Every Wednesday in Travel Loot, we find the best travel products to match our featured destination of the week. This week, we're cruising around the Mediterranean.
A good friend came back from a recent trip to Marrakech high on the souks, the teas, the aromas. I invited her over for brunch, and she brought a gorgeous Moroccan teapot as a present. Ever since, I've been planning my dream Mediterranean dinner party. Here's how I'll do it.
SET THE TABLE
First, I'll set out a diffuser ($66) with grapefruit, black currant, pomegranate, and Italian blood orange scents so guests can smell the Mediterranean the minute they arrive.
I like blue, a lot. (The color of the sea!) There will be pillows, lots of pillows ($58-88). I also love this long tray ($30) for its classic Greek key pattern. Lemons and figs make for pretty centerpieces.
There are so many amazing Mediterranean appetizers, I could skip the main course. Cheeses, for sure. Maybe a traditional Greek sheep's milk cheese like Kafelograviera ($10). With a dollop of spicy Italian goodness like Mostarda Mediterranea ($25). Olives, grapes, salted nuts, dried figs, and dates will round out the cheese plate.
Now for cured meats from Spain: sliced jamón ibérico ($15) and a chorizo sampler ($24).
For booze, I'll serve sangria or ouzo-lemon spritzers in a hand-painted pitcher ($45).
I will start early and draw inspiration from great Mediterranean cookbooks like Moro: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark ($21) and The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert ($29).
I'll definitely invest in a Le Creuset tagine ($200) for a simple lamb or chicken tagine. (Here's a nice recipe with lemon and mint couscous.) And I'll slather harissa ($13) on a delicious bean salad.
Torrone with almonds and orange honey ($8) is a classic Sicilian treat. (We wrote about it on Popupla.) And although I love Turkish baklava, I'm terrified about making it. One day. Till then, baklava samplers ($40) will do.