Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Another Serving of Greece. . .

Our appetite for Greece seems insatiable. . .and that’s why we will be returning this spring for another serving of this amazing country.

In preparation for the upcoming sojourn we spent some time in recent days looking at photos of last year’s visit. I need to confess,our mouths watered at the reminders of the tastes and flavors we had experienced and soon will be again enjoying. . .

DSCF7949We watched pickup loads of artichokes -- looking like bouquets -- being delivered fresh from nearby gardens while in the small town of Galetas, on the Greek mainland (Peloponnese) across the channel from the island of Poros last spring.

“Locally sourced” may be the rage among restaurateurs in the U.S. but it is a long time practice in Greece.









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Artichokes being delivered in the Peloponesse

Our favorite meal included a plate of fresh artichoke hearts and potatoes served in a lemon and butter sauce. Each version differed slightly as these photos illustrate.

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And what would a Greek feast be without a few servings of Moussaka, that multi-layered marvel made with aubergines (eggplant) and topped with a melt-in-your-mouth béchamel topping?

Only problem is that this deep-dish delight is made in huge pans. Because of the quatity, it is sometimes difficult to find in the springtime, shoulder season for tourism  – when we find ourselves in Greece. Restaurants don’t make it unless there are enough diners to use it all. So, when we did find it, it was a real treat! (Servings are also huge, so one is easily shared, as we did with the one in the photo below.)

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One of our favorite springtime veggies is Horta, the wild greens harvested from the rugged Greek hillsides.  Admittedly it looks like a plate of spinach, but to our minds there’s nothing like Horta:

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And while on a semi-healthy train of thought, there’s the fabulous Greek salad with wedges of tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and Kalamata olives topped with small slabs of Feta cheese, finished with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkling of fresh oregano.

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A new favorite we discovered on our last trip to Greece was Orange Cake – think sponge cake flavored with fresh orange juice and, of course, served with just a dab of ice cream . . .and it came as the complimentary finish to our meal at a small taverna – a place we plan to visit again this year. (Can you guess why?)

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The prices were ridiculously reasonable. An example taken from my travel journal while in Kardimili, a town in The Mani region of Greece's Peloponnese:

"Dinner consisted of the large serving of bread (routinely brought with the flatware and napkins), olive oil to drizzle on it. Wild horta, a moussaka that we split, and a half liter of wine:  13.70E (about $16US last year). Maria and Harold hugged us and kissed us goodnight as we left."

While the food is amazing, it is often the settings – the tavernas, the restaurants, the family-owned places – contribute so much to the dining experience that it is difficult to leave even after a meal that we might have stretched into hours of enjoyment. Add to that a hug or kiss of thanks from the owner, or an invite back into the kitchen. . .well, for us it's the kind of place we want to linger longer. . .perhaps for the remainder of a lifetime. . .or at least return to as often as possible!

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From upper right: Napflion, Polithro, Kardamili, Gerolimenas - all Peloponnese locations
We have a ‘honey’ of a Greek story to tell you next week on Foodie Tuesday and we are taking you on a behind-the-scenes tour of cruising later this week. Hope you’ll join us again then! As always, thanks for the time you spent with us today.  Safe travels~

Linking up today with Inside Journey's Foodie Tuesday.

20 comments:

  1. The colors on that salad just jumps off the page!
    I was chatting with one of my aunts this week about locally sourced food and grass fed beef. She was saying how much better that food tasted. Just think we pay more for those foods here when it's the norm in some countries.
    Thanks for linking up this week, Jackie! Good to hear you're going back to Greece - am jealous!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head, Marcia. The vibrancy of what is served also makes it an occasion -- not just something to be consumed. Love #FoodieTuesday!

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  2. Replies
    1. It was delicious -- I am already thinking of what tastes I want to have after our arrival there. . .thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Those artichokes look amazing and so does the salad. I totally agree with you about wanting to stay for hours in a lovely little taverna and for a few minutes reading this I was transported to Greece. Thanks! Coming from #FoodieTuesday

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Phoebe and glad I was able to take you to Greece. Stop by again in the next few weeks and we'll give you even more Greece!

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  4. I truly would be happy to go to Greece just to eat. Hopefully one day!!

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    1. Eating --- and drinking wonderful Greek wines -- are among two of the biggest draws to return to this amazing place. Thanks for stopping by, Heather.

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  5. All this food looks so fresh and amazing. The artichokes look like flowers~

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    1. It really was like a bouquet delivery truck when the 'artichoke man' stopped near us.

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    1. I don't know why sometimes when I am responding to an individual's comments I don't hit the right button and it comes up as a stand-alone comment as this one did!

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  7. You are like the poster couple for Greece and I think the Tourism people should be paying you to come. You have made such a good point about the food and the ambiance of the tavernas. I hope it's another magical trip.

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    1. Maybe it is time we consider writing a guidebook on Greece. There is so much to be discovered 'off the tourist track' . . .and some of those teeny tiny tavernas are among them. Thanks for the visit, Leigh.

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  8. All the pictures and talk of all that wonderful food made my mouth water. Glad you are returning!

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    1. And so are we. Safe travels to the two of you and look forward to your new adventures aboard Moondance! Keep in touch~

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  9. Hi Jackie,

    Sitting here, on my 50th birthday, watching the rain fall lightly on the darkened pavement, outside the bay window of my sister's home in Unionville, Ontario, your description of Greece, and its traditional, tasty dishes seems so far away, enticing and inviting, like a little celebration, all its own. The people of Greece are known for their hospitality and Maria and Harold certainly fit the mould, making you feel like family, or friends that get together every so often, to share a meal and a glass of wine.

    I look forward to the sweet story that awaits us in your future post! Until then, have a wonderful day!

    Poppy

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    1. Happy, Happy Birthday Poppy! Hope you had a wonderful day and that your new decade is filled with beauty and happiness and health! It is a rainy evening in Kirkland again so we are keeping our fingers crossed that Greece will not disappoint and be filled with sunshine and warmth. We can hardly wait!

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  10. I know how you love Greece and how happy you feel to return in this beautiful Mediterranean country. Of course people and food are always a good reason to come back! Wish I could do the same and visit New York one day!
    Olympia

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    1. Oh Olympia, you are so correct. We just were saying that it feels like going home to a big extended family as we check off the people we must visit and places we must return to on this visit. Hope my reports can illustrate the beauty and warmth of welcome we feel there. Thanks for visiting and one of these days, I know you will see New York. Dreams do come true.

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