Saturday, May 7, 2016

Wooden utensils abound in Greece still

Even though Greek kitchens tend to be quite modern, you can still find excellent wooden utensils -- some made from olive trees!

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Friday, May 6, 2016

Karamanlidika tou Fani!

Finally made it t‎o Karamanlidika tou Fani, the #4 restaurant in Athens according to Trip Advisor -- an amazing deli with tables near the Central Market. The specialties are dried meats from the Drama area (in the Byzantine/ Cappadocian traditions) -- especially pastourma (a favorite of mine), which is dried beef covered in a spice mixture that is very garlicky. They start you off with a complimentary dose of their pastrami and Naxos kaseri. And at the end a treat of yoghurt and sweetened carrots. My main -- only 6.5 EU -- was a saganaki of pastourma, sausage, eggs, tomatoes and cheese. Double opa!

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Staff of Life!

This is a "Village Salad" -- oops, ‎someone took a bite out of the feta! 

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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Traditional "magheiritsa" soup!

This soup with meat/intestines‎ and plenty of egg/lemon sauce is served after midnight services on Easter morning to celebrate "Hristos Anesti" (Christ Is Risen) and to break the fast (during Holy Week or for 40 days, depending..). Made by Kyria Hrisoula at the Trocadero Restaurant in Kyparissi, Lakonias. ‎Hronia‎ polla!

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Breakfast at the Paraliako Hotel in Kyparissi, Lakonias, my Papou's horio!

I'm really in trouble now! Almost everything made by Stella and her sister Foula, Including special local bread "propira" bread, olive tapenade, spinach pies, and every kind of sweet you can think of.  Stella's husband is a beekeeper, thus the honey. And Foula's husband is a winemaker in Monemvasia. Hard to get to this small, gorgeous village, so they have basically become self-sufficient and cost-effective...opa!

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Awesome Holy Week Lenten Meal!

Fasting during Holy Week ...chance to eat great vegetarian dishes like "fasouladha" (bean soup) and artichokes a la polita‎ -- two of my all-time favorites, by one of my favorite "fagathika" restaurants here in Sparti. Lambros is run by 2 brothers, whose father started the small, no-frills restaurant 53 years ago...real, cooked (not "tis oras" like souvlakia) Greek food for cheap. It's down in a basement along the main drag, but not appreciated much by young people. I'm going to put it on Trip Advisor!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

To roast, or not to roast a lamb on Easter!

On my way from Koroni to Kalamata, and overhearing a conversation between 3 elderly gentlemen -- will they roast a lamb at home on Sunday for Easter? 
One reports that he has heard that "a lot of dust will come from Africa over the weekend" -- not uncommon here in Greece, and clearly more relevant here in the Peloponessos.‎ And definitely not conducive to outdoor cooking that takes many hours turning a spit by hand, though many people have barbques with spits turned by DEH (the electric company). Why not just take a piece of lamb to one of the village fournos (bakeries)?
Another laments the guest list issue. His son won't come to the village. And his son-in-law has nixed a visit -- going to his side of the family (or just doesn't have the money to bring the family from Athens)? Yeah, pipes up Traveler #3: You need to have at least 10 people to justify roasting a lamb these days.

So consensus seems to have formed around using the local forno for a specific, needed quantity...or, perhaps, visiting a neighbor who has roasted a lamb :)

And there you have it!‎
NOTE: Am now wondering if and where I will eat lamb myself Sunday in Kyparissi. And, more importantly, magheiritsa. Should I worry?
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Lenten ouzo meze!

It's now Holy Week and I am making an effort to fast until Saturday midnight. So here is the ouzo meze from my last night‎ in Koroni at Kaghellarios Restaurant (one of my fave's) -- no meat or cheese. Still quite tasty. Oooops, do I seem tipsy?

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pre-Holy Week feast!

Tomorow is Palm Sunday (according to the Easter Orthodox faith), and I have vowed to fast until Easter. But even though I am sitting on the waterfront of my grandmother's village of Koroni, Messinias, I have settled on chicken cooked with lemon, roasted potatoes and baby okra -- perfect!

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Spoon sweets!

Going to someone's home in Greece for coffee? Theses days you may be able to choose between Greek coffee or filtered. But you must still expect to be served a boiled/preserved and bite-sized "spoon sweet" in a little dish to be eaten with a little spoon. Here are 3 examples (2 fig and one orange) served up by my cousin Dina in Naousa, my dad"s hometown.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Take-out Patsas (Tripe Soup/Menudo Greek-style)

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Serious Greek restaurant!

This is what you want in a ‎Greek restaurant -- good home cooking ( a"fagathiko")...and chance to look at everything before you choose. I had the best okra and peas cooked in tomato sauce. Can hardly wait to go back to "To Limeri" at Olymbou 116, Thessaloniki. Opa!

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

French fries a la carte!

Downtown Thessaloniki for a walk and a snack...and this is how French fries should be served "in the hand!"

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Pontian classic!

Sonia showed up with a Tupperware container full of "Miliasta" -- it's a classic Pontian (Black Sea) dish made from cracked corn, red beans and "black cabbage. One of my favorites, what a treat!

