Spinach pie and baklava (Photo: Steven Depolo/Flickr)
Too often, when someone cooks more food than the household can eat, the leftovers go to waste. After all, it's not as if you can just give that extra food to other people in the neighbourhood.
A website in Greece is trying to change that — but instead of giving away leftovers, Cookisto lets people sell it to their neighbours.
The site is an online community of amateur cooks and assorted hungry city dwellers, the BBC reports, and it seems to be catching on: in the last few months, 12,000 Athens-based cooks have joined Cookisto. It all started as a master's thesis for entrepreneurship student Michalis Gkontas, but it's been successful enough that there are plans to expand into London, U.K. next month.
"It's a win-win situation," Gkontas, 26, told the BBC. "The cooks get to earn a little extra, while foodies get nutritious home-cooked dishes for cheaper than if they were to get a takeaway" (that's "takeout" to us North Americans).
It's not too surprising that the site was created in Greece, a country facing 27.9 per cent unemployment as of this June. For Gkontas, creating a start-up company is a good way to earn money in a challenging economy; for site members, the money they earn selling leftovers helps keep them solvent.
But for some, it's about more than money. One of the site's members, "Cookista" Marilena Zachou, says "I feel we are all pulling together in the crisis. Many students are struggling to make ends meet ... It's nice I can provide them with food their mothers would cook and for very little."
At the moment, a home-cooked meal from Cookisto costs between $4 and $6. Although the site can't guarantee the cleanliness of the kitchen or the quality of the ingredients in its members' food, it does encourage users to post honest, specific reviews.
What do you think? If Cookisto or a similar service ever came to Canada, what dishes would you be willing buy from a neighbour? And what dishes would you like to cook for them?