Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

A short travel blog of Greece: Pelion, Meteora, and Athens


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, shain said:

 

😕 You can get great vegetables, if you care enough to spend a bit more time and money.

Still, I always envy the farmer markets culture of American cities, which seem to include a larger variety of specialty produce and of heirloom varieties.

 

We do, but there is a price factor and I respect that. I live in a major agricultural state but big grocery stores still bring in foreign produce from Mexico, Ecuador and the like - partly to satisfy customers who do NOT understand seasonality.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, heidih said:

We do, but there is a price factor and I respect that. I live in a major agricultural state but big grocery stores still bring in foreign produce from Mexico, Ecuador and the like - partly to satisfy customers who do NOT understand seasonality.

 

Here's it's a bit of the opposite - there are restrictive limitations on imports. But people still don't understand seasonality, so people still buy local but overpriced and bad tasting produce. And what doesn't grow well is also mediocre and expensive (e.g. pineapples, cherries, most berries). And sometimes one wants an avocado at summer :P

  • Like 3

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Shish! I got all out of order here. Imagine this being posted a bit before :P

Take note of the restaurant in the 2nd photo. We shall meet again.

 

 

PXL_20210526_175850767.jpg

PXL_20210526_180504213.jpg

PXL_20210526_193756172.jpg

  • Like 10

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

 

A day trip destined at Agia Kyriaki at the far Southern end of the Pelion peninsula. We drove along the South-Western shore [map]. 

 

Our first stop was a small sea side town, Kato Gatzea.  A narrow road separates the front row of houses from the shore. Most houses are well maintained, with flower gardens and vines. Some houses are abandoned and the vegetation overgrown. Among them are ample coffee shops and a couple of taverns, many closed due to the combination of covid and of it not yet being high season.

 

PXL_20210527_073424173.thumb.jpg.a339f71159ba00644b4bd9e569dea9b9.jpgPXL_20210527_085326713.thumb.jpg.2b83d286abf9e803dfda667cad770dd0.jpg

PXL_20210527_090022069.thumb.jpg.94ff3bf2bae04e679f99594bd22b53fc.jpg

PXL_20210527_085956195.thumb.jpg.dc3c22d1f80a7d8b9a6b8b292ae89351.jpg

PXL_20210527_091356655.thumb.jpg.20c4da49dbc96b88d9d417f7a59ca52d.jpgPXL_20210527_090104054.thumb.jpg.b89b32400a6e69655683a8650d732241.jpg

 

 

Still, groups of older locals are found sitting over cold coffee - as seems to be true everywhere at any time.

 

Who are we to deviate?

 

 

PXL_20210527_091646051.thumb.jpg.e125446564576f3afc30cc261063dafe.jpg

 

 

Edited by shain (log)
  • Like 11
  • Delicious 1

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, shain said:

 

A day trip destined at Agia Kyriaki at the far Southern end of the Pelion peninsula. We drove along the South-Western shore [map]. 

 

Our first stop was a small sea side town, Kato Gatzea.  A narrow road separates the front row of houses from the shore. Most houses are well maintained, with flower gardens and vines. Some houses are abandoned and the vegetation overgrown. Among them are ample coffee shops and a couple of taverns, many closed due to the combination of covid and of it not yet being high season.

 

PXL_20210527_073424173.thumb.jpg.c53410f6fc6e60ed18696351063439af.jpgPXL_20210527_085326713.thumb.jpg.7e3163c406361597db1197b27ffd2384.jpgPXL_20210527_085956195.thumb.jpg.7191e5d9d74559af42b3d7947329a7db.jpgPXL_20210527_091356655.thumb.jpg.b554bd57599a58f1ce382be96c419714.jpgPXL_20210527_090104054.thumb.jpg.b3a9617e9746daec54303d431af2272a.jpg

 

 

Still, groups of older locals are found sitting over cold coffee - as seems to be true everywhere at any time.

 

Who are we to deviate?

