Opa! 63rd annual Memphis Greek Festival offers a taste of Greek food, culture

Opa! If you love Greek food, you need to put the Memphis Greek Festival on your to-do list this weekend.

The festival is May 20-21 at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 573 N. Highland St.

The festival features a variety of Greek food options, including spanakopita (spinach pie), gyros, souvlakia (pork tenderloin), moussaka (eggplant casserole), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), marinated lamb chops, baklava and more than a dozen Greek pastries. Each dish is handmade with love by a small army of volunteers.

For 63 years, the congregation of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church has shared its love for the Greek Orthodox faith, heritage, food, music and culture with the people of the Mid-South through this annual two-day event.

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How hybrid plant varieties could address the challenges of food security and climate change

Variation in the occurrence of sexual organs in plants. Credit: Nature Plants (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41477-022-01142-w

Hybrid agricultural and horticultural crops can play an important role in supporting global food security. They produce higher yields and are often more resistant than non-hybrid varieties to diseases and climate stress. But for many crops, no hybrid varieties are available. Why is that?

Maize is a globally very important crop, and the use of hybrid varieties is routine. The first type was introduced as far back as 1930. But that hasn’t happened for other major crops such as wheat and cassava. Now, for the first time, a comprehensive study has been done of all the factors that determine whether commercial plant breeders can come up with a hybrid variety. Sometimes there are biological challenges. Often, economic factors come into play.

It’s a uniquely comprehensive survey, published in the journal Nature Plants. The authors

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‘All mothers care for their daughters’: A traditional Korean dish honors motherhood through children’s birthdays

Birthdays are about celebrating the arrival of a child, but in Korean tradition, one special dish made every birthday honors motherhood and the relationships between parents and their children. 

During my husband’s birthday weekend, his favorite foods are on the menu: baked mac n’ cheese and yellow cake with fudge frosting. Aaron chooses these every year, but I always make a small pot of miyeok guk — seaweed soup. 

Hannah Yang lifts a handful of seaweed.

Hannah Yang | MPR News

I wash and soak the dehydrated seaweed in cold water. As a kid, I always wondered how the green slimy things you find in the ocean transformed into these crinkly strands. Now, whenever I make it, the smells and the taste remind me of my Umma, my mom, making Korean food for me. 

It’s simple: mostly seaweed, with stew beef sauteed in sesame oil, soy sauce and garlic.

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