31 March, 2009

Tsakos Restaurant (Peiraiki, Piraeus)

We visited Restaurant Tsakos in Peiraiki (Akti Themistokleous) in March 2009.

It is a very large restaurant facing to the Saronic Gulf. Although it is not directly onto the sea, being on a high ground means that you don't have to see cars passing while viewing the sea (this is a common problem of Peiraiki restaurants after the closure of all the restaurants standing on the ancient wall, i.e. illegally constructed restaurants).


Tsakos

It was sunny Sunday afternoon and the place was very busy.

At the beginning, we were offered free cups of shrimp soups, which were very rich and creamy, but there was a slighly unpleasant smell of (stale?) shrimps. We were given also two portions of bread (1 euro x 2) and butter (0.50 euro x 2); these were kind of cover charge.

First to arrive was the bombakia thalassinon (10 euros).



These were deep-fried fyllo pastry pies with the filling of seafood (shrimp, squid, crawfish) mixed with cream. It sounded nice as an idea, but they were too salty and too oily to my taste. However, Hubby said he liked them, so it might be only me.

The problem was that there were two human hairs on the plate. Although we already started to eat them, we requested to change the place, as we did not want to see them while we were eating. The waiter took the plate back to the kitchen and after a while brought back a new dish refilled two already eaten pieces. I guess they cooked them again. These things happen and they dealt with the problem all right.

Squid fries.


These were tough and tasteless. I don't know how they managed to do it. The fried potatoes were equally, or even more terrible. They were very dry and hard as if kept under the heater for a long time.

Boiled seasonable vegetables (10 euros). I am sure we ordered only one portion for 5 euros, but they brought us two portions. We did not find it out until they bring us the bill.


It was fine taste wise, but 10 euros for boiled veggie seems too dire.

There also were problems in service. They forgot to bring us beer glasses (keen readers might know that I don't drink, but they wouldn't know that), and, at the end of meal, wet napkins while everyone else in the restaurant were getting them. We felt that the service staff was not attentive enough.

Final bill came to 37 euros (for which they did not give us receipt). The food just wasn't good enough for us regardless of the price.


Tsakos
Akti Themistokleous 244
Piraeus
Tel.210-4518070

Sourdough Bread from Alimos

The other day, I had a thing to do in Alimos and went to Marina Alimos by tram for the first time.

I did not have time to see the Marina, but I found a bakery with a large billboard "Ψώμι με προζύμι - Psomi me prozimi" (sourdough bread) and could not resist buying one. Maybe because I am slightly crazy.

The prices are generally higher in this shop than in Piraeus bakeries and 1 normal bread cost 90 cents against 80 cents in Piraeus. And the sourdough bread was sold by weight. I don't remember exactly how much I paid, but it was close to 2 euros; although it looked small, it was very compact and much heavier than usual bread.



See the density of texture?




The bread was well made, but, unfortunately, it was too sour for my taste. But it is not their fault, as some people like sourdough bread to be sour. It had also cinnamon like smell as well.



Although it wasn't the type of bread I like, it was nice to see a different type of sourdough.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


And a random cat photo of the day.


I disturbed him during the lunch time.

30 March, 2009

Another cephalopod, Thrapsala

In my mother tongue, Japanese, there is only one word for that cephalopods with 10 legs (which probably isn't the right word): Ika (烏賊).


Of course, there are many types of ika, but as a group, it is just called ika, while the cephalopods with 8 legs are tako (蛸).


But in English, there are two words: squid and cuttlefish. I did not know the difference, apart from the vague notion that the squid relatively small and slim and the cuttlefish fat and thick, but Wikipedia explains to me that cuttlefish has cuttlebone, while squid doesn't. It sort of makes sense to me.


When I came to Greece, I thought cuttlefish is soupia and squid is kalamari and I could live happily for a while. And then, I was encountered by the third kind of 10 leg cephalopods called thrapsala (θράψαλα).


thrapsala

Thrapsala is very easy to find in supermarkets and fishmongers, I have never seen in restaurants. I looked up my Greek-Greek dictionary, but could not find the word. Hubby said he had never heard it.

