At Panokosmos we serve fruit with every breakfast, usually in the form of a fruit platter. Over the years these have become a bit of a trademark of ours. In Crete we get wonderful fruit, changing with the seasons.
There are always apples and pears, but in May/June we get apricots. Strawberries also appear now. Peaches follow, then nectarines – at the height of their season they are divine. About this time the vanillies – a sort of plum – arrives, beautifully dark skinned and superbly sweet. There are all sorts of melons, white, golden or green fleshed. Later on come figs – black and green – we have a little tree in the garden which produces masses of lovely fruit, sensuously fleshy and gloriously sweet. Local kiwis, both green and golden are available much of the summer – we love the ones from the Rethymnon area, which seem to have a particular combination of sweet and sharp tastes. We add pineapples and coconut from afar!
I love playing with the colours and shapes of the fruit – the platter is like a sort of canvas, with the fruit providing the painting palette. Every day is different, and I never know what shape is going to come out when I start. It may be the colour of the fruit, or a particular section, or an arrangement that starts it off. Sometimes symmetrical, sometimes random. We had a film session cellist staying with us and I created successive platters for him representing atonal and harmony!
One consistent theme is the green garnish. I go out into our garden in search of a sprig of green – it can be mint, I try to get one in flower, we have a beautifully scented verbena (called louisa by the Greeks), I’ve used nasturtium flower, and sometimes the young delicate shoots from our vines. As a holiday alternative I’ll make a parasol from the end of a plum or a lime.
Our breakfasts are different every day, and we serve them in different parts of the garden which gives our guests new views and perspectives of our surroundings. Both the breakfast courses and the location are a surprise. One of our guests was a keen birdwatcher, and usually could spot us with his binoculars from the rooftop apartment setting up in the garden, but for most it is a surprise!
As is the fruit platter! Come to Panokosmos to try it out for yourself!