Pastitsio (see Greek Lasagne) is the Greek comfort food par excellence: a layered casserole of macaroni and ground beef, veal, or lamb with cinnamon-scented tomato sauce, topped with a creamy bechamel enriched with cheese. But it isn't as Greek as you might think. Unlike the seasonal dishes that are the foundation of Greek cuisine, pastitsio as we know it today is actually a French-influenced dish that first appeared in the early 20th century. It is the invention of Nikolaos Tselementes, the French-trained Greek chef who authored Greece's most popular cookbook of all time, Greek Cookery, first published in 1910. Tselementes's adaptations of traditional dishes—often radical, as he was introducing classical French technique to age-old recipes—fundamentally changed the taste of modern Greek food. He detested garlic and most spices, which he considered a hateful reminder of the Ottoman occupation, and he thought olive oil too heavy. Longing for the creamy sauces of France, he turned again and again to a bechamel of flour, butter, and milk, adding it to dishes like pastitsio and moussaka, the eggplant casserole. Many Greek home cooks in the early 1900s felt Tselementes's book was all a household needed to leave the provincial Eastern Mediterranean past behind and step into the glorious European 20th century.