It looks very much like what we call in Japanese Surume-ika and tastes like so, and the squid rings are also called thrapsala. If it is right, thrapsala is in squid family.

I asked Hubby's mum what is the difference betweeen thrapsala and kalamari and she said one has two longer legs and the other doesn't, but I am not really convinced.

Anyway, they are very cheap and sarakosti friendly. We will eat you a lot more, my dear thrapsala.

29 March, 2009

Pedestrian Sideways in Piraeus (4)

Today we entered into the summer time. Many people slept one hour less, but I did not. For some reason, Morpheus took me early to the bed and I slept much more than usual. I did not even have to switch off for the earth hour, because I was already in bed. Thankfully I feel refreshed today.



The other day on Piraeus' central avenue, Politechnio street.

We saw some rubbles on the ground. Wondering what were these, we looked up.


Ooops.



On the pedestrian sideways in Piraeus, not only obstacles but also some life-threatening dangers!





28 March, 2009

Rambling Tortoise

Some additional photos from the Greek Popular Musical Instruments Museum.

The museum, converted private mansion, has a lovely courtyard and there are some trees and ancient marble pieces. There was cherry blossom flowering.


Cherry Blossom

The leaves belong to another tree planted togather with the cherry, if you were wondering.


And there were two rambling tortoises: this is one of them. Greece is full of tortoises. If you go to large parks or archaeological sites, here they are. I remember that the Kerameikos archaeological site was particularly full of them.



But then, inside the museum, I saw this.



I wondered if they are pasturing tortoises to make this kind of instruments. hahaha

27 March, 2009

New Entries on Athens

It has been some time that I have not updated new entry information. Actually I have added some pages, but sometimes I forget to announce them here.

Anyway.


Firstly, Museum of Greek Popular Musical Instruments


This is really an interesting little museum and it is free as well! There is absolutely no reason not to visit it.



And a page in Syntagma area section.

Zonar's Cafe near Syntagma Square




Evidently it is a very old cafe, but I discovered it only recently walking casually around the area. I just loved their coffee.

26 March, 2009

Greek Independence & Evangelismos tis Theotokou Day

Yesterday (25 March 2009) was the day of Evangelismos tis Theotokou (Annunciation of Mother of God) and Greek Independence/Liberation.



Greeks has two Liberation days: one for the Independence from the Turks and the other for the Liberation from the Nazi Germany. Yesterday was the one from the Ottomans. The date of 25th of March was not the actual day of liberation, but supposedly the day when the freedom fighters including bishop Germanos of Patras met up in Lavra Monastery in Peloponnese and made an oath. The research suggests that the oath was actually made on another day. The religious Greeks, however, wanted their national day to be religiously significant as well.

To celebrate the day, apart from the mess in the morning for the Annunciation, there are military/national parades all over the Greece. The largest one is held in the central Athens and I, to accompany the patriotic Hubby, went to see it.

We arrived bit too late and could not get close to the parade, the fact that I could scarcely care.



There were large tanks and tracks with missiles on the show as well as obligatory men in Greek national costume. I have seen the parade of soldiers, but have never seen the one with actual missiles and tanks and could not help but wishing they don't have to use them in future.


Fortunately for me, the military parade did not last long and the blissful coffee time came. We entered into a cafeteria near Syntagma Square. Hubby had ellinikos diplos (double portion Greek coffee), I a cafe filtrou (filtered coffee), and we had one cake to share. Everything was bl00dy expensive and we felt afraid of ripping-off.



Actually it wasn't.

My filter coffee came in a strange metal coffeemaker that I have never seen before, or maybe I have, but never really in person. The coffee was excellent. It reminded me that it has been a long time I have not had a proper coffee. I had Hubby ask the waiter what kind of coffee was it. He said it is a special blend of beans from Italy and Nicaragua, as if coffee actually grows in Italy. I don't know what they did, but I loved it immensely.

