When in Greece

Santorini Traveler - - EDITORIAL - EDITOR: MARIETTA PAPATHANASIOU

You are strolling down the nar­row streets of Fira in a sunny, hot af­ter­noon. You are crav­ing for some­thing to eat, but you don’t want to eat too much.

What would a Greek do?

In Greek cul­ture, good com­pany and re­lax­ation come first, and food is a closer sec­ond. Even on a tight bud­get, a group of friends would never miss the tav­ern, but in­stead of a lux­u­ri­ous meal they would rather have a bot­tle of wine and lots of “mezedes”, small, tasty dishes of any­thing you can imag­ine. They might even find fla­vors they have never tasted be­fore, as it all comes down to the imag­i­na­tion of the cook! So why not do it our wayno need to rush, just re­lax and en­joy what is served be­fore you…

You are off to a great start with feta cheese in pas­try leaves with vin­santo wine and a plate of grilled mush­rooms, a match made in heaven. Why not try a light and sa­vory dish of sun­dried fried toma­toes with tzatziki? You should def­i­nitely not miss “fava”, a San­torinian split-pea puree, ac­com­pa­nied with onions and ca­per.

Also, tomato balls, a lo­cal recipe of the is­land or even crispy zuc­chini cro­quettes. As far as sal­ads go, there is al­ways the hearty Greek salad, or, if you are feel­ing more ad­ven­tur­ous, try “Dakos”, which, in its sim­plest form is bar­ley rusk with tomato and feta cheese, great for a hot sum­mer day. Not full yet? Ask for the San­torinian white egg­plant and you can’t go wrong!

Some­thing to drink maybe? If you are not a friend of strong al­co­hol you should prob­a­bly stay away from ouzo! Try a glass of cold beer in­stead or some lo­cal white wine which is also served cold. You might even want a glass of vin­santo wine - it’s usu­ally served af­ter lunch, as a di­ges­tive, but hey, it’s a mat­ter of taste!

Great food, beau­ti­ful mu­sic, hot sum­mer nights and a long talk with your friends on a Greek is­land. What more could you ask for?

Well, maybe for a shot of home-made “rakomelo”, on the house!

PHOTO 01: THE FA­MOUS TZATZIKI

PHOTO 02: BAKED WHITE EGG­PLANTS WITH FETA CHEESE

PHOTO 03: CRETAN “DAKOS”

PHOTO 04: GRILLED MUSH­ROOMS WITH BAL­SAMIC VINE­GAR

PHOTO 05: THE SAN­TORINIAN TOMATO BALLS

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