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Offline William

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Koliva question
« on: June 30, 2012, 08:04:49 PM »
The koliva after Vespers and the subsequent memorial service tonight had a white, hard egg-shaped thing in it. Is it edible?

Also, how do you pronounce "koliva"?
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Offline mike

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 08:06:41 PM »
You mean almonds?

Offline William

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 08:12:52 PM »
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 08:13:22 PM »
The koliva after Vespers and the subsequent memorial service tonight had a white, hard egg-shaped thing in it. Is it edible?

Also, how do you pronounce "koliva"?

Those are probably sugarcoated almonds. Koliva is pronounced like KO-lee-vah,  with the stress on the first syllable (at least in Greek that is)
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Offline Agia Marina

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 08:14:51 PM »
The koliva after Vespers and the subsequent memorial service tonight had a white, hard egg-shaped thing in it. Is it edible?

Also, how do you pronounce "koliva"?
co-lee-vah, emphasis on the second syllable, according to the Romanian crowd I hang out with.  :)
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 08:16:50 PM by Agia Marina »
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Offline William

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 08:15:08 PM »
The koliva after Vespers and the subsequent memorial service tonight had a white, hard egg-shaped thing in it. Is it edible?

Also, how do you pronounce "koliva"?

Those are probably sugarcoated almonds. Koliva is pronounced like KO-lee-vah,  with the stress on the first syllable (at least in Greek that is)

Ok, maybe it is an almond, then. It tastes sweet.
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Offline William

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 08:18:36 PM »
Yep, it was an almond. Yummy.
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Offline Melodist

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 08:27:28 PM »
Is it edible?

With the exception of the candles for the service, I don't think I've ever seen anyone ever put anyting that wasn't edible into koliva.
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Offline arimethea

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 08:39:11 PM »
Is it edible?

With the exception of the candles for the service, I don't think I've ever seen anyone ever put anyting that wasn't edible into koliva.

I have seen Hersey Kisses still in the wrappers.
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Offline John Ward

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2012, 03:23:50 AM »
Jordan almonds

Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2012, 05:33:16 AM »
White sugared almonds are often used to decorate kollyva, as well as with other shapes made of white hard candy, or white candy coated in an edible silver-colored coating.

I prefer my kollyva without that stuff - it makes it too sweet, and biting into silver balls unawares can mean a trip to the dentist.  :o It's made in commemoration of the dead, not a festive occasion, so its sweetness should be barely noticeable, according to the venerable old Greek woman who taught me how to make it. Some folks sweeten it with a honey syrup - far too sickly.  :P

When I make it, I put in boiled wheat, toasted sesame seeds, chopped toasted almonds (or, if I have them, walnuts), raisins, toasted fine breadcrumbs, pomegranate seeds if available, and enough powdered sugar to just sweeten it.
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Offline mike

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2012, 02:59:35 PM »
Almonds are not edible because I'm allergic to them.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2012, 06:53:04 PM »
Is it edible?

With the exception of the candles for the service, I don't think I've ever seen anyone ever put anyting that wasn't edible into koliva.

I have seen Hersey Kisses still in the wrappers.

Wasn't there a canon anticipating this? Surely there must have been one stating, "In the event that someone in the future should put weird, innovative substances in koliva, let him have a nice, long talk with the parish grandmothers."
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2012, 06:06:32 AM »
White sugared almonds are often used to decorate kollyva, as well as with other shapes made of white hard candy, or white candy coated in an edible silver-colored coating.

I prefer my kollyva without that stuff - it makes it too sweet, and biting into silver balls unawares can mean a trip to the dentist.  :o It's made in commemoration of the dead, not a festive occasion, so its sweetness should be barely noticeable, according to the venerable old Greek woman who taught me how to make it. Some folks sweeten it with a honey syrup - far too sickly.  :P

When I make it, I put in boiled wheat, toasted sesame seeds, chopped toasted almonds (or, if I have them, walnuts), raisins, toasted fine breadcrumbs, pomegranate seeds if available, and enough powdered sugar to just sweeten it.