The cake was also made with fresh cream from cow (as I wrote before, I strongly suspect many Greek patissiers use fake cream of vegetable origin) and the crispiness of pasta flora base suggested it was freshly made on the day. Hubby's Greek coffee, accompanied by 4 candied cherries - glyko tou koutaliou, was also very good, but I am not yet an accomplished judge of Greek coffee. Good food made us happy, even though the cost of it made our wallet weep a little.

25 March, 2009

Earth Hour and Recycling in Greece

Today is one of Greece's Independence Day (the one from the Turks) and the Euangelismos of Mother of God; it is a national holiday here and Hubby says we should go to see the military parade in Syntagma. Maybe...

Anyway, this Saturday (28 March), 60 minutes from 20:30 is the Earth Hour, a campaign of WWF supported also by UN. I have never heard about it either in UK or in Japan, but here in Greece it is well publicised (even on tv) and the rate of participants per the national population is very high.

http://www.earthhour.org/

You might think; how wonderful are the Greeks who are so serious about the environment.

You should't. Here people do not have ecological mind. Very little recycling and very little conscience about cutting the energy consumption. Many think and feel that saving energy and recycling are a form of stinginess and the Greeks love generocity, not stinginess. There is something against their mentality.

When I moved to UK 5 years ago, there was very little recycling, while in Japan a rigorous regime had been in force already for years (the 'saving', if you don't know, is one of the national virtues of Japanese), but UK has been catching up very quickly and when I left there early this year, there was a reasonably working scheme. I believe it was somehow fictional, meaning that many of the 'recycled' materials are really brought to dumping ground, because the way of dividing the materials was far too loose to be fully operational (in Japan, we separate, for example, aluminium tin from iron one, while in UK, it is just 'metal'), but people have to start somewhere and need to be trained.

In Athens, I see some 'recycle' material collection bin, but it looks very dubious if the people do distinguish. Here in Piraeus, there are some show pieces of recycling bins only in central part, but in normal residencial parts.

Separating everyday garbage is much more important and much more difficult than just to turn off the light for 60 minutes.

23 March, 2009

Nikitas in Psirri

Yesterday we went to a taverna in Psirri called Nikitas (Ο Νικήτας) and I posted photos and comments on Gate to Greece.

http://www.mesogeia.net/athens/estiatoria/nikitas_en.html

Greek supper

In short, we liked it. It wasn't wow-that-blew-my-mind good, but it was more than decent and made us happy. Read it, if you know more about it.

22 March, 2009

Tsoureki + Cookies = ?

Was today 'Stavroproskynesis' day? Dim's mom told me about it, but could not find any reference on internet. We missed the mess this morning and don't know what happened, although afterwards we got a branch of dendrolivano (Rosemary) from church. Anyway...



When we had a coffee party at home inviting some friends and brothers, one of the guests brought us this strange cake.

Sorry that it is already cut and eaten; guests ate some pieces and the photo was taken on the day after.

From this angle, you can see it is a toureki bread coated with chocolate.

For those who are not familiar with toureki, it is sweet bread with eggs and butter, Greek brioche, so to speak. It is typical bread of Easterday, but we can find it in bakeries and cake shops all year around. For more detail, please refer to this article in Wikipedia.


Toureki biscuits

This is the section. Do you see yellow and chocolate colour stuff in between?




These are cookies! Who would thought stuff brioche with cookies? I often feel disappointed by Greek sweets, but this one did impressed me. Although I am not 100 % sure about the match of cookies and brioche, the dry and cruntchy texture of cookies and the syrup soaked lower part of toureki make an interesting contrast. Besides, as all the parts are so tasty that the combination itself wasn't that important.

It is an original product of chocolate & cake shop Max Perry of Drapetsona area of Piraeus. It has two more shops on Thevon road. Although I am not a chocolate lover, I would love to pay a visit.




This flower is also a gift from one of the guests.



We bought the exactly the same flower when we moved in to a new flat in UK 5 years ago. Strange coincidence.

