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


shain
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2 hours ago, Yiannos said:

Be careful, I feel like I at this point in my life I now have a substance abuse problem with that stuff.

 

I grow up with the stuff :)

It's not my favorite sweet, though I do enjoy it, especially in it's strands (aka hairs, fluff) form. My favorite halva is just tahini with honey or date molasses, eaten with toasted bread.

 

Now my real addiction are baklavas 🤩

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~ Shai N.

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Last evening in Athens.

 

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A couple of local craft beers.

 

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And a late night snack. This is an extremely popular bakery bakes koulouri - Greek sesame bagels. Even at around midnight, they still bake fresh one, mostly of the classic sesame covered type, but also some specialties.

We opted for a couple of more interesting kinds, both fresh out of the oven, and pleasantly warm on a chill night (chill in Greek standards). One is sesame and raisins, the other with sunflower. Both are slightly chewy, quite sweet as far as  bread goes, with a nice nutty flavor from the seeds. Can't think of more perfect post-drink snack.

At this late time, they still made Wolt-style deliveries of bagels, as well as preparing larger deliveries for shops.

 

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We also got Greek doughnuts, with chili-honey syrup. Crisp and not too sweet. But the sauce was strangely artificial tasting.

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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Thank you again, @shain, for taking us along on your trip and taking and sharing with us your wonderful photographs.  I've enjoyed them very much.  As an aside, we have a Greek bakery here and they make those doughnuts.  They are delicious.

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Gorgeous  evening/nighttime photos!  I've been to Athens several times but catching sight of the Parthenon and other ancient buildings on the Acropolis when they're illuminated at night never fails to amaze me and your photos bring me back to that feeling of wonderment.  Thanks for sharing once again.

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Thanks everyone, it's been a pleasure going through memories and telling the stories. A couple more posts to go.

 

Last breakfast - pies!

 

As you might have noticed, the city have a greater variety of styles than the country which tends to stick to local traditional styles of dough and fillings. However, it seems that Athenians also have a slight preference to puff pastry over phylo, and the later is more often of the thin kind, rather than the tick rustic style (which is style my favorite).

A shortcrust style dough is also common, but the few we samples of the style weren't great, being a bit dry, not flaky and very rustic (a bit like baked fresh pasta). I'll mention a couple we tried earlier for having interesting filling - one with onion, oregano and sumac; the other with feta and mint. Interesting, but not particularly tasty :P

 

So for this last breakfast, we went to a famous shop that sells a huge variety of pies (there are English labels, if you are interested - a few of interest: Hamburger pie, shrimp pastry bags, and "Philadelphia").

We picked a couple of interesting ones, and luckily so.

The first is savory pie of feta and leek, the filling was simple and good, the crust a bit quiche crust - very flaky, short, not very crisp. Overall, it reminded me of a homey French leek quiche.

The other was a show stopper - A sweet filling of pumpkin and walnuts and/or chestnuts, with a bit of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg perhaps. The pumpkin had a watermelon like taste (a bit like watermelon flavored drinks or candy) which worked incredibly well with the spices.  A thin filo crust with the interior layers being a bit dry, but the outside flaky and crisp. it could have been a perfect late autumn dish, but was delicious on a sunny morning as well. If anyone knows what kind of  squash yields such flavor, I'd be delighted to know.

 

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~ Shai N.

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Wow. I need coffee just from the images. On the squash my mind went first to something like this  https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/calabaza-en-tacha-candied-pumpkin/ where it is simmered with piloncillo and cassia sticks but that it too deep a flavor from your description. I did use a pattypan from my garden once in a strudel. It was just on the verge if getting hard. Had a hint of watermelon. Interesting. 

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9 hours ago, heidih said:

Wow. I need coffee just from the images. On the squash my mind went first to something like this  https://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/calabaza-en-tacha-candied-pumpkin/ where it is simmered with piloncillo and cassia sticks but that it too deep a flavor from your description. I did use a pattypan from my garden once in a strudel. It was just on the verge if getting hard. Had a hint of watermelon. Interesting. 

 

Thanks. Yes, it was lighter, more like lightly candied squash than a starchy/creamy pumpkin.

~ Shai N.

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One cannot leave Athens without a visit to the market.

The produce is aesthetic and fresh. The vendors are friendly and while lively, they are very orderly compared to the chaotic markets here in Israel. The vendors were eager to pose with their catch.

The vegetable market and enclosed wet markets are at the center, surrounded by shops selling spices, sweets, cheeses, pickles, cookies, utensils, etc.

 

 

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Edited by shain (log)
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Lunch before the flight back home.

 

Eggplant salad.

Souvlaki. I was told it was very good.

Shrimp saganaki. Tasty, but not as good as the one we had before - this had a more reduced sauce (I think with celery in it) which was nice, but didn't work as well as the bright one in the other version. Also a bit light on the cheese.

Beer.

Complimentary halva (the sesame kind), mastica liquor (yum) and tropical fruit juice to go with it.

 

 

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And back home 🥺

 

Brought some stuff with us.

 

"Greek bagels" - pictured are the classic one with sesame, and one with cheese. Not as good as fresh, but still good after a visit to the oven.

Cherries, to be made into preserves.

Various cookies and crackers (nothing exciting, sadly).

Chocolate baklava, and some more chocolates and such to give as gifts.

Lukom in various flavors. Here one with nuts and a coconut covering (delicious).

Pickles mussels, with bright floral spices, garlic, some sugar.

Delicious bread sticks with whole grains and seeds.

Some local craft beer.

Ouzo and tsipouro.

 

 

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That's it everyone! Thanks for following along 😍

It's always fun to go through pictures and share the memories with others.

 

Greece is a short flight away for us, and I'm amazed it's only now that I visit. But it's a varied and beautiful country, with friendly people and great food - so we'll be back.

For me, the highlight was definitely Pelion, with its incredible shores and villages. But Meteora is surely an unforgettable sight.

 

Until next time.

 

Edited by shain (log)
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~ Shai N.

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6 minutes ago, shain said:

That's it everyone! Thanks for following along 😍

It's always fun to go through pictures and share the memories with others.

 

Greece is a short flight away for us, and I'm amazed it's only now that I visit. But it's a varied and beautiful country, with friendly people and great food - so we'll be back.

For me, the highlight was definitely Pelion, with it's incredible shores and villages. But Meteora is surely an unforgettable sight.

 

Until next time.

 

I really enjoyed that trip, Shai.  I would have loved to visit Greece.  My first undergrad degree...believe it or not...was in Ancient Greek.  The language of Homer might not have been too useful in the marketplace...  Thanks again. 

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Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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13 minutes ago, heidih said:

Can you describe the chocolate baklava?

It's heavy on the phyllo, all the way through. The inside couldn't really crisp up, which makes it a bit chewy, perhaps a bit too tough-dry. Flavor wise, it's goog cocoa and butter, with a generous pinch of salt - which works well.

I think that it has potential, but the structure should be changed. A filling of hazelnuts would work wonders.

~ Shai N.

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54 minutes ago, shain said:

It's heavy on the phyllo, all the way through. The inside couldn't really crisp up, which makes it a bit chewy, perhaps a bit too tough-dry. Flavor wise, it's goog cocoa and butter, with a generous pinch of salt - which works well.

I think that it has potential, but the structure should be changed. A filling of hazelnuts would work wonders.

Makes sense going the Nutella  route and amping up the crunch.

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