And the research begins.

I have received thousands of emails from people wondering how my potato research is coming along. So, let’s recap: So far I have tested and evaluated 51 different flavors of potato chips (see ratings below). They are rated on a simple 1-10 scale. I picked up 3 new flavors last night at the grocery store and will start tesing them tomorrow.

The Potato Chips of Cyprus: An Exhaustive Study:

  • Argentinean Steak — ***** (5)
  • Baked Lays with Mediterranean Herbs — *****(5)
  • Barbecue — ******** (8)
  • Brazilian Mango and Chile — **** (4)
  • Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Cheese and Onion — *** (3)
  • English Cheese on Toast — ***** (6)
  •  Frit Ravich Onduladas Jamon Chips (Ham Flavoured) – ** (2)
  • Frit Ravich Mediterraneo Chips – **(2)
  • Goldies Bacon Extreme. Bacon – *(1)
  • Goldies Extreme – *****(5)
  • Greek Salsa — **** (4)
  • Handy Snacks Cyprus Potato Chips Vinegar and Oregano – *** (3)
  • Lay’s Baked Barbecue potato chips – ***** (5)
  • Lay’s Cream Cheese and Bacon – ******(6)
  • Lays Greek Salad Flavor – ****(4)
  • Lay’s Heinz Ketchup flavored – **(2)
  • Lay’s Pesto and Mozzarella with Cool Effect – ******(6)
  • Lay’s Scoops Chili Flavoured – ***(3)
  • Lays Cider Vinegar – **** (4)
  • Lays Lasagna Flavored chips – ****** (6)
  • Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Chicken Wing Flavour – ** (2)
  • Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Salt & Vinegar Flavour chips – ******* (7)
  • Lays Mozzarella and Pesto flavored — ******** (8)
  • Lays Mushrooms in Cream – ***(3)
  • Lays Sensations – Japanese Teriyaki – *****(5)
  • Lays Smokey Bacon – ****(4)
  • Lays Sour Cream and Black Pepper – ****(4)
  • Mama’s sundried tomato and basil chips -***(3)
  • Mediterranean Herb — ****** (6)
  • Mexican Peppers and Cream — ******** (8)
  • Oregano — ******** (8)
  • Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme — **** (4)
  • Prawn Cocktail — ********** (10)
  • Pringles Texas BBQ Sauce – ******(6)
  • Quavers with Cheese — ******* (7)
  • Replay’s Cheese flavored chips – ********(8)
  • Replay’s Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips – *(1)
  • Replay’s Terra Bites – **(2)
  • Salt and Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Thai Sweet Chile — ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Bacon and Cheese Flavoured Chips – * (1)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Florina Peppers Flavor – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Graviera Cheese Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Ketchup and Mustard – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Mytilene Sea Salt Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Oregano – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Vinegar Flavour – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Santorini Tomato Flavor – ******** (8)
  • Tsakiris Chips Sweet Barbeque – **** (4).
  • Tzatziki — * (1)

RSM

Posted in Food and Drink | Leave a comment

Back in Cyprus

flowersSo, another field season has arrived. Bill and I arrived in Cyprus yesterday afternoon. It was an interesting trip over. I upgraded my ticket to include priority boarding since I always seem to be in the last group to board. I have to admit that in Pittsburgh I did not feel it was worth it since when they called for priority (group 4) boarding, about 80% of the people got in line. It was a bit better in Philadelphia where fewer people were in the priority boarding group. This was balanced by the elderly Greek couple sitting next to me since it turned out that they could only speak to each other by shouting at each other, or so it felt like while I was trying to sleep.

I was stunned by the difference in the Athens Airport. It had a brand new passport control area and they moved everyone through it very efficiently. I was impressed. When I have time to kill in the Athens Airport I usually go upstairs and sit in the McDonalds and watch the planes come and go. When I headed that way, I was stunned to notice that the McDonalds had become a Burger King. I have to admit that I did not find it as good as the McDonalds.