21 March, 2009

One Afternoon in Glyfada

Hubby and I went to Glyfada last Sunday afternoon.

Glyfada is a distant suburb of Athens along the Attika coast. With is beach, harbour, clubs and restaurants, it is like a small resort for the Athenians.

This is Glyfada Harbour. The yellow building at the back in the centre is Saints Constantine and Helen Church. It is an eminent landmark of Glyfada.

Glyfada Harbour

I spotted a bronze bust and went close to see who he was, as I do always.

Simon Bolivar

It was rather surprising to find the South American hero of independence, Simon Bolivar.

Bolivar

It is a gift from the Venezuelan Government and the Greek-Venezuelan citizens, but there was no mention of the tie between Bolivar and Glyfada or Greece. I thought, "periergo".
Being a resort, Glyfada is full of restaurants and cafes. This is one of the streets lined by restaurants. Here Mr. Dimitrakis - long-standing good friend of Hubby's dad - has his restaurant. We wanted to say hello, but did not find him. We will be back for a meal after Easter, as it is basically a meat restaurant.



Although we had already lunched at home, Hubby started to craving for something saying the sea opened his appetite. I have to keep him away from the sea.
As we needed to go back to Piraeus to meet up with friends, he stopped at Karaköy Güllüoglu - Istanbul based baklava shop that has branches in Sytagma and in Glyfada - and asked for something savoury.
By the way, the pistachio baklavadakia of Güllüoglu are heavenly, although they are more expensive than usual baklavadakia from average stores in Athens.



There were a choice between leek pie and cheese pie; Hubby picked up the latter. The nice lady of the shop offered us an explanation about it. It was hand-made according to the politiki (Constantinopolitan) recipe and really was called XXXXXXX (Turkish word that escaped my ear), Neropita in Greek translation, Water Pie in English.

The photo came up rather dark and I had to retouch it with Photoshop.

Water Pie

It contained feta cheese and phyllo pastry, but there was another unknown layer in between. It tasted like over-cooked buttery lasagna pasta. It should be some kind of a filling made with flour, milk and butter. It cost him €2, but we discovered something new.

There was a cat in front of the shop.



The was food left by the shop lady, but the cat was more keen on attracting her attention than to eat it. While she was attending us, it was gazing at her patiently.

20 March, 2009

Nistissimo snacks

We paid a visit to our bakery and I found some more nistissimo (suitable for Orthodox religious fasting) items.

First: Patatopita


patatopita

There is mashed potato inside. Pie should be made with vegetable shortening (I think in any case that most of the snack pies sold at bakeries and pie shops are made with vegetable oil as butter is too expensive).

Carb+carb combination. Excellent.

Second: Almond, pistachio and sultana kritsini.


The bread-biscuit part is about equal as the nuts and sultana part.


I found interesting inclusion of pistachio.

Greek bakeries hold still more treasures to discover.

************************************

By the way, yesterday I fried artichokes (aghinares) and king prawns (separately) in beer batter and they turned out to be excellent sarakosti food. They are added to my sarakosti cooking repertoire.

19 March, 2009

Nigerian Scam

Today I received a Nigerian scam e-mail in my Yahoo.com mail box. Yahoo.com (but none of my other e-mail services) sends me many financial scam e-mails and it appears have some security hole. They usually go directly to spam holder, but this one I received in my in-box and had a chance to read it.

It was from Mr. Chief Naiwo. Couldn't he come up with a more credible name? Although he is working for the President of Nigeria, e-mail address is Polish: office_file432@konin.lm.pl . He gives me a code of conduct, which actually is a code!

I post it here, as I found it pretty funny. I hope he does not claim his copyright.

P.S.: I found out Chief Naiwo is an actual Nigerian person.
http://www.oceanicbanknigeria.com/aboutus/directors.php
Obviously I don't think he actually wrote this lousy English e-mail.

