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. . .
We 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.
|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.
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.)
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:
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.
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?)
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!
|From upper right: Napflion, Polithro, Kardamili, Gerolimenas - all Peloponnese locations|
Linking up today with Inside Journey's Foodie Tuesday.