I'm afraid that I can't bear koliva at all. I always feel bad not taking any due to the fact that it is in commemoration of the dead but, rather like with mamaliga, I kept trying some because I was always assured that I must have only had bad examples in the past, only to find that every time it was just as bad as I remembered. Nowadays I figure that politely declining is better all round than me fighting the urge to gag when I eat it out of politeness.

James
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 06:35:11 AM by jmbejdl »
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Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2012, 06:17:27 AM »
James, I've had hardened kollyva-haters asking me for the recipe. I'm not kidding.  :D There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest.  :P
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 06:19:17 AM by LBK »
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2012, 06:25:42 AM »
Romanians always have the most elaborate koliva. It normally only consists of about 4 grains of boiled wheat, while the rest is jelly babies, chocolate bars, m&ms, jam and icing.

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2012, 06:29:16 AM »
Romanians always have the most elaborate koliva. It normally only consists of about 4 grains of boiled wheat, while the rest is jelly babies, chocolate bars, m&ms, jam and icing.

Not in my experience. There's usually some sort of sweet based decoration on top but that's about it. If there was as little actual koliva in the koliva as you describe I might possibly be able to stomach it (not if it contained jelly babies, though!). Admittedly, I've only ever been to two Romanian parishes in this country and 3 or 4 in Romania, but I've never seen what you describe in any of them.

James
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2012, 06:33:57 AM »
James, I've had hardened kollyva-haters asking me for the recipe. I'm not kidding.  :D There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest.  :P

I didn't mean that there was any actual resemblance, just that if you tell a Romanian you don't like mamaliga you might as well be saying 'I have two heads'. The same seems to be the case with koliva, but I detest them both equally. Given the attitude the obvious conclusion is that I must have simply only ever had bad mamaliga/koliva and if I just try theirs I'll be converted. I'm afraid that I've tried so many varieties of each now only to have my naive hopes dashed on every occasion that you'll have to forgive me if I say I don't believe that yours would be any more palatable.

James
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 06:35:48 AM by jmbejdl »
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Offline ma2000

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 09:32:28 AM »
There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest:P

rather like with mamaliga

Is outrage!  :o >:( :'(
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2012, 09:54:56 AM »
There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest:P

rather like with mamaliga

Is outrage!  :o >:( :'(

I know. My wife's been trying to get me to like mamaliga for over 10 years now but to no avail. She also always insists on asking me if I want coliva (just did it to me yesterday actually) whenever any is available at church, even though I never say yes. I'm sure she does think it's weird, as I said, roughly equivalent to my possession of an extra head, but she probably has to put up with odder things than that from me and she rarely complains. Unfortunately she never seems to give up trying to convince me either.

James
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2012, 09:56:46 AM »
White sugared almonds are often used to decorate kollyva, as well as with other shapes made of white hard candy, or white candy coated in an edible silver-colored coating.

I prefer my kollyva without that stuff - it makes it too sweet, and biting into silver balls unawares can mean a trip to the dentist.  :o It's made in commemoration of the dead, not a festive occasion, so its sweetness should be barely noticeable, according to the venerable old Greek woman who taught me how to make it. Some folks sweeten it with a honey syrup - far too sickly.  :P

When I make it, I put in boiled wheat, toasted sesame seeds, chopped toasted almonds (or, if I have them, walnuts), raisins, toasted fine breadcrumbs, pomegranate seeds if available, and enough powdered sugar to just sweeten it.

Now, THAT'S a gourmet kolivo!
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Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2012, 09:59:32 AM »
Quote
Now, THAT'S a gourmet kolivo!

Liza, I can send you the recipe if you like. It's very easy to make.
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2012, 10:13:22 AM »
... and mamaliga, which I also detest.  :P

Whaaa?!  Is outrage!  I love mamaliga.  Add feta and bacon and I'm in love. 