***************************************************


ATM INTERNATIONAL CREDIT SETTLEMENT
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATION
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY
OCEANIC BANK NIGERIA PLC

ATTENTION HONORABLE BENEFICIARY,

THIS IS TO OFFICIALLY INFORM YOU THAT WE HAVE VERIFIED YOUR CONTRACT
INHERITANCE FILE AND FOUND OUT THAT WHY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR PAYMENT
IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT FULFILLED THE OBLIGATIONS GIVEN TO YOU IN RESPECT
OF YOUR CONTRACT/INHERITANCE PAYMENT.

SECONDLY, WE HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT YOU ARE STILL DEALING WITH THE NONE
OFFICIALS IN THE BANK, ALL YOUR ATTEMPT TO SECURE THE RELEASE OF THE FUND
TO YOU.
WE WISH TO ADVISE YOU THAT SUCH AN ILLEGAL ACT LIKE THIS HAVE TO STOP IF
YOU WISH TO RECEIVE YOUR PAYMENT SINCE WE HAVE DECIDED TO BRING A SOLUTION
TO YOUR PROBLEM. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE ARRANGED YOUR PAYMENT THROUGH OUR SWIFT
CARD PAYMENT CENTER ASIA PACIFIC, THAT IS THE LATEST INSTRUCTION FROM MR.
PRESIDENT, UMARU MUSA YAR'ADUA (GCFR) PRESIDENT FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF
NIGERIA AND FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE.

THIS CARD CENTER WILL SEND YOU AN ATM CARD WHICH YOU WILL USE TO WITHDRAW
YOUR MONEY IN ANY ATM MACHINE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD, BUT THE MAXIMUM IS
TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER DAY, SO IF YOU LIKE TO RECIEVE YOUR
FUND THIS WAY PLEASE LET US KNOW BY CONTACTING THE CARD PAYMENT CENTER AND
ALSO SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO HIM IN ORDER TO PROCEED
IMMEDIATELY:

1. FULL NAME
2. PHONE AND FAX NUMBER
3. ADDRESS WERE YOU WANT THEM TO SEND
THE ATM CARD TO (P.O BOX NOT ACCEPTABLE)
4. YOUR AGE AND CURRENT OCCUPATION
5. A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION

HOWEVER, KINDLY FIND BELOW THE CONTACT PERSON
AMBASSADOR MUSA BUNU SHERIFF ;DIRECTOR, ATM PAYMENT
DEPARTMENT EMAIL: ambassadormusabunusheriff@ubbi.com


THE ATM CARD PAYMENT CENTER HAS BEEN MANDATED TO ISSUE OUT
($20 300,000.00) AS PART PAYMENT FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR 2009. ALSO FOR YOUR
INFORMATION, YOU HAVE TO STOP ANY FURTHER COMMUNICATION WITH ANY OTHER
PERSON(S) OR OFFICE(s) TO AVOID ANY HITCHES IN RECEIVING YOUR ATM PAYMENT.

FOR ORAL DISCUSSION, I CAN BE REACHED ON OR EMAIL ME BACK AS SOON AS YOU
RECEIVE THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR FURTHER DIRECTION AND ALSO UPDATE ME ON
ANY DEVELOPMENT FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED OFFICE.

NOTE THAT BECAUSE OF IMPOSTORS, WE HEREBY ISSUED YOU OUR CODE OF CONDUCT,
WHICH IS (ATM- ATM-L M 8 7 8) SO YOU HAVE TO INDICATE THIS CODE WHEN
CONTACTING THE CARD CENTER BY USING IT AS YOUR SUBJECT.

BEST REGARDS,
Chief Naiwo, A. O.
AUDITOR TO THE PRESIDENT
FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

Hyma Wine

Although Greece is a wine producing country, the bottled wine in supermarket shelves is surprisingly high, around €5 and above.

I used to live in Italy, and back then, it started about €2-3 and above. I don't know if the price of bottled wine in Italy increased since then, but the Greek wine was already as expensive as it is now.

So, do the Greeks should pay a fortune to buy Greek (not that great, Greek wine, to be honest) wine?