Anyway, I met up with Bill in Athens. Despite the fact that his plane left New York City an hour after my plane left Philadelphia, he beat me to baggage claim. We arrived in Cyprus about 3:00 PM and picked up my rental car. The woman who always rents me my car (I have been renting from them for 14 years), asked me if this was my first time in Cyprus. It is actually my 22nd field season in Cyprus if my math is right. After a little confusion over finding my car reservation we headed out to Polis. When we arrived at our hotel, we had a little more confusion over finding our reservation. While we were waiting for it to be sorted out, the gentleman checking us in asked if this was out first trip to Cyprus. This is our 10th year of staying in the same hotel and the guy checking us in has talked to us during our last two seasons. Weird. Anyway, we checked in, went to the grocery store, and then went out to dinner at Yiolos’ which has a nice view of the sunset.

sunset

RSM

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last week of work

img_2618.jpgSo today starts the last week of work for me on Cyprus. It has been a busy last few days. I’ve done a couple of days of pottery washing of the sherds Brandon and Tom have been recovering from their work on Vigla. All Hellenistic, no Roman, so some different pottery to look at. Out on Vigla a fairly large hole has been dug since the expected bottom of wall and bedrock failed to materialize where expected. The trench is at least 9 feet deep at the south end and has uncovered a large mud brick wall and very little pottery.

img_2696.jpgTomorrow I am driving to Polis to store stuff there for next year and also give Nancy a ride to the airport. This will give us a chance to talk about future work at Polis and make some plans IMG_2694for the next few years – both about work and about publication plans. On Wednesday (and maybe Thursday) I am going to go back to Kourion to see if I can find the pottery Michael asked me to look over. On Friday, I am hoping to go up to Athienou and  visit Nick, so it is a busy week of driving around the island. Saturday morning early is when I am flying back to the States, so the days are rapidly counting down on my 2018 Cyprus work.

IMG_2697

Last night we went out to dinner at the Maqam Al Sultan, a Lebanese restaurant on the waterfront. We go there every year, and every year the food is fantastic – at least in my view, there are a few too many vegetable dishes for Brandon. I even broke down and made a reservation for the group, which I usually do not do,  but since there were seven of us, I figured it was best to be organized about the dinner. We were seven because Dallas, a former PKAP staff member was in town and joined us for the meal. For dinner we ordered the Grand Meze which is a lot of food, but a lot of very good food. The meal included:

  • Tabbouleh -Parsley salad with tomato, crushed wheat, onion, fresh mint, lemon juice and olive oil dressing
  • Fattoush – Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onion, radish, pomegranate seeds and toasted pieces of Lebanese bread, served with Al-Sultan sauce dressing
  • Hummus – Chickpea puree with sesame paste (Tahini) and lemon juice
  • Falafel – deep-fried balls made from ground chickpeas and broad beans, mixed with fine herbs and spices, served with tahini sauce
  • Warak Inab B’zeit – Grape leaves filled with rice, tomato, parsley, mint and onion,
    cooked in olive oil with lemon juice
  • Moutabal Baba Ghanouj – Grilled aubergine puree mixed with sesame paste (Tahini) and lemon juice
  • Shankleesh – Strained yogurt, oregano and dry spices, topped with fresh tomato, onion and olive oil
  • Muhammara – Grilled sweet red pepper, crushed walnuts, olive oil, paprika and Lebanese herbs
  • Batata Harra – Mildly spiced cubes of potatoes, sauteed in olive oil with garlic, coriander and sweet red pepper
  • Falafel Kibbeh Makliyeh – deep-fried traditional Lebanese lamb meat balls filled
    with sauteed minced lamb and beef, onion and pine nuts
  • Sambousek Lahme – deep-fried Lebanese pastries filled with minced lamb and beef and onion
  • Sambousek Jibne – deep-fried Lebanese pastries filled with anari, halloumi and feta cheese
  • Kafta Meshwi – skewers of charcoal-grilled seasoned minced lamb and beef mixed with onion and parsley
  • Fatayer Spinach – deep-fried Lebanese pastries filled with spinach, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, tomato and sumac
  • Shish Taouk – charcoal-grilled boneless chicken thighs, marinated in Al-Sultan sauce
  • and Chicken Wings

RSM

Posted in Archaeology, ceramics, Cyprus, Food and Drink, Kourion, Larnaka, Polis, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Now in Larnaka

So, it has been a few days since my last post. I finished up my work in Polis and have now moved over to Larnaka, where I will be until the 9th. Brandon and Tom L. are excavating a small sounding up on Vigla and I am helping out as needed. I will be making another trip to Polis early next week followed by another trip to Kourion, so my time looks to be pretty busy.

IMG_2615

IMG_2617

Larnaka looks pretty much the same, Kataklysmos is winding down, but there are still lots of people walking around and I expect this weekend to be pretty busy. The hotel we stay at in Larnaka is undergoing a substantial remodel (both inside and outside), and I expect that when we show up next year the cost of staying here will be much higher. If it goes up too much, we will need to find another place to stay.

