Bringing the finest Mediterranean herbs to the cities, straight from where they grow (and taste) better.
The video that follows was filmed by my friend Theo and Nikos did the sound. They had to suffer under the Athenian sun for many hours because of my “complicated relationship” with cameras. This video explains our work quite clearly.
The Mediterranean basin is home to a large variety of aromatic plants but the finest ranges rarely cross the narrow borders of their native lands. Daphnis and Chloe wants to make this goodness available for every cook and bring genuine, dried culinary herbs to the cities. This campaign will help us fund the production of our next batch.
The Story Behind:
I grew up in a small town in Greece. In that town, part of our food came to us straight from our friends and family in the nearby countryside. Our yearly supply of sage, mountain tea and oregano came from an old lady who made her living gathering herbs on Mount Oeta. Then one day I moved abroad to a big city and I realized how hard it is to find natural seasonings when you're living far from their place of origin.
I don’t know how many times those dried herbs have travelled in my suitcase, but it wasn't until a friend pointed out how different they tasted that I thought: Why aren't there any companies that take culinary herbs seriously? Most products that one finds in shops are intensively produced, industrially processed plants with vague fragrance and taste. I began to study the industry, contact producers and consult researchers who have dedicated their lives into studying the herbs of my native country. Reading. Travelling. Tasting.
Where We Are:
I have spent the last two years tracing a viable way to bring Greek culinary herbs to the cities. The permissions, the suppliers, the packaging… everything is ready. We even produced a small, first batch of our range and found a tiny warehouse in a quiet street under the Acropolis in Athens. A handful of well-respected grocers are eagerly to curry our first produce.
Now we need to reach the production minimums for our first sizable batch of herbs that will hit stores in September.
Since our selection is totally natural, it becomes available once a year. Our suppliers only have a few weeks while plants are at their peak, for collecting an entire year’s produce. We need to preorder our yearly supply before they start collecting. We also need to preorder our packaging in a quantity that will allow us to cut down the production costs. Our customers will benefit from that!
We have selected the initial varieties for Daphnis and Chloe according to the areas where each plant naturally performs better, from suppliers who put quality above quantity and nature above personal interest.
The main range of Daphnis and Chloe includes four Mediterranean basics: OREGANO from Mount Taygetus, SAGE from a tiny village in the Epirus region named Faskomilia (which means Sage in Greek!), THYME flowers cut one by one from all over the Ionian coast, and the brightest BAY LEAVES that come from a little farm in Cephalonia.
Why Greek Herbs?
Greece is a country with an impressive biodiversity: Nearly 20% of the plants that grow there are endemic, which means you cannot find them anywhere else in the world! Moreover, Greece is where some of the highest quality cooking herbs of the Mediterranean prefer to grow. Researches say that Greek oregano can contain up to 30 times more essential oils (a parameter that defines its quality) than the ones typically found on the market. A similar thing happens with Greek sage (salvia fruticosa). On the other hand the thyme used in our islands, belongs to the scarcely commercialized capitatus variety, which has a more complex smell and taste that the common thymus vulgaris.
The small gatherers and farmers who usually make the finest varieties available, don't have the means to make their products be seen on a larger scale, and thus only operate on local levels. If Greece is where some of the finest herbs of the Mediterranean prefer to grow, then why not make a company that brings those farmers together, providing this pure goodness to city cooks?
Our recipe postcards - A limited edition produced exclusively for our Kickstarter supporters. Each postcard contains a different recipe and is decorated with watercolours inspired by it. Our postcards will be printed on a beautiful cotton fiber paper: if you don’t want to post them, you can always frame them!
Our herbal recipe booklet - 32 pages of cooking tips, anecdotes and the recipes that I have discovered or invented during the last two adventurous years of Daphnis and Chloe research. The booklet will be produced in downtown Athens with the antique Heidelberg printer of our trusted typographer, Mr. Antonis.
Our lovely herbs! - Sage, Thyme, Oregano and Bay Leaves. Each plant was sourced from where in naturally grows better. All our herbs are gathered by hand, dried naturally and packed in a fully recyclable Daphnis and Chloe bag. We have even included a leaflet full of cooking tips, so that you can start practicing straight away!
Our gourmet selection – During our herb trips we often come across amazing local products: olives, figs, sesame treats, honey, salt, pickled herbs… There’s a bunch in our list! We usually take those finds home and taste them with our friends. You see, we have secret plans about including some of them to our catalogue. You could be among the first testers of this special range! Everything comes from our trusted suppliers across Greece and in most cases those products are available in limited quantities...
Our private dinner – Good herbs can make your food taste better. They pair well with hundreds of ingredients and they are good for your health. We have prepared a seasonal menu (full of hard to find Greek delicacies) for you and for three of your friends. We’ll be happy to come and cook it at your place. We’ll bring the ingredients and help you choose the liquors. If you want, we'll also show you our tricks and tips so that next time you can repeat the recipes by yourself! If you have any questions you can write us an email: email@example.com
Our herbal tea - The folklore tradition of Greece is soaked with herbal rituals and zestful eats: time ago we discovered an ancient Cretan elixir handed down through a dialectic poem. It contains 40 different herbs and it’s delicious, but some of the components are extremely hard to find. Before including it to our range, we need to do more research. The ambassador of this blend will receive a special mention on the packaging plus a yearly supply of the blend. If you have any questions you can write us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daphnis and Chloe would have never happened without the sincere support, advice, expertise and love of my friends: Omar, Aspasia, Eleni, Dimitra, Adrianna, Marcela, Theo, Stezo, Victor, Meletis, Robbie, Daren, Panayiotis, Ion, Yiannis, Oscar… Thank you guys!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
2012 has been a very didactic year for Daphnis and Chloe. We have sorted out many common start-up problems. As long as we achieve our Kickstarter goal, we'll be able to deliver what we promised. Regarding our gourmet selection, if the demand is really high we might have to substitute a couple of goods with others that are equally special. All has been done to avoid any potential risks in delivering on time. In any case we'll always keep you up to date!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.