Of course not. The secret lies in the non-bottled wine sold in wine shops (the secret also lies in home made wine from horió - meaning 'countryside', but the actual connotations are subtle and difficult to translate - that they buy from relatives or friends, but for this, on another occasion).

The non-bottled wine is called το χύμα κρασί and it is sold either by weight or volume. You can bring your own empty bottle/container, but usually they can also sell you plastic bottles or glass containers.

Recently I found a Cretan hima wine shop in neighbourhood and took Hubby to buy a bottle (as he is the one who drinks). One of the great things about these shops is that you can taste the wine before you buy. After tasting 3 red wines, Hubby picked up this one.

Red Wine
5 year old red - brownish red actually - 1.5 litre for €3.90. It is quite reasonable. Cheaper ones are less than €3, not much more than a bottle of coca cola.

The quality of hima wines ranges very widely, some are absolutely horrible but some are incredibly pleasant. It is essential to taste before you buy.

I discovered this Creatan wine shop sells also other Cretan groceries; I will back to investigate more.

17 March, 2009

Nervous Kitty

Random cat photo of the day: Nervous Kitty.



***************

Hubby fell asleep on the sofa. I post this before waking him up and taking to bed.

Good night.

Waffle @ Costa Costa

Another night out with friends.

We went to Costa Costa, one of the trendy cafeterias/bars of Marina Zea (Passalimani), Piraeus).

On this occasion, I did not fancy coffee or tea. I don't drink alcohol either. After some consideration and perusing of the menu, I decided to a waffle. It came with two scoops of ice cream of my choice - vanilla and pistachio in this case.

waffle
It was totally different from the buttery and sugarly Belgian waffle I know. Well, no one said it was "Belgian", so I should not complain. It was more like a fluffy pancake made in waffle mold. Very soft and not over-sweet. Although the pancake itself was freshly made, I don't think the whipped cream was freshly whipped.

It did not taste bad, but I felt it was soulless. I often sense this soullessness when I eat West-European type cakes and sweets in Greece. Maybe I should stick to baklava and ravani. But then, these are really Turkish.

16 March, 2009

Home Baking Attempts

Hubby brings sandwich to his workplace as lunch. Usually it is ham sandwich or cheese sandwich, but during the fasting period, neither of the choices is available. For the first week I gave him home-made hummus sandwiches sometimes with olive paste and sometimes with sun-dried tomatoes.


I thought he should have gotten tried of hummus and tried to make something different.

The first attempt was eliopsomo (olive bread) in pizza style. It is covered with cheese because I still had some grated cheese to use-up; I know it is possible to freeze and I did freeze butter and sausages, but our freezer isn't that large.




I thought this was one of the best bread I have ever made, but Hubby did not eat it at all, because I put fresh coriander that he does not like. I knew that, but eliopsomo without coriander does not worth a penny!

Next attempt was patatopsomo (potato bread). I made pizza dough and mashed potato with pies, and then folded potato mash in pizza bread. I still had some cheeze, so I used it (this was the last remnant).

Section:


Without coriander, it was boring to me, but Hubby said it was fine. Well, in the end, it was for him and I should be happy, if he is.






15 March, 2009

Greek Sourdough Bread 2

When I wrote about "Me prozimi" bread (sourdough bread) some time ago, California Cat commented that the Greek sourdough bread does not taste like as ones she used to have in San Francisco.

I agree with her. Sometimes I buy both "me prozimi" and normal horiatiko from the same bakery and they do not taste much different.

But in my neighbourhood there is one bakery that produce quite distinct sourdough bread.


Here it is. They say it is "1 kilo", but it weighs less than 1 kilo (it is so in any bakery; maybe it weighed 1 kilo before they baked it).




It is flatter than usual round bread.


The yellow colour suggests it is made with semolina flour. It smells slightly sour and sweet. The consistency is heavier, chewier, and less fluffy than normal horiatiko. Air holes are uneven and some are quite large.


This is similar to the sourdough I ate elsewhere in the past and I love it. However, my Greek husband prefers softer and less sour horiatiko or politelias (white) bread.

