in their preparation for Great Lent. They allowed the faithful an opportunity to gradually purge their kitchens and pantries of the foods that would be restricted during the Lenten period to follow.

The Thursday preceding Meatfare Sunday kicks off a long weekend of celebration and gives everyone a chance to get the meat out of their freezers and refrigerators. It's also yet another excuse to have a party - how Greek is that?

Planning your own little meat-fest? Give these Greek-Style Grilled Pork Chops or the delicious Grilled Pork Souvlaki a try.

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February 24, 2011 at 6:18 pm
(1) emma says:

i love this dish

February 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm
(2) Yianni Smyrni says:

Έτσι είναι!

February 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm
(3) Diane says:

Hi, Lynn – When I saw the title of your column this week, I was hoping you’d include a recipe for prasso selino, my favorite pork dish! Grown-in-Greece leeks and celery root are among my favorite vegetables; since I moved back to the NYC area in 2001 after 10+ years in Greece I haven’t been able to find decent leeks on a regular basis. I miss them almost as much as I miss Greek-grown tomatoes.

March 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm
(4) greekfood says:

Hi Diane,

Here’s Nancy’s recipe for Pork with Celery Root or selinoriza. I hope it comes close!



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