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Something about the word “intestines” can be off-putting to Western sensibilities. And it’s a shame, because the word covers many of the most interesting and certainly the tastiest dishes around. Kokoretsi is well known from Cyprus and Greece as far east as Bulgaria as a dish in which a suckling lamb’s intestines are wrapped around seasoned offal and then grilled, usually on a skewer. The offal may include sweetbreads, heart, and kidneys, and the results are simply delicious.

This is a dish (and a name) that go back a very long way. It is first heard of and depicted on pottery as a sacrifice to the Greek gods of ancient days, with grilling taking place on the altar. Clearly there came a time when our forefathers decided that kokoretsi was too good for the gods to have to themselves, and they would have to share.

The offal and a little of the fat are cleaned before being cut into pieces, seasoned (lightly – offal does not need a lot of additional taste) with the Cypriot standbys of olive oil, lemon juice and garlic as well as pepper, salt and oregano, and then skewered and packed into the intestine which has also been washed and rubbed with salt and lemon juice. The “sausage” thus formed is up to two feet long and up to three inches wide and is basted with a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice while being grilled.

That describes what we do. What should you do, once the kokoretsi are in your hands? You have a number of choices. Heat it, chop it or slice it and serve it on a plate with quartered lemons to be squeezed over it. Or, you could serve it on a pita or other flatbread. It’s particularly good in a baguette split down the middle, and this gives you the opportunity to add pickles, red peppers, tomatoes, flat-leaved parsley, lettuce leaves, chopped cucumber, tzatziki, hummus – really, what you will. Pickled vegetables make a good accompaniment. Wash it down with a strong wine.

With any luck, your first encounter with kokoretsi will end any concern you may have over intestines. And, by the way, if you were eating this in a restaurant in Greece or Cyprus, and watching it being prepared before serving, the liquid you would see being used for basting would be a mixture of olive oil, lemon and oregano. We call this mixture ladolemono, it’s very easy to make yourself, and perfect for basting any time you’re roasting or grilling a young lamb.

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968