I want to recreate the sourdough bread at home; I will report when succeeded.

12 March, 2009

Nistissimo Goody's

Last Sunday, I tried Goody's for the first time.

Goody's is a Greek hamburger chain as ubiquitous as McDonald's or KFC in Athens (maybe also elsewhere in Greece, but I don't know well). I found the website.

I usually don't do chain restaurants, as the food is too impersonal to my taste. What made me make an exception was that they do Lenten menu for Sarakosti period. It is not called "Lenten menu", but "Ta Mesogeiaka" (I would translate into "Mediterranean choices") and it offers a whole range of "nistissimo (Greek adjective for "suitable for Orthodox fasting") dishes.

We tried "Karamarakia" (Squid ring fries). It was priced around 4.60 euros, if I remember well.




The dish consists in 8 deep fried squid rings, fat chips, and mixed salad. Although the chips fill the stomach, the portion of seafood is rather meagre and the squid itself was very thin and smelly. There is no comparison with the karamarakia of Greek psarotavernes (fish restaurants).




We also had sides of French fries. Goody's claims to be the first restaurant chain to use only olive oil in all the coking. But, if they don't use the extra virgine olive oil, not that we can tell the difference. Anyway, these tasted better than the soggy fat chips that came with the squid rings.

TV advertising tells us that also Greek McDonald's has Lenten period specials. Do they do it better than Goody's?

11 March, 2009

Laconian Products Fair

Went to Laconian Products Fair (Η Γιορτή Λακωνικών Προϊόντων) yesterday.




It started yesterday and continues until this Friday (13th March). Location is Syntagma Metro Station. It is open, if I remember well, from 9 in the morning to 22 in the evening. Evidently it is the second time that such an fair is held, but I don't know when the first time was.

If you are wondering where is Laconia, it is in the southern Peloponnese, where Sparta, Monemvasia and Mani penninsular are located.

The products on the show are mostly food, especially olive oil, but there are also some craftworks.

After sampling the things interested us, we bought a bottle of olive oil (2000ml) and a bottle of honey liqueur (500ml), 8 euros both. I have an idea that the products on this kind of shows are dearly priced, but in this case I found the most of the stuff quite reasonable, not more than at my local supermarket, or even cheaper.

I recommend you to drop by, if you happened to go to Syntagma station.

Here are some photos (I was holding a glass of liqueur for most of the time and that is why some of the photos are somehow slanting).

I was overwhelmed by the mass of people at the entrance.

Laconian Products Fair
It turned out that the crowd was for the talk; inside, it was busy but not impossibly.



This is one of honey stalls; there were several honey producers there.


This is pasta stall; there were two of them. 500g of pasta are priced between 2.50 and 3 euros.



Olive oil stalls are many. Good thing is that you can taste it before you buy. I picked up the one I personally liked the best (it depends on personal taste; you buy the one you like, OK?). This is the stall where we bought a bottle of oil.


It is produced by Mr. Theodoros Pantazis (pronouced Padazis) and comes from Geraki, Lakonia. The label says it was produced in February 2009, so it is fairly fresh. Alas, Hubby promised this bottle to Mom and I am not getting this ("So what was the purpose of choosing the one you liked the best?" You should ask).

Many of the olive oil producers were selling organic oils. The one we bought it wasn't, but at least they put it in a bio-perishable vinyle bag.
This stall was supposed to be selling organic olive oil, but there wasn't any and exhibiting honey based liqueur and honey instead. They were generously distributing liqueur and, although I don't normally drink, could not resist getting a cup.

It was actually quite good and we ended up buying a bottle. Their investment was rewarded! 1 bottle contains 500ml and costs 8 euros.


It is called Melitokraso (Μελιτόκρασο) and produced by Sotirali (Σωτήραλη) Bio. The pamphlet given to me prints the website, but it does not lead to anywhere at this moment.

We will go back to buy some olives from a stall that ran out of the products.
There was an error in this gadget