Today’s post celebrated my one hundredth blog post on mezze and tapas! For some, that may not seem like much, but for me it is significant. I’m not sure I ever expected to get this far and still feel I had something to say.
So first — thank you to all the loyal readers who have been on this journey with me. I couldn’t have gotten here without you. You are the most enjoyable part of mezze and tapas. Grazie Mille. Ευχαριστώ πολύ. Mucho Gracias. Merci Beaucoup. Çok Tesekküler.
I started mezze and tapas to share my passion for Mediterranean foods. I love the cuisines of Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, Italy, and Greece. As a chef, when I explored those cuisines, I realized how much they had in common. But also how very different they were. I was — still am in fact — intrigued how a common set of ingredients can create such different delicious foods. It is the driving force of my passion in the kitchen.
I started with a threefold goal for mezze and tapas. My original goals were to educate about the foods of the Mediterranean. My second was to show people that good food didn’t have to be complicated. And my third goal was to have fun building a community of like minded foodies.
I believe I have achieved a measure of success in all three goals, but I also know there is much more that can be done on each of them. As a result, I am continually looking at new ways to share new recipes that make Mediterranean food exciting. I also continue to refine how to make it simple. And thank you to you for helping me build that community.
Over my time share with you, I have honed my view of Mediterranean foods such that I can sum it up in my tagline. Simple. Healthy. Delicious.
My favorite post here has been my interview with Ari DeMarco, the force behind Cantasole Olive Oil in Puglia Italy. Their is no single ingredient that more defines Mediterranean foods that Olive Oil. And to be able to have and share a connection with one of the world’s best producers has been a true highlight.
The most popular post on here is the Red Snapper Salad. Fifteen percent of new readers come to mezze and tapas through that recipe alone. Many have stayed and become loyal readers.
What is most interesting to me about that post is that it was a complete afterthought. I had created a post showing how to prepare a whole red snapper. When it was done, I had some left over meat I wasn’t sure what to do with. I created the salad from necessity, and it has turned into a hit! In many ways, that is the true essence of Mediterranean food. Use what you have handy and make something delicious with it.
Other Popular Posts — Plus a few duds
Other popular posts are the Sweet and Smoky Brussels Sprouts inspired by the flavors of Spain, the Turkish Inspired Tomato and Onion Salad, Croatian Manestra, and Braciole, Puglian Style. Spain, Turkey, Croatia, and Italy. A veritable tour around the Mediterranean. I am truly pleased to see such broad representation of the region in the top posts. I find it validating of the premise of the blog. That great food abounds thoughout the region, tied together by some common ingredients and seasoned with local specialties.
I’ve had a few duds along the way too. I don’t feel compelled to list them here. Suffice to say, its clear when I look at my stats that there are some things that haven’t gotten any traction. When that happen, I take a look at where I missed the mark, and aim for better the next time. Fortunately, there have been way more hits that misses.
The best part of mezze and tapas for me is of course getting to know you. The comments, emails and other engagements with you all gives me the energy to continue with enthusiasm! What started as a way to share what I know has really become a rewarding dialog between us. I appreciate all of you and your presence here.
Growth and what the future holds
My life has changed a lot since I began this blog. The Elegant Baker and I have moved from the Boston MA area to the Charleston, SC area. The kids have all finished college, and moved away, literally scattered to the four corners of the country. Of course, the entire Covid Pandemic wreaked all sorts of changes on our lives – family and jobs were all affected. In many ways, mezze and tapas helped me through all the changes. No matter what else has been going on, I’ve the work on mezze and tapas has been a welcomed constant. Well — except for that extended break while I focused on our move.
I came into writing the blog knowing about cooking, and knowing a bit about technology. As a ‘one man band’, I’ve had to learn a few more skills along the way. I’m a writer, editor, and photographer. I’ve had to learn about building websites, hosting, and graphic design. Food photography, social media, SEO, and email marketing are skills I struggle with. I learn something new every blog post — and not always just about the food. I have appreciated your patience, support and feedback throughout the process.
So what’s ahead for the next one hundred posts? Well — although there is no specific timing, I envision a website refresh to update the look and feel. There will be several new features unveiled here over the coming months that I truly hope will enhance your time here. And I have a bigger project I’m not ready to say to much about yet that I believe will add immensely to the mezze and tapas experience. Stay tune to learn more.
Finally, let me wrap up by saying once again a huge thank you to all of you. I hope to continue to earn the opportunity to share with you my passion for Mediterranean foods — Simple, Healthy and Delicious.