What do you do when you want to travel abroad but can’t afford the time or expense? If you want to go to Greece or learn about Greece for a work-in-progress (I wouldn’t know who was doing that). You go to a Greek Food Festival and become a Greek for a day.
Waiting in line while mouthwatering aromas waft through the air. . . . then the tasting begins!
Flaming Cheese Saganaki (pronounced sah-ghah-NAH-kee). The term saganaki refers to the two-handled vessel in which appetizers are served. The cheese is pan-fried and at the last minute (often at the table) a Greek brandy or Ourzo is poured over the cheese and set aflame with a shout of “Opa!.” You can find the recipe here.
Want to know more about Greek food? You can find all you want to know about Greek food at Matt Barrett’s travel guides.
The boutique complete with souvenirs from Greece. Notice the ladies behind the counter in their festive attire.
No Greek food festival is complete without dancing.
Did You Know?
Greeks are notorious for late arrivals to events. In fact, when they observe someone arriving at an event on time they say “he is English.”
When something is incomprehensible to an American we say, “It’s Greek to me.” But to the Greeks, “It’s Chinese to me.”
When a Greek exaggerates or hides the truth, he’s “pouring on the sauce.”
Shaping thumb and forefinger to a ring as in the American gesture meaning okay is an obscene gesture to Greeks.
Many Greeks have a cactus plant near the entrance to their home. The spines or prickles of the cactus are thought to ward off the evil eye from the property.
You can find more information about Greek traditions and superstitions from an expat who lives in Athens.
And the best information comes from conversations you have with the folks who remember these traditions and superstitions and a few stories about a Yaya (grandmother).
While travel to the country is the best option when learning about another culture. And the internet can be a treasure trove of information. There’s nothing quite like being almost there, at a local festival, tasting the food, listening to the music, and enjoying the stories.
That’s a fun idea! My hubs has done a lot of the festivals close by. I’d go for the food, but the heat! Oh the heat!
It is fun. And the food is devine! But, even here it can get really hot in the summer. 🙂 Under the tent was nearly unbearable, but in the sun my lilly white skin would fry . . . so what did I do? I clapped and ‘opa-ed’ with the best of them!
We have some really good Greek festivals in southwest Ohio – and my daughter’s best friend who is half Greek will vouch for that!
It’s always fun to have someone ‘in the know’ guide you through which foods to try, who is most authentic, and what you might want to steer clear of! So far, I’ve liked every Greek dish I’ve tried, even without a guide.
Was you’re daughter’s best friend born in the U.S. or in Greece? Or somewhere else?
She was born in the US, and so was her mom – but her mom’s parents are from Greece. 🙂
I want baklava right now. Saganaki sounds great, too. Okay, I’ve got a question. How do you pronounce gyro? Is it gee-ro or guy-ro?
Yum, baklava pronounced “bahk-lah-VAH.” Love it. Saganaki is pronounced “sah-ghah-NAH-kee.”
Gyro is “yee-ro.” And that’s your Greek lesson for today. 🙂 Thanks, Pat.