 

PXL_20210527_091646051.thumb.jpg.1036fee47bef45995425fa45b09334f0.jpg

 

 

 

 

I can't open the links.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I can't open the links.

me either. But the ones above of the restaurants with that light - swoon worthy

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, heidih said:

me either. But the ones above of the restaurants with that light - swoon worthy

 

I agree.  I sure wish we had dining patios like that.  They're beautiful.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, heidih said:

me either. But the ones above of the restaurants with that light - swoon worthy

 

46 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I can't open the links.

 

Thanks for letting me know. I re uploaded the images, they should show up now.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, shain said:

 

 

Thanks for letting me know. I re uploaded the images, they should show up now.

 

Thanks for reloading.  Just gorgeous

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A stop at famous town of Kala Nera - a touristic, yet charming sea side town, with long and quiet beaches, as well as lots of taverns, cafes and memorabilia stores.

The Greek seem to have an eye for style and a talent at keeping things looking charming, authentic and quaint. 

 

PXL_20210527_094744954.thumb.jpg.52e3e5343e031998d9abdc1a70356997.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_094805989.thumb.jpg.363448a78f86058c0b29bf283b875c2a.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_095042399.thumb.jpg.8340cf60fba63006afbaa87465cd0041.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Thanks 1

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, heidih said:

That place I've heard of. It almost looks fake or staged in its coastline and clear water. Did you guys dip in?

 

We did not get in, it was still a bit too cold for swimming. We are lucky to have very nice beaches close to home, so we weren't bothered by that.

 

It really is a beautiful "classic" swimming beach. I felt that it's a bit less interesting/unique compared to the other beaches we visited with their dramatic rock formation or beautiful pebbly shores. However, it felt like it be a perfect summer spot to hang out with some friends or family, swim and enjoy some ice cream or cold beer :) I'm sure that soon enough it will be full of people doing just that.

  • Like 2

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Driving further into the more rural South, with beautiful view of the sea, endless olive groves, and small sea side towns.

 

PXL_20210527_120528756_PANO.thumb.jpg.5cea6e55c5c0a747b38bd439c97019f1.jpg

 

We made a stop as we came across a herd of goats. As we opened the car door, we were hit by an intense sharp scent of minty oregano. Along with the constant ringing of bells hanging from the goat's collars this quite a hit on all senses.

Here are two video links so that you can experience the sound:

 

https://streamable.com/zvaz2y , https://streamable.com/e/8b1kld?loop=0 

 

PXL_20210527_122810675.thumb.jpg.10d10a0701435d5894e0ef18726feb41.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_123044104.thumb.jpg.07c6ca736037e19ee8e29fd24af8ea40.jpg

 

Looking around, it's no wonder that oregano fills the air, as it's grown in abundance as far as you can see.

 

PXL_20210527_123415418.thumb.jpg.8245de72657d1d39459fadb8d447cf98.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_123821454.thumb.jpg.f45a5ef27bb069637592c0a82c0e1012.jpg

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow those are some lush herbs. Thanks for the audible links. Reminds me of salt marsh lamb - the animal tasting nicely of its grazing feed. Bet those goats as meat or their milk if milk goats are respected.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m late to the party, but enjoying it nonetheless.  The food looks fabulous as does the scenery.
We were supposed to go to Greece in May 2020. We all know why that didn’t happen.

Good to see some are able to travel again.

 

Thanks 🙏 @shain

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

As we were nearing our destination at the South end of the peninsula, we headed for lunch in Kottes, defined in google as a "fishing hamlet".

We were driving along a cliff up from the shore. As before, is scattered with olives and low vegetation. The landmass form a bay and the sea is quiet with shallow beaches. [map]

Our GPS announced that we arrived, but we were located on top of the cliff with no restaurant or building to be seen. We had to backtrack a little in order to get back to the narrow road down the cliff, which took as to Kottes.

But apparently getting to the recommended restaurant required for us to traverse further by foot (or boat, if we had one). The path itself was quite beautiful, with a couple of taverns, boats and olive trees.

