“What is this delicious vegetable?” I remember asking Dr B’s parents many years ago. I was sure I’d had it before, somewhere else. “Gollogassy” they chorused. Bappou (grandpa, aka Dr B’s father) told me how to grow it and warned of the care that has to be taken in preparation. Nobody knew an English translation. It was, I was told, a speciality of Cyprus.
I was pretty sure that whatever it was (sweet potato? no, not orange; yam? not quite; cassava? no, not the same) must also be an African and/or Caribbean staple since it was, apparently, freely available in Bristol which is not noted for its enormous Cypriot community.
The mystery remained unsolved until our trip to Cyprus. There I discovered that Cypriot Greek pronunciation differs from mainland or “standard” Greek (and also from the ancient Greek I endured for the minimum time possible at school). The letter kappa, for instance, sounds not like a k as in “kite” but roughly like the g in “gone”. So “gollogassy” is in fact “kolokasi”…
There’s plenty about Cypriot food and culture, as well as qB’s marvelous photographs.