For one who finds the “foodstagram” epidemic downright laughable, I do tend to take a lot of pictures of food. Maybe I’m just a product of my environment, or maybe there’s just something about good food that begs to be remembered long after the taste has left your tongue.
Whatever the case, the food in Greece definitely deserves to be documented. (Just ask my pal Leslie–I wrote her a letter on my way home from Crete and it was almost exclusively about food!) I have seriously never tasted so many delicious things, and while I didn’t take a picture of everything I ate, here are a few for you to salivate over.
When we didn’t feel like eating out (even though it was pretty cheap to do so), we would get food from the mini market and eat at home. I really fell in love with Greek salads, so all I’d need was a cucumber, a tomato, and an onion. We got some delicious homemade olive oil from a lady who also sells thyme honey (delicious!!) and talks your ear off–in Greek. Add in some herbs picked fresh from the hills around Sivas, and voila! A perfectly satisfying lunch.
I loved sitting on the rooftop patio at our rental house. Sometimes, the lady who lives next door would climb up to her own roof to hang her laundry on the wires of her TV antenna, and we’d exchange friendly kalimera‘s. On the last full day in Crete, I was up there working on my homework when she climbed up with a handful of these fruits. Without saying a word, she put gestured for me to take them. After a poorly pronounced, “ευχαριστώ!” (thank you), I quickly stuffed one of them in my mouth. It was delicious! I had no idea what it was, but Liza and I did some sleuthing with Nikos #1 and discovered that they were loquats, which they call “μούσμουλο” (moúsmoulo) in Greece. They were quite yummy!
One of my favorite things about eating in Greece was eating outside! The weather was perfect the whole time we were there, perfect for dining out under the moon.
Carlos told us to “pay attention to where the locals eat” so that we knew where the best food was. The locals tend to eat at Vafis Taverna–and for good reason. It was easily the best food I had in Greece, and we ate there several times. Their Papoutsakia (stuffed eggplant baked in a stone casserole dish and topped with melted feta………….) was absolutely divine.
Candlelight pizza dinners? Yes please!
The morning meet up spot on most days was a lovely little coffee shop on the square. I don’t drink coffee, but I would occasionally order some of the best orange juice in the entire world. Seriously. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I didn’t eat any while we were there, but they sure looked yummy!
I have a tradition where I have to eat pizza in every country I visit. When I asked Carlo where I could get some pizza, he was very excited to tell me about Pizzeria Ariadni, which, he claimed, has the best pizza in the world. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I agree with him, it was pretty good, and the atmosphere was really cool. You could visit the kitchen area and watch the cooks hand-toss pizza dough, or sit and enjoy the conversation with friends at the candlelit tables in the open air seating area.
About the only thing I didn’t like while in Crete was the snails. I mean, I liked the snails I found leaving slimy trails on walls and clustered together on olive trees, but the snails I found on my dinner plate one evening were less than delicious. I’ve always wanted to try escargot, and now that that’s safely checked off my bucket list, I don’t have any desire to eat it ever again.
One of the coolest food-related adventures we had took place on the last full day on the island. We had group presentations scheduled for the afternoon, and my group (me, Liza, and Claud) spent the morning finishing our Power Point slides on the back porch of a lovely little herb shop in the next town over. It was called Botano, and they sell every herb and spice and tea you can imagine.
Everything about this shop reminded me of New Mexico–specifically, Taos, NM.
I didn’t drink any tea, but doesn’t it look so lovely in this mug?
Seriously, am I in Greece or New Mexico?
I bought some of their fancy flavored sea salts to take home with me, as well as some tzatziki mix. Combine that with the Greek cookbook I bought as a souvenir, and I’ll be eating really well for the foreseeable future.
This is what we looked over while we practiced our presentation. Life is rough, man.