Since it is National Doughnut Day, I started my day out with a vanilla glazed doughnut,IMG_2616 and that was a great choice since the doughnut was still warm and fresh. We weren’t able to go out to the site today because of activities occurring on the base, so I stayed at the hotel and did some writing. For lunch, Brandon and I went to my favorite souvlaki stand on the island and had a great pork souvlaki sandwich. Looks pretty cloudy outside, but I doubt it will rain. Not much else to say, it has been a quiet day.

img_2583-e1527777185335.jpgFinally, another potato chip review. Today I tried Lay’s Pesto and Mozzarella with Cool Effect. I have tried other chips that were pesto flavored before, but these are supposed to have a COOL effect. I have no idea what that means and was excited to try these out. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I did not notice the cool effect, nor could I taste the mozzarella flavor. The only thing I could taste was the pesto, which was pretty good, but then again I like pesto. The chips had a nice crunch, and there was no strange aftertaste, so as pesto chips they are good. As mozzarella and pesto, not so much. And where was the COOL effect?  Since I am reviewing the chips based on how much I like the taste, not how accurate the name is, I am giving these chips a – ******(6).

RSM

Posted in Archaeology, Cyprus, Food and Drink, Larnaka, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Catching Up

The last few days have been fairly busy and so I haven’t had a chance to post. On Friday, I went back to Kourion and looked at some more pottery there. It didn’t go as well as planned. I had some trouble locating what I needed to be looking at, and after a few phone calls to people in other countries, I gave up for the day. Since Bill had come with me to help, and I felt bad for wasting his time in a way, he suggested we stop at Agios Georgios and have lunch at this nice seafood restaurant overlooking Coral Bay – a relaxing view, and great grilled octopus. The problem with the suggestion is that for some reason I have the hardest time driving through Polis from Lemesos and heading to Pegeia where the restaurant is located – I can get there with no problem starting from Polis, and I can get there if I start at the mosaics in Paphos. So, as you can expect, I got lost in Paphos. We saw one sign for Pegeia which we followed, and then no further directions. I wound up going down to the water, and then managed to work my way back to basically where we had started. Then Bill suggested we follow the white car in front of us when they turned to the left, which is the general direction we needed to head. After 10 minutes of driving, I noticed that had we wound up right where we had started, we had driven in a complete circle. After a good half hour of driving through various neighborhoods, we actually found the correct road and were soon at Agios Georgios – and the view and meal was worth it.

IMG_2563

We took the back route from Pegeia to Polis and spent the afternoon taking care of odds and ends. For dinner we went to Fly Again, an Irish pub and grill located one village over in Argaka– a place we go to get pizza and watch the sunset. It was pretty crowded, but it was Friday night. The pizza was good and the sunset was very picturesque.

IMG_2565

img_2570-e1526796188871.jpgOn Saturday we went back to the apotheke in Polis and I worked on cataloging and illustrating a collection of artifacts for our work on EF1 – a small site that has turned out to be pretty interesting to analyze. For dinner, we went to what is my favorite restaurant on the island – The Old Time Restaurant. We always mean to get a reservation, but then forget and when we show up and they ask us if we have a reservation and we have to say no, I fell bad. I always feelimg_2572.jpg like they are disappointed in us for not securing a reservation. Even though the restaurant was packed, they were able to work us in after about a twenty minute wait. I was able to convince Bill to order the Old Town Gourmet Meze – which came with dips, bread, salad, halloumi with fig sauce, duck spring rolls, partridge ravioli, crispy potatoes, lamb, and duck. Everyone of the dishes was done just right – it was fabulous. A very good meal to end the day on…even though I stopped for ice cream on the way back to the hotel.

IMG_2576

RSM

Posted in ceramics, Cyprus, Drawing, Food and Drink, Kourion, Paphos, Polis | Leave a comment

Trip to See Pottery at Kourion

IMG_2554.jpg

So Bill and I got up early this morning and drove down to Kourion. I had been asked to take a look at some Roman pottery that had been excavated a while back and is now moving into publication stage. It was actually a fairly quick and pleasant trip down, and just like the Larnaka and Polis Museums, the staff there was super helpful and super nice. The view of Akrotiri from the museum was fantastic. IMG_2558_thumb.jpgUnfortunately, there was more material and we had a couple start and stop moments as we began, so we got about halfway through the material we had hoped to process today. We will be going back tomorrow to finish it up, and then I will go back in early June to do some cataloging of the more interesting pieces. Since we felt like we were a bit behind, we worked through lunch and didn’t eat until the museum closed at 3:30. We did stop at a nice cafe underneath the site of Kourion right at the water’s edge and had some Calamari and fries. The trip back to Polis was not as fast or relaxing as the trip down this morning since there was a lot of traffic, and it was very slow on the hilly stretches between Paphos and Polis. But, it is what it is.

