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Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die Hardcover – October 14, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Award-winning author DIANE KOCHILAS divides her time between New York, Athens, and her family's ancestral island, Ikaria, where she and her husband, Vasilis Stenos, run the Glorious Greek Kitchen cooking school. She has written 18 books on Greek cuisine. Her latest book, The Country Cooking of Greece, was hailed by the Virtual Gourmet as her masterpiece and the Best Cookbook of 2012. She lives in Athens and New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (October 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1623362954
  • ISBN-13: 978-1623362959
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bundt Lust VINE VOICE on October 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As a vegetarian/pescetarian, Greek food has long appealed to me. Two of my favorite Greek cookbooks are The Greek Vegetarian: More Than 100 Recipes Inspired by the Traditional Dishes and Flavors of Greeceand Meze: Small Plates to Savor and Share from the Mediterranean Table, both by Greek-American cookbook author Diane Kochilas. Kochilas has written nearly 20 books on Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and is a collaborating chef at Molyvos in New York. Her cooking philosophy is rooted in the tenets of the Greek-Mediterranean Diet: keep it simple, respect seasonality, use ingredients that have integrity and are easy to find, eat lots of greens and vegetables, share, and finally, the golden rule - Nothing in Excess.

So I was super-excited to see that Kochilas had a new cookbook coming out that focuses on the cuisine of Ikaria, her ancestral homeland and the location of her cooking school Glorious Greek Kitchen. Kochilas has devoted her life to promoting the natural, healthy and delicious foods of Greece.. Her new book "Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die" chronicles the wisdom and food traditions of generations of Ikarians. More than just a collection of excellent recipes, this is a unique glimpse into an island where time seems to stand still and the worries and stresses of modern life melt away.

Ikaria is one of the world's Blue Zones, a place where inhabitants reach age 100 at rates 10 times greater than in the United States.
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Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a belated birthday gift from a friend. I started reading the front and couldn't put it down. It's rare that cookbooks are page-turners, but I learned so much about the culture, the way healthy people eat and live, and how their culture slightly differs from nearby Turkey and the Greece mainland. While there are a few ingredients that are not found in my part of the world, the writer offers up very suitable substitutes. I was also able to source some of the ingredients (such a tarama) from Amazon. I bought several ingredients and look forward to cooking with them this week. I already made one bean salad, which was fantastic. For those who want flavorful, healthy recipes, I recommend this book. A lot of the recipes are actually surprisingly simple.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book with many interesting recipes. I just read the whole book in less than 2 days. I could not put it down. For those that are interesting in the characteristics of the longevity diet of Ikaria, this is the best written account that I have found. This is more than just a cookbook, it has history and hints about the reason for longevity on Ikaria. I am really glad I bought this book and am thinking of buying more and giving them to others.
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Format: Hardcover
Complete with beautiful photos shot by her husband, Ikaria native Vassilis Stenos, plus beneficial nutritional information, “Ikaria” not only shows us how to cook like Ikarians, but how we can be more like them.

Diane explains the importance of meze – shared food – as well as some island wisdom on medicine, using greens and teas. She reveals the beauty and simplicity in each meal, each dish with complex flavors and a multitude of health benefits.

If eating like Ikarians doesn’t give us the same longevity, at the very least, exploring the world of Ikarian cuisine will make you healthier – and happier.

~ Maria A. Karamitsos - Associate Editor, The Greek Star newspaper
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an awesome storybook and cookbook about the healthy lives of the people of Ikaria, a tiny Greek island off the coast of Turkey. Fascinating to read of their lives and much to learn from their cooking! usable and healthy recipes.
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Finally, a book that references longevity as a whole-spirited thing instead of just eliminating fats, or carbs, or particular grains, etc. An absolute delight to read, not to mention the recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
3.5 stars

I love to cook, that's no secret. Since my dad's a chef, I grew up learning and appreciating all sorts of different types of cuisine. That being said, I will always have a soft spot for Greek cooking. It is my absolute favorite to eat, and I read as many cookbooks as I can on the subject. This book makes a pretty good addition to my collection.

What makes this book cool is the voice that it's written with. There's a lot of personal connections and stories that make the book more personal, which makes the recipes feel like they were handed to you by someone dear to you. There's also a lot of cool history and facts about what life in Ikaria is like, as well as tips and hints that are scattered throughout, and a bibliography at the end for more reading. You've got to love a book that encourages more reading.

The recipes are divided into sections: Small bites, salads, soups, savory pies and breads, vegetables as a main course, beans and legumes, pasta and rice, sea life, meat, and sweets. I like this style of organization, since it's easy to find the recipe that you're in the mood for.

The skill level for this book is really varied. Some of the recipes are really complex, with lots of ingredients and techniques and time management skills. Other dishes are much more simple, like roasted onions. I think that's good, because that makes it approachable to any cook, no matter of what their skill level in the kitchen is.

I am bummed that there's not many pictures, since I generally take that into large consideration when I'm buying a cookbook.

The steps are short and to the point, and they include variations to the recipes when applicable.
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