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

My downfall!

And you can make your own‎ by dropping some good oregano into a bag of good (plain) potato chips -- shake and serve,  opa!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Fresh, boiled eggs!

Been the recipient of multiple egg gifts (and it's not even Easter here yet)  -- straight from the giver's village. And have enjoyed every single one. Efharisto poli!

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Saturday, March 19, 2016


These are fried "Barbounia" (sorry about the crummy photo), the most amazing and tasty Greek fish -- not sure of the translation, or if any is needed/appropriate. Been years since I had some, but today they were served by my former student Fotini Limberaki‎ in Nea Mihaniona, Chalkidikis. Her husband is a fisherman!

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Ktima Gerovassiliou -- amazing!

Visited yesterday one of Greece's most amazing wineries, established 1981 in Epanomi (near Thessaloniki) by one of the founders of the modern Greek wine-boom, Evangelos Gerovassiliou...also now with a first class Wine Museum (2600 corkscrews!) and a beautiful Tasting Room. My favorite was the red blend of indigenous grapes Avaton 2012, which includes the grape Limnio as mentioned in a play by Aristophanes --  Double opa!

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

What 5 Euros might get you in Thessaloniki!

Today I indulged in one of my favorite pastimes when I lived in Greece: a fresh INT New York Times (used to be called INT Herald Tribune) and a bite to eat from the place of my choice, on an afternoon all to myself. Thus I went into Thessaloniki's iconic/Jewish Modiano Marketplace -- not exactly thriving these days --  to a joint I had visited last summer. For 5EU you get a glass of tsipouro w/anise (purer than ouzo) and a meze plate. I did say that I wasn't very hungry, yet I got a plate as pictured...and finished every bite. With nice songs on the radio to boot. Opa!

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Monday, March 14, 2016

Special Clean Monday bread -- "Laganes"

A"Laganes" ‎-- flat and tasty, are made especially for Clean Monday (the first day of Lent).  These two came (still WARM) from the neighborhood "fourno" (bakery)...Slap them right on! 

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Friday, March 11, 2016

Tsigarosarmathes, special treat!

Lent starting Tuesday, so few more chances to eat meat -- like Tsigarosarmathes, which are casings like those for sausages filled with a mixture of liver pieces, rice, dill and other delicious ‎ingredients. Special treat! 

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Greek Bean Soup -- Opa!

Greek Bean Soup -- with some carrot and plenty of olive oil -- is both a staple and favorite‎, especially during Lent. Equally as good at room temperature with some fresh or toasted bread -- Opa! 

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Chick Pea Soup!

"Revithia" (Chick Pea Soup) is a Greek staple and favorite, especially during Lenten Season. Let them rise overnight and cook with onion, salt to taste and oregano. Add olive oil then or when served, along with lemon to taste. Really quite nice and nutritionally fab as well!

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Amazing Food & Wine show in Thessaloniki!

DETROP 2016 on Thessaloniki Trad‎e Fair grounds served up a myriad of fab offerings including; Kavourma, Zakynthos cheese, handmade pickled vegetables, and, of course, ouzo from Lesvos -- not to mention a chance to taste wines from all over Greece, including some surprisingly tasty whites from Arnea (Domaine Claudia Papagianni) and Athitos  (Afitaion Yaia) in Chalkidhiki.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Some people do not have food to eat!

The "Community Kitchen" in Athens announced free concert this evening with big names -- for those who can't afford such and for others to donate food and medicines!

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

For Souvlaki par excellence: Miltiadis Restaurant in Aghios Prothromos, Halkidhikis!

That's where everyone heads on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon for a‎ leisurely drive/lunch, just a few miles from Thessaloniki -- but you need to get there by 1:30 pm to avoid being X-ed out. It's a tradition!  

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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Koulouria Thessalonikis -- Double OPA!

These thin sesame bread rings -- originating in Thessaloniki and costing 1/2 EU each -- could be my downfall‎. Come in both chewy, crunchy and whole wheat versions, and are  readily available on the street or in your favorite bakery! 

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Friday, February 19, 2016

Best "Garlic Salad"

My hostess made the best "Garlic Salad" which goes great w/beets. In addition to lots of garlic, she added some almonds -- Opa!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Something new, and they liked it!

After I cooked half the cauliflower (see previous post), I went to the supermarket for ketchup and mayo to make Thousand Island Dressing to serve as a dip for raw florets -- something new to the Greek palate. They liked it!

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The price of cauliflower in Northern Greece!

Imagine my happy surprise when I bought this quite large cauliflower (from nearby Langadha) at Monday's outdoor market ‎in Thessaloniki for 1 (ONE) Euro or about $1.12 -- versus about $4 in Miami and $7-8 in Canada!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

First night, no diet yet!

Am going to do a better job this trip chronicling my Greece food exploits with short and sweet (or not) notations. Even though I plan to diet (really?), I will be constantly faced w/food challenges :) An 11 pm arrival in Thessaloniki notwithstanding, my hostess insisted on a little late-night snack: special little cheese pies, stuffed cabbage leaves, "gigantes" (giant beans), feta/olives and, of course, tsipouro -- OPA!

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