For today’s potato chip review, I chose Replay’sIMG_2552 Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips and after the pleasant experience of their Cheese Flavored Potato Chips, I was hoping for a repeat experience, despite never really trying a ketchup flavor chip that I really liked. As expected, I did not like them, and after tricking Bill and Amy into trying them, they agreed that they did not like them either. Just as their Cheese Flavored Chips were very strong, the ketchup flavor was also very strong, and unfortunately was all I could taste when eating a chip. It really was a bit overwhelming. So, I give them a – *(1).

RSM

Posted in Cyprus, Food and Drink, Kourion | Leave a comment

Typical Day at Polis

Today (Tuesday) was a typical day here in Polis. We got up and headed out to the apotheke. We finished up looking at various excavation units that we wanted to check on and I turned to cataloging items for publication. I am always surprised at how, once I start cataloging and drawing artifacts, quickly time passes. So, not much to report on the archaeology front. Bill finally made his Franco Harris Matrix joke, so waiting on that is over.

Last evening group members from another project in the area started showing up, as well as another member of our team, so our hotel is becoming a little more crowded. The rumor is that the other project will have 16 more students showing up next week, so it will be a lot more crowded. My obvious selfish concern is how this might impact internet bandwidth in the hotel.

IMG_2540As for chips, the potato chips I decided to review are Replay’s Cheese flavored chips. Replay is a newer player in the snacks world, they seem to have begun producing snack foods in 2016. I was a bit apprehensive after my unhappiness with their Terra Bites, but this concern was unfounded. The Cheese chips were very cheesy, in fact it was surprising how strong the cheese flavor was. It was not a cheddar flavor, but a milder taste like a Romano or very young Parmesan. The crunch was nice, and all the chips were coated with the cheese flavoring. I am giving them a – *******(8).

RSM  

Posted in ceramics, Cyprus, Drawing, Food and Drink | Leave a comment

Monday at the Apotheke

Today was a typical work day at the apotheke. It was a little hotter today, the temperature has climbed into the low 80s. We actually finished going through the pottery and have moved onto cataloguing some artifacts for the write-up of the area. We plan to continue the cataloguing tomorrow at the apotheke and then work on some artifacts stored at the Polis Museum on Wednesday. The one unusual thing of the day DdIwZvhW0AAjK3Cwas when I moved my Microsoft Surface over to look up some pottery forms, Bill pushed some sherds under the stand and took a picture of it (see below) that he tweeted out as a “sub-surface assemblage of pottery” an archaeology joke. He was very excited about doing that, and kept checking his twitter feed to see if people had liked or retweeted the tweet. At 3:00 he informed me that it was “blowing up” on twitter since he now had 14 likes and one retweet.

For dinner we went back to Yialos for another fantastic sunset and a really good pork souvlaki pita. The music was a little different tonite, it is usually typical Cypriot restaurant music, and it started out that way, but then there was Abba’s Dancing Queen and Mama Mia, followed by the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive. Flashback to the 1970s and a reminder that I am old.

IMG_2524.jpg

For my potato chip review – I chose Replay’s Terra Bites. The look like Sun Chips, which I like and IMG_2535.jpgis probably why I chose them. They had a nice shape, and a nice crunch – and are oven baked. They, unfortunately, did not have any real flavor to them – either positively or negatively. The flavor I took away from them was crunch – which isn’t a flavor. I had Bill try them and he agreed that in our opinion they were very bland, much like a plain cracker. I am going to have to give them a – **(2). I have some other Replay flavors to try, and hope they will be a bit more flavorful.

RSM

Posted in Cyprus, Food and Drink, Polis, Weather | Leave a comment

Quiet Sunday

It has been a quiet Sunday in Polis since we cannot visit the apotheke. Basically some reading, some research, a little email, some sleeping, and a little Formula One watching. So, a few odds and ends. First, congrats to Cyprus and Eleni Foureira for finishing second in Eurovision last night with Fuego.

IMG_2536Second, a potato chip review – the first of the season. Today’s chip is Pringles Texas BBQ Sauce chips. I was expecting them to taste the same as barbeque flavored Pringles, but not quite. The BBQ flavor was very strong and much sweeter than other barbeque flavored chips on the island. While I am a big barbeque fan, I thought the sweetness distracted from the flavor, or perhaps overwhelmed it is a better way to describe my thoughts. The chips had a nice crunch and weren’t bad – I would give them a – ******(6).

Finally, Happy Mother’s Day to my mom!

