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Nistisimes Syntages – Food for the Soul (Lenten Recipes)
The period of the Great Lent started yesterday with Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) and this is called Saracosti. During the period of Saracosti the faithful fast for a period of 48 days and not 40, as it is usually said: the six weeks of Lent and Holy Week. This is not obligatory and most people fast for a couple of weeks before Easter.
Meat and animal products (cheese, milk, butter, eggs, lard), fish (meaning fish with backbones), olive oil and wine (all alcoholic drinks) are not consumed during the weekdays of Great Lent. Octopus and shell-fish are allowed, as is vegetable margarine, shortening, and vegetable oils, gelatin, olives, as well as honey are allowed.
On weekends, olive oil and wine are permitted. Fish is permitted only on two Sundays during the Lenten period: on the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25) and on Palm Sunday (one week before Easter).
The purpose of fasting is to cleanse the body as well as the spirit in preparation for accepting the Resurrection at Easter, which is the most sacred of all observances in the Greek Orthodox faith.
Through fasting, we also learn to feel compassion for the poor and hungry and to save our own resources so that we can help those in need.
During this period I shall try and post mainly Nistisimes Syntages (Lenten recipes). However, I do have lots of recipes I have prepared before Lent, which I shall also post.
I apologize if in some of the links you do not find some of my Cypriot recipes. This means that they have been included in my cookbook and had to be removed.
If you exclude the recipes with seafood, gelatine and honey all other recipes here are vegan: