Today we begin our series on Greece!
Some of you may remember my brief “greeting post” from Greece back in April. I apologize it’s taken me this long to share the details of that trip with you. Traveling is great fun and all, but it really makes one fall behind on . . . life, I guess.
Thankfully, summer is a great time to catch up on a lot of things, including some of my long-overdue trip reports! Please enjoy this series on a fascinating region I know so little about . . . .
In the US, we tend to associate the well-known Greek pastry, baklava, with a particular form: layers of phyllo dough interspersed with nuts, oil, and honey. In fact, this ancient dessert* appears all over Greece in so many different fun and unexpected shapes and sizes.
We saw this egg-roll form of baklava in Delphi, where the server told us the cylindrical shape was characteristic of the region. These were delicious – thin, flaky and crispy on the outside yet substantially nutty, sweet, and moist on the inside.
We stumbled upon this caterpillar-like walnut baklava in a tiny bakery outside of Athens. [They were only OK – a bit dry].
This layered one looks a bit more like the kind that we’re used to seeing in America. This version was unique because it was made with pistachios!
I’ve never seen this before! Chocolate baklavas!
Another popular dessert we saw was kataifi, a shredded vermicelli-like phyllo dessert. The thin-wispy “noodles” are mixed with nuts and honey, not that dissimilar from baklava except for the texture.
Ekmek Kataifi is a version of kataifi that combines the shredded vermicelli with gorgeously creamy custard. I much prefer this version!
I was thrilled to see Ekmek gelato (something I’d never seen before), and had to try some.
Of course, one of the most classic desserts (found ALL over the place) is Greek yogurt with honey. I have always preferred the thick, creamy texture and flavor of Greek yogurt (full fat, please!), so I was thrilled when I saw it everywhere in Greece. Every restaurant offers it as a dessert option. If you don’t want to eat at a restaurant, you can pick up tubs of it at any convenience store or market.
And it’s sooo good everywhere. Thick, creamy, slightly tart – it goes perfectly with sweet honey or fresh fruit.
Our breakfast in Santorini every morning (don’t mind the Hob Nobs! I brought them over from London!)
Ahhhh . . Santorini . . .
*it’s been around since the 1500’s and an earlier version was even spotted in a Chinese cookbook from the 1300’s!
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