 

 

PXL_20210527_130638272.MP.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_131115797.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_131145335.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_143417851.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_143639362.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_144029329.jpg

Edited by shain (log)
  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As described above, we arrived to have lunch at Ψαροταβέρνα Ο Άγγελος.

 

PXL_20210527_141847231.thumb.jpg.859b6a4ef544acf5b67f6c232f820652.jpg

 

PXL_20210527_143213604.thumb.jpg.b0707d05fb06844f1eb4b41019a748fe.jpg

 

The waiter / owners was a very nice young guy, his parents were sitting at the restaurant, at which we were the only guests, and apparently the mom is the cook.
 

For starters, he recommended an array of salads all made by his mother, we couldn't pass :) 

Carrot salad with mayo and garlic, and eggplant with mayo. Both simple and quite tasty, if a bit heavy in mayo (I'm not usually a fan of mayo heavy spreads).

The star was a taramasalata - which unlike the one we had on our first day, was brimming with sea flavor, a bit nutty and had a good balance of garlic, lemon and oil. The only issue is that it was quite intense for me, since I don't usually eat fish (well, I don't eat fish meat at all, but can make an exception for fish sauce, and rarely fish eggs).

Served with grilled bread and cold beer.

 

PXL_20210527_132855860.thumb.jpg.fe4f3ccbbb269e14f720d3611cfc46f9.jpg

 

Grilled crayfish - never had one before, very tasty, but a bit challenging to eat 😅

 

PXL_20210527_133425197.thumb.jpg.44c0c843d7e0f3b46be85fdb9e0428e3.jpg

 

Fried calamari, another animal I don't usually eat. It was also very good and tasteful, the edges got quite crisp, but other than that I didn't really see the point of deep frying, and I think it would have been better grilled.

One of the calamari had eggs, which is also something I never had before, and they were honestly quite great.

Also, the tomato was very good for it being a garnish.

 

PXL_20210527_133433350.thumb.jpg.addc0753a41d590c148e583da409ec3a.jpg

 

Dessert on the house, yogurt and spoon sweets (can't  remember the fruit, might have been quince).

 

 

PXL_20210527_142019193.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Delicious 3

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The top 3 of your 2 recent posts"

- the thistle with the bee. I have an odd affection for thistles beyond artichokes and cardoons

- the octopus legs hung as on a clothesline

-eggs in calamari!  I've cleaned a lot of squid and that has never been present

 

Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, shain said:

PXL_20210527_143213604.thumb.jpg.b0707d05fb06844f1eb4b41019a748fe.jpg

 

 

@shain, I appreciate you posting about your Greece trip. Do you know what's going on with these squid / octopus legs? Looks like they're being dried. Did you get served any of it? Thank you!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, heidih said:

The top 3 of your 2 recent posts"

- the thistle with the bee. I have an odd affection for thistles beyond artichokes

- the octopus legs hung as on a clothesline

-eggs in calamari!  I've cleaned a lot of squid and that has never been present

 

 

Thanks! :)

 

So here's a bonus photo of the octopus that also shows the small garden they had there.

It was such a charming hidden gem of a location.

 

PXL_20210527_143224059.thumb.jpg.de84805580047d8aaaaabd368bc2d5bc.jpg

 

 

One crayfish also had eggs, but hey didn't taste like much. No photo of the squid eggs. They were clumped together and a quite yolk-like flavor, along with some seafood flavors. 

 

PXL_20210527_134926840.thumb.jpg.7bdc8457632fdfeb055b1a2e2ca4076c.jpg

 

  • Like 6

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, MokaPot said:

 

@shain, I appreciate you posting about your Greece trip. Do you know what's going on with these squid / octopus legs? Looks like they're being dried. Did you get served any of it? Thank you!

 

 

I'm not 100% sure by I believe that it is partially dried in order to be later grilled or cooked, rather than as a method of preservation.

 

We did not have octopus, and for me it's one animal I cannot comfortably eat, my line passes somewhere between squid and fish -

I don't eat fish but am OK with fish sauce and occasionally fish eggs. I don't mind things cooked with fish.