LBK, if you don't mind, I would love the recipe to your koliva.  Thank you.
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2012, 10:26:34 AM »

Please send!

We'll do a recipe swap!  ;)
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Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2012, 11:02:31 AM »

Please send!

We'll do a recipe swap!  ;)

Done.  :D
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Offline ma2000

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2012, 11:04:09 AM »
Adding pomegranate seeds to koliva is a Greek custom, as far as I know, but it tastes very good. Please send me you recipes, everyone, and I'll send you mine if you are interested.
Thanks.

James, have you tried mamaliga with home made butter?
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Offline augustin717

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2012, 11:18:31 AM »
Since when do men cook this stuff  ::) ??? :o?

Offline Agia Marina

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2012, 11:51:30 AM »
Quote
Now, THAT'S a gourmet kolivo!

Liza, I can send you the recipe if you like. It's very easy to make.
Could you please send me the recipe, too.  My non-Orthodox hubby loves it.   :)
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2012, 11:57:32 AM »
Adding pomegranate seeds to koliva is a Greek custom, as far as I know, but it tastes very good. Please send me you recipes, everyone, and I'll send you mine if you are interested.
Thanks.

James, have you tried mamaliga with home made butter?

I think I must have tried it just about every way that Romanians ever cook it - all with the same result. I'm sorry but it truly is horrible. Although Gabriel's comment about Feta made me think of Telemea (sorry to any Greeks here, but it's far superior to feta). I like that so much I'd probably try and fish it out if someone put it in with mamaliga.

James
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Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2012, 12:05:23 PM »
OK, folks, here it is:

Put 8oz/250g cleaned wheat (make sure there is no grit or other foreign matter in the wheat) into a generous amount of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the grains are round and softened but not mushy. I use a pressure cooker, so cook for 30 minutes from the time pressure is reached, then cool the cooker and release the pressure. If cooking in a normal pot, bring to the boil, then simmer for between an hour and 90 minutes (I'm only guessing here, as I've only ever used a pressure cooker for it).

Strain the cooked wheat, then spread it out on a tray lined with a cloth, and allow to cool completely. Once the wheat is cooled, add:

1/4 cup packaged toasted breadcrumbs

1 cup chopped toasted almonds (either spread on a tray and toasted in the oven, or dry-fried) or walnuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted (as for the nuts)

Dash of cinnamon

1 cup raisins

seeds from one pomegranate (if available)

Mix it all well, then taste for sweetness. If necessary, add small amounts of sifted powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time - put the sugar into a small mesh sifter or tea strainer, and dust the kollyva, it's easier to mix it through - and keep tasting. The final sweetness should be only just noticeable.

A couple of times I've not had to add any sugar at all, because of the sweetness of the pomegranate and the dried fruit, so always taste first.

EDIT: Whoops! Please note amended quantity of wheat in color.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2012, 12:33:38 PM by LBK »
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Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2012, 12:06:45 PM »

YUM!!
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Offline Agia Marina

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2012, 03:49:28 PM »
OK, folks, here it is:

Put 8oz/250g cleaned wheat (make sure there is no grit or other foreign matter in the wheat) into a generous amount of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the grains are round and softened but not mushy. I use a pressure cooker, so cook for 30 minutes from the time pressure is reached, then cool the cooker and release the pressure. If cooking in a normal pot, bring to the boil, then simmer for between an hour and 90 minutes (I'm only guessing here, as I've only ever used a pressure cooker for it).

Strain the cooked wheat, then spread it out on a tray lined with a cloth, and allow to cool completely. Once the wheat is cooled, add:

1/4 cup packaged toasted breadcrumbs

1 cup chopped toasted almonds (either spread on a tray and toasted in the oven, or dry-fried) or walnuts

1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted (as for the nuts)

Dash of cinnamon

1 cup raisins

seeds from one pomegranate (if available)

Mix it all well, then taste for sweetness. If necessary, add small amounts of sifted powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time - put the sugar into a small mesh sifter or tea strainer, and dust the kollyva, it's easier to mix it through - and keep tasting. The final sweetness should be only just noticeable.