RSM

Posted in Cyprus, Food and Drink, Music, Polis | Leave a comment

First Day at the Apotheke in Polis

So today was our first real day back at work in the apotheke. We first went by the grocery to buy some snacks so we would not have to stop working for lunch. After we picked up the keys and unlocked the place, we spent some time opening up windows to air out the place, and doing a little cleaning. Saw lots of  spiders and walked into a fair number of spider webs. Did not see any rats, but there was one curious mouse who kept wandering out into the opening, at least until a cat walked by.

IMG_2538

Soon it was time for the first box of pottery of the season. For my music, which is critical to proper pottery reading, I started the season off with Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas since I have become hooked on Supernatural, and then followed it up with Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard. I chose this because I saw a new video the band posted for the song with all of the lyrics. Despite the fact that the song is well-known for people not knowing the correct lyrics, I always felt I had most of them correct – after watching this video, I learned that I was incorrect and was singing some wildly inaccurate lyrics.

We were not reading any new pottery today, we were going back and reexamining some areas in EF1 to see if we could refine any of my earlier readings. I always hate doing this because I feel like I have to defend the accuracy of my earlier work. Bill doesn’t help matters because he says things like, “Well, in that pass you CLAIMED that there was….” Anyway, I felt like we accomplished a fair bit today and made some good progress. For those that know Bill, you know that he likes to use the same jokes over and over and over again. If I had bet on it, I would have though the first recycled joke would have been his Franco Harris Matrix joke, but it actually was a variation on his how do you date a church joke re-purposed as how do you date Cypriot Red Slip. This was followed by a Rashard Mending hole joke. So, everything is the same in Polis, even the jokes.

IMG_2539

Finally, I have received some questions on my potato chip research which has been going on for a few years. Richard has questioned whether I can find any new flavors to test and suggested branching out into other snack food groups. I am a bit of a purist on the subject and will be sticking to potato chips, and in fact found five new flavors at the store. Before reviewing them, I thought it was important to recap the 46 varieties I have sampled so far. They are summarized below.

The Potato Chips of Cyprus: An Exhaustive Study:

  • Argentinean Steak — ***** (5)
  • Baked Lays with Mediterranean Herbs — *****(5)
  • Barbecue — ******** (8)
  • Brazilian Mango and Chile — **** (4)
  • Caramelized Onion and Balsamic Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Cheese and Onion — *** (3)
  • English Cheese on Toast — ***** (6)
  •  Frit Ravich Onduladas Jamon Chips (Ham Flavoured) – ** (2)
  • Frit Ravich Mediterraneo Chips – **(2)
  • Goldies Bacon Extreme. Bacon – *(1)
  • Goldies Extreme – *****(5)
  • Greek Salsa — **** (4)
  • Handy Snacks Cyprus Potato Chips Vinegar and Oregano – *** (3)
  • Lay’s Baked Barbecue potato chips – ***** (5)
  • Lay’s Cream Cheese and Bacon – ******(6)
  • Lays Greek Salad Flavor – ****(4)
  • Lay’s Heinz Ketchup flavored – **(2)
  • Lay’s Scoops Chili Flavoured – ***(3)
  • Lays Cider Vinegar – **** (4)
  • Lays Lasagna Flavored chips – ****** (6)
  • Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Chicken Wing Flavour – ** (2)
  • Lays Maxx Deep Ridged Salt & Vinegar Flavour chips – ******* (7)
  • Lays Mozzarella and Pesto flavored — ******** (8)
  • Lays Mushrooms in Cream – ***(3)
  • Lays Sensations – Japanese Teriyaki – *****(5)
  • Lays Smokey Bacon – ****(4)
  • Lays Sour Cream and Black Pepper – ****(4)
  • Mama’s sundried tomato and basil chips -***(3)
  • Mediterranean Herb — ****** (6)
  • Mexican Peppers and Cream — ******** (8)
  • Oregano — ******** (8)
  • Oven Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Thyme — **** (4)
  • Prawn Cocktail — ********** (10)
  • Quavers with Cheese — ******* (7)
  • Salt and Vinegar — ******* (7)
  • Thai Sweet Chile — ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Bacon and Cheese Flavoured Chips – * (1)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Florina Peppers Flavor – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Graviera Cheese Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Ketchup and Mustard – ** (2)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Mytilene Sea Salt Flavour – ******* (7)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Oregano – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Vinegar Flavour – ****** (6)
  • Tsakiris Chips with Santorini Tomato Flavor – ******** (8)
  • Tsakiris Chips Sweet Barbeque – **** (4).
  • Tzatziki — * (1)

RSM

Posted in Archaeology, ceramics, Cypriot Red Slip, Cyprus, Food and Drink, Misc., Music, Polis, Uncategorized | Leave a comment