Clams etc. I really don't have any discomfort with. Snails, shrimps etc. I'm mostly OK with.

But octopuses just seem too intelligent for me.

  • Like 4

~ Shai N.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Octopus - yes dried prior to grilling  https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/06/21/193904507/mastering-a-sea-monster-from-greece-a-lesson-in-grilling-octopus

 

The eggs in the prawns got cooked so - yes - they would just have a slightly marine egg taste. I know female crabs with hopefully eggs are pricier than males for instance, but it does not do it for me. Of course there is a whole culture around "she crab soup" in the American South. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/She-crab_soup

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By Drew777
      I'm a Brit. I'm also a closet Frenchman.  To cap it all, I'm happily retired in Bangkok, the city of a street food culture that's second to none. The Thais are healthy and slim. I'm just this side of alive and far from slim. Lockdown has me fantasizing about my days working in London, Paris and New York, an existence, if one could call it that, revolving around gastronomy of one kind or another. They paid me, not so very much as it happens, to do what I enjoy doing most in life. We all get to do it, but I was one of a fortunate few who made it his metier. Well all that's in the past now, but I still dream of my time in Paris when lunch was a tad short of 2-hours, little-known local bistros remained affordable until the day they were discovered by La Bible (Michelin Guide) and the students were revolting - this was the summer of '68, for heaven's sake. Someone should open bistro here in Bangkok with a table d'hote of Soupe a l'Oignon gratinee, Blanquette de Veau, a stinky Epoisses and Tarte Tatin to finsih with creme fraiche. Ah, it's back to lockdown and pad Thai. 
    • By KennethT
      I was thinking of doing a food blog of my recent trip through parts of New Zealand's south island.  Most of the food we had was nothing spectacular, but the experiences and various scenery we had over the trip were amazing.  Is there any interest in this?
    • By Melania
      It's one o'clock on a warm summer's day in Florence, I'm on my way to get ingredients for lunch. The sun is high in the sky, the cobblestones are warm under my feet and the aroma of something delicious is in the air. My mind starts to drift to the onions, celery and tomatoes I need for my pasta sauce, oh and don't forget something sweet for dessert...this truly is la dolce vita.
       
      My thoughts are soon interrupted by an unwelcome "chiuso" sign on the door of my new favorite deli. The blinds are closed and the friendly owners are nowhere in sight. The reality of having my favorite pasta dish for lunch was slipping further and further away.
       
       
      What a nightmare! How can this be?
        A local passing by must have noticed my frustration.   "Signorina, è riposo. Tutto è chiuso!"
        Of course! How could I forget about the sacred Italian siesta?
        A siesta or riposo, as most Italians call it, is a time of rest. This time is usually around midday, or the hottest part of the day (very inconvenient if you're craving a bowl of pasta.) No one can really say where the tradition of the siesta originates, but many say it's all about food (no surprises there really).
        For many Italian families the main meal of the day is lunch. This heavy meal in the middle of the day is attributed to the standard Mediterranean diet: A minuscule breakfast of a coffee and pastry , a heavy lunch and an evening meal around 10 o'clock. The logic is that after such a heavy meal one would surely be drowsy and need to rest, no one can work efficiently on a full stomach!
        Post offices, car rentals, supermarkets and even coffee shops (in some smaller towns police stations too) all close their doors for a riposo. Everything comes to a standstill as every Italian goes home to kick of their shoes, enjoy a homemade lunch with family and bask in the Italian sunshine for three to four hours. This is serious business. One would not dare work for 8 hours straight. After their riposo most businesses open again around 4 o'clock and stay open till 7pm. Its the perfect balance between work and play and does wonders for your digestive system!
        "Grazie!" I thanked her for the reminder. The midday sun started to become unbearable. The streets had cleared with only a few tourists braving the midday heat still around. I thought about the strawberries I bought from the market earlier that week. Strawberries for lunch on my shaded balcony and maybe a nap afterwards sounded like my perfect riposo. The pasta will have to wait till 4.
               
           
  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...