PENGUINS have a lot to teach us about ROMANCE

I am dedicating this
Valentine's day period
to our endangered
PENGUINS all over the world.
Did you know that penguins
are the most faithfully
devoted species of
our Animal Kingdom?
One of the world's leading penguin expert
biologist Boersma, has studied them for over 30 years.
She has become the expert on explaining penguin ROMANCE.

photo taken by Yannick Hay

Yes, apparently they are the species that have a long standing
record of very endearing romantic practices.
They apparently have special mating rituals, stay loyal and
remain faithful to one another for a very long time.
Ahh...how sweetly endearing is that?
I already had a soft place in my heart for these charming little creatures...
now I have an even more tender spot for them ;)

My very first experience witnessing this special bond
with these charmers was when hubby and
I visited our Montreal center ' Biodome '.
photo taken by: Michel Tremblay

I remember standing their hand in hand with my great half...
thinking and appreciating how nicely and comically they moved.
The penguins' particular ways of playing
with each other was terribly amusing to us.
We just didn't really want to leave them.

 I was thankful to have had a chance to witness this,
however, I admittedly was sad to realize their misfortune
of not living in their deserved natural habitat.
The second opportunity to witness penguins in action
was a few years ago while visiting a very big hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Here are some photos and segmented excerpts about a
story reported by abc news on the unfortunate population decline
of ' magellanic ' penguins in
Argentina's Patagonia region.

"Maybe it's their endearing waddle. Maybe it's their seemingly analytical gaze.
Or maybe it's their absurd tuxedo like formality.
Whatever the explanation, there's no denying that penguins are one of the
most intriguing, enchanting species on earth.
"They're comical, they're endearing and this is a spectacle of nature...
The spectacular Punta Tombo Peninsula in Argentina's Patagonia
region is home this time of year to half-a-million Magellanic penguins,
the largest colony of these 2½-feet-tall penguins in the world."

All right then...
that's it for my dedication on this Valentine's day event.

Now where's the part about the FOOD?
You're right...this site is based on culinary exploration.
Well, today, after running around all over the place to get different food supplies for the week...
we decided to treat ourselves to one of our favourite Greek restaurant in our area. 

Yes, you see right...there was actually a Fig tree in the restaurant.

We have both grown to absolutely love
Greek food.
We've also been very fortunate to have visited some beautifully
typical Greek islands where we were spoiled with delicacies galore.
 This is mostly where we've had a chance to
savour some truly authentic culinary treats.
However, disappointingly, we figured out that most
Greek preparations in our North American restaurants
have somewhat been revised and re-adapted
 to accommodate a somewhat different palate.
Nonetheless...some dedicated eateries still manage
to capture some great flavours and aromas.

The restaurants that are little more typical than others...
are, as you can imagine...usually the out of the way places.
 We have discoverd some by word of mouth, however,
this one in particular, was found by us several
years ago purely by accidental luck.
Over the years we have fallen on some very great food here.
We have our favourites...each one with their own special quality.

Today, we were both tantalizing for their specially made
fried 'Calamari'...very lightly battered...resulting in very tender bites.
As a side note:
Did you know that one of penguins' favourite delight is squid!
I knew all along that there was a special kinship between us ;0)

Alongside the plate of ' Calamari ' ...we just had to have an order of their
other specialty: an amazingly fresh and exquisitely tasty 'Pikilia' platter.
It is one of the few place I have frequented which actually
prepares the plate when ordered as opposed to having
pre-prepared and stored in the refrigerator hours in advance.

This platter also consisted of some typical Greek appetizers of:
'Spanakopita', 'Cheese pastry pies',
'Dolomades', 'Kalamata' olives ,
a few slices of 'Feta' cheese and of course our 
 favourites... 'Tzatziki' and 'Taramosalata' dips .
Unfortunately, the tomatoes and cucumbers were
a little less desirable at this time of the year.

Overall, most of everything was very appetizingly satisfying.
 "Kali Orexi "

In my kitchen, I have over the years made some pretty
good versions of Greek food with a little of my Italian flare ;o)
I've also somewhat lightened the calories by tweaking some recipes.
 I have pretty much re-vamped the very richly fattening
 'Tzatziki'. with a 2% yogurt minus the very rich sour cream.
Our meal was so satisfying that for today we skipped on having
some of their sweets like: 'Baklava' or the custard
pastry 'Galactoboureko'...among so many others.
It will have to wait until our next visit.
It turned out that our very late lunch pretty much held over supper.
Oh well, our romantic Valentine's supper
will have to hold off for tomorrow after all.
Flavourful wishes, Foodessa

Comments ...???...or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com