A couple of times I've not had to add any sugar at all, because of the sweetness of the pomegranate and the dried fruit, so always taste first.

EDIT: Whoops! Please note amended quantity of wheat in color.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2012, 03:50:06 PM »
Romanians always have the most elaborate koliva. It normally only consists of about 4 grains of boiled wheat, while the rest is jelly babies, chocolate bars, m&ms, jam and icing.

Never heard of that.

I make mine with wheat, toasted almonds and walnuts, sesame seeds, parsley, coriander seed, cinnamon, mahlepi and mastica, and raisins soaked in brandy. Powdered sugar on top--but a layer of graham cracker crumbs in between to keep the sugar from dissolving. Jordan almonds on top, and sometimes those hard sugar silver balls that break your teeth.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2012, 03:52:08 PM »
Since when do men cook this stuff  ::) ??? :o?


Since too many of the babushki took to living in the woods and reading tea leaves on weekends instead of going to church.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2012, 03:53:36 PM »
There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest:P

rather like with mamaliga

Is outrage!  :o >:( :'(

Okay, enlighten the non-Romanian. What is mamaliga?
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2012, 04:03:56 PM »
Okay, enlighten the non-Romanian. What is mamaliga?

Polenta. It reminds me a little of 'ugali', a staple in East Africa.

Offline LizaSymonenko

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2012, 04:05:55 PM »
There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest:P

rather like with mamaliga

Is outrage!  :o >:( :'(

Okay, enlighten the non-Romanian. What is mamaliga?

It's made of cornmeal.  Like a porridge.  Depends who adds what to it, it can be rather bland...or truly tasty!
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2012, 04:18:38 PM »
There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest:P

rather like with mamaliga

Is outrage!  :o >:( :'(

Okay, enlighten the non-Romanian. What is mamaliga?

It's made of cornmeal.  Like a porridge.  Depends who adds what to it, it can be rather bland...or truly tasty!


And this is in place of koliva, for the dead? If so, it sounds like using rice instead of wheat, something which I'll never understand.
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2012, 04:27:17 PM »

No, no!!!

They were just making a statement that they don't like the flavor of kolivo, any better than mamaliga.

It's NOT a replacement, just a flavor, like/dislike comparison.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2012, 05:23:46 PM »

No, no!!!

They were just making a statement that they don't like the flavor of kolivo, any better than mamaliga.

It's NOT a replacement, just a flavor, like/dislike comparison.


Oh good. For a moment there, I thought we were on a trajectory to use Cheerios.
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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2012, 06:40:55 PM »
James, I've had hardened kollyva-haters asking me for the recipe. I'm not kidding.  :D There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest.  :P

My mother also made it like you (without the pomegranates however). I think that the main trick is to dry the berries just enough so that they are still chewable. However, since berries at that stage of dryness are still a bit moist, the bread crumbs are absolutely necessary to prevent their moisture to reach the top layer of powdered sugar. Is that also your technique?

Offline LBK

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2012, 07:39:16 PM »
James, I've had hardened kollyva-haters asking me for the recipe. I'm not kidding.  :D There is no resemblance whatsoever between my kollyva and mamaliga, which I also detest.  :P

My mother also made it like you (without the pomegranates however). I think that the main trick is to dry the berries just enough so that they are still chewable. However, since berries at that stage of dryness are still a bit moist, the bread crumbs are absolutely necessary to prevent their moisture to reach the top layer of powdered sugar. Is that also your technique?

I don't put a top layer of sugar, though the woman who taught me how to make it sometimes does. The breadcrumbs are mainly used to stop the wheat grains from sticking to one another, rather than to control moisture leached out by the sugar. At any rate, there's usually no more than a couple of tablespoons of sugar required in my method, so excess moisture has never been a problem, though I can see it being one when it's made much sweeter than it should be.

