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Vidianó: Affordable White Wine from Crete

Drinks Stevie Stacionis Post a comment

I opened two bottles of Vidianó last night, because: what the hell. Because I had them, because I was in love with Oakland, because Vidianó seemed as appropriate as anything to celebrate with. More

Liatiko: Would You Buy a 'Weird' Greek Red for Under $15?

Drinks Stevie Stacionis 7 comments

I want to think that a beautifully packaged bottle from an interesting-sounding grape made in a picturesque Mediterranean region would sell like hotcakes. On the other hand, I have to wonder what Liatiko's fate would be on a wine list or store shelf if no one is there to point out what a great deal it is and how fantastic it will be with duck confit. More

Assyrtiko: Fierce and Delightful Wine for Summer

Drinks Stevie Stacionis 5 comments

Rent control, shment control, it seems. I have to find a new home. In less than 30 days. So I "celebrated" one of my last leisurely days (a.k.a. drowned my sorrows) in my near-and-dear Dolores Park with a bottle of Assyrtiko. More

Culinary Ambassadors: Breakfast in Greece

The Culinary Ambassador Corps 5 comments

Greeks tend to need a breakfast that will jumpstart their day. Serious coffee is in order. Opening your bleary eyes after a long night out to see a briki, the typical Greek bronze coffee maker, bubbling away on the stove is a glorious sight. Along with their small but potent coffees, Greeks like to have a small biscuit, a koulouraki or, even better, a foinikaki, a Phoenician biscuit made from honey, orange juice, and flour. More

Snapshots from Greece: Loukoumades from Krinos in Athens

Erin Zimmer 8 comments

"Krinos kind of feels like the Greek version of Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, minus all the powdered sugar on the ground." Cafeteria can mean mystery meat and hair nets, or it can mean landmark Athens doughnut hotspot. Since 1922, the good souls of Krinos have been frying loukoumades, or small doughnuts in ring or ball form (in this case, ring) drenched in a honey-citrus syrup. Even though it's on a shopping street near Omonoia Square, instead of being attached to a high school gym, it still gets the cafeteria classification because self-service cutlery and plastic trays are involved. Though there was a pile of fried rings waiting when I approached the counter, they apparently weren't fresh enough. They... More

Snapshots from Greece: Nescafe Frappe

Erin Zimmer 9 comments

Note: Our own Erin Zimmer just returned from ten days eating and drinking her way around Greece and will be sharing her adventures with us all week as Snapshots from Greece. —Ed. As a foam supporter, I was pretty happy about the Nescafe Frappe all over Greece. It's about 35-percent foam, 55-percent super strong instant coffee, and 10-percent sludge sitting at the bottom (percentages may vary; all of that was guesstimated). But the foam is some of the best coffee foam around. The micro bubbles don't dissolve into the drink while you're drinking it—they just sit there until you find a proper scooping device. Talk about some long-lasting, high-definition foamage. To make a frappe: In a tall glass, add a... More

Snapshots from Greece: Assyrtiko Wine from Santorini

Erin Zimmer 4 comments

Note: Our own Erin Zimmer just returned from ten days eating and drinking her way around Greece and will be sharing her adventures with us all week as Snapshots from Greece. —Ed. The Sigalas Winery is one of Santorini's best. Photograph by Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen. When most people think of Greek wines—that is, if they ever think about Greek wines—they think retsina. Sadly, it's been nicknamed alcoholic Pine-Sol since it was first created with pine resin to help boost the shelf life 2,000 years ago. This hasn't been so great for the rest of Greek wines, especially the non-piney, non-sucky ones. Assyrtiko grapes growing on Santorini. On Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands and a hot tourist magnet,... More

Snapshots from Greece: Koulouri, the Thessaloniki Street Food

Erin Zimmer 6 comments

Note: Our own Erin Zimmer just returned from ten days eating and drinking her way around Greece and will be sharing her adventures with us all week as Snapshots from Greece. —Ed. I didn't spot a single hot dog cart in Thessaloniki, but there were a few umbrella-shaded vendors selling koulouri, or biscuit-like rings covered in sesame seeds. They are bagel-shaped, or maybe bagels are koulouri-shaped, considering these date back to the Byzantine era. Unlike bagels, they yield more of a crunch than a chew, along the lines of biscotti.... More

Snapshots from Greece: The Modiano Market in Thessaloniki

Erin Zimmer 8 comments

Note: Our own Erin Zimmer just returned from ten days eating and drinking her way around Greece and will be sharing her adventures with us all week as Snapshots from Greece. —Ed. I feel like travelers can be lumped into two categories: those who get a high from scouting out the local market, whether an average grocery chain or indoor hall with various stalls, and those who don't really care. Some of my strongest associations with cities are the markets—Eastern Market in Washington, the Delvita chain in the Czech Republic, and the English Market in Cork, Ireland. It's like a breathing museum with interesting characters, local produce, and, the always fascinating, foreign brands and packaging. In Thessaloniki, the second largest... More

Snapshots from Greece: Fage Yogurt

Erin Zimmer 16 comments

"It seems to spark an obsessive quality in people." As a Fage enthusiast, I was pretty excited to visit the yogurt's motherland. Within the first few hours of arriving in Greece, I wandered into a corner convenience store and zeroed in on the fridge section. There it was in Greek letters: ΦΑΓΈ (pronounced fah-yehhh). Greeks eat yogurt around the clock: at breakfast (even though they're not big breakfast people), as a snack, and definitely for dessert. To counter the tartness, they pour on the honey. Greeks have a lot of pride in their honey, especially thyme honey, claiming it's some of the best golden sticky stuff in the world. Because of the country's long sunshine periods, the Greek bees can... More

Snapshots from Greece: Souvlaki from O Thanasis in Athens

Erin Zimmer 17 comments

Note: Our own Erin Zimmer just returned from ten days eating and drinking her way around Greece. This is the first of her snapshots from that trip. —Ed. I had two priorities during my quick day in Athens: see the Parthenon and digest something from the souvlaki-kebab-gyro family. Luckily there's only one ancient temple devoted to Athena, but there are plenty of kebab-rotating, meat spit-shaving men that look they could be the best. Though my Rough Guide to Athens recommended O Thanasis just off the northeast corner of Monastiraki Square, I needed a second opinion. "The best, the totally best," said the guy who sold me an international converter at a teeny electronics stall along the Eolou Street bazaar. That... More

The Greek Non-Breakfast

Erin Zimmer 16 comments

Photograph from steve.wilde on Flickr I'm headed to Greece tomorrow, and was curious what I'd be eating for breakfast over the course of ten mornings. A little research proved that Greeks don't really do breakfast given the late lunching (between 3 and 4 p.m.) and dinnering (after 9 p.m.). Coffee sweetened with honey and a cigarette seems pretty standard, and if food has to be involved, then maybe a piece of pita or bowl of yogurt. This photographer went for DIY pita sandwiches, one with honey, and the other with ham and cheese, when on the Greek isle of Rhodes. Anything else I should look forward to? Related Greek Yogurt - Recommendations? [Talk] Greek Lamb and Olive Burgers with... More

Ancient Salad Dressing From Under the Sea

Sarah Wolf Post a comment

Discovery Channel Scientists analyzing the DNA from containers found in a 2,400-year-old Greek shipwreck have discovered some of the world's oldest wine and salad dressing. The DNA was extracted from two transport jars known as amphora, which appeared empty but had actually absorbed their contents into their ceramic interiors. The first amphora is thought to have contained herb-infused olive oil, possibly preserved for so many years thanks to oregano's antioxidant properties. The DNA from