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2012, 03:34:01 AM »

No, no!!!

They were just making a statement that they don't like the flavor of kolivo, any better than mamaliga.

It's NOT a replacement, just a flavor, like/dislike comparison.


It was also because the idea that anyone could dislike either of those two things appears to be truly incomprehensible to Romanians. In detesting both equally I appear to be admitting to my utter estrangement from the human race.

Strangely enough I've never actually seen mamaliga at an agape meal, not even in the village. I wonder why that is? Maybe because it's considered peasant food rather than something for a special occasion?

James
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2012, 08:47:07 AM »
Thanks for the recipe, LBK!

Strangely enough I've never actually seen mamaliga at an agape meal, not even in the village. I wonder why that is? Maybe because it's considered peasant food rather than something for a special occasion?

James

Yes, probably. Also because is less practical than sliced bread and usually we eat it only with certain dishes.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2012, 09:02:38 AM »
Thanks for the recipe, LBK!

Strangely enough I've never actually seen mamaliga at an agape meal, not even in the village. I wonder why that is? Maybe because it's considered peasant food rather than something for a special occasion?

James

Yes, probably. Also because is less practical than sliced bread and usually we eat it only with certain dishes.

I'm not so sure on the practicality side. I've seen it served cold and set and sliced like bread. I've also seen it cut in slices and then fried.  Either of those ways would seem just as practical as bread really. I also can't really say I've noticed any particular pattern to what it's eaten with in Bucovina. I've seen it with everything from mushrooms to cheese to cream to sausages and even, hideous though it is to recall, strawberries! To be honest, out of boiled sweetened wheat and boiled cornmeal with fruit, I find it hard to pick a 'winner'.

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Offline ma2000

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2012, 07:47:20 AM »
Fried mamaliga and strawberries! Sounds awful :)
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Offline Agabus

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2012, 08:18:04 AM »
I had some koliva earlier this year that had a really heavy application of chili powder in it. Wasn't a fan.
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Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2012, 08:29:02 AM »
Fried mamaliga and strawberries! Sounds awful :)
Indeed. Of course the mamaliga with the strawberries was the common warm mush rather than the fried type, but I don't think that was any better. Then again I've known English people make sandwiches with cheddar and strawberry jam so I guess it takes all sorts. Just as long as I don't offend anyone by turning down their food it's all fine by me.

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Offline davinpa

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #48 on: July 07, 2012, 06:34:59 AM »
In my place they make koliva using rice as it is difficult, in fact, nearly impossible to find wheat grains.

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #49 on: July 07, 2012, 08:53:09 AM »
In my place they make koliva using rice as it is difficult, in fact, nearly impossible to find wheat grains.

Where in the world are you? Wheat seems to be an almost universal grain. Rice just does not have the same theological beauty as wheat.
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #50 on: July 07, 2012, 09:26:58 AM »
In my place they make koliva using rice as it is difficult, in fact, nearly impossible to find wheat grains.

Where in the world are you? Wheat seems to be an almost universal grain. Rice just does not have the same theological beauty as wheat.

Many parts of Russia, for example, cannot grow wheat, as it is too cold. Even rye struggles in some of the more rugged areas. Many Russians use rice instead of wheat for their kollyva, particularly those from the regions close to China, and those who did indeed come from China, such as the Harbintsy.

Wheat is the ideal, historically and otherwise, but sometimes one must make do with what one has. Better to make a sincere offering, even if the ingredients are not conventional, than make no offering at all.  :police:
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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #51 on: July 08, 2012, 12:36:24 PM »
If you can't find wheat, does one also substitute another grain for making prosforo?

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Re: Koliva question
« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2012, 03:53:45 PM »
If you can't find wheat, does one also substitute another grain for making prosforo?

Never heard of that, even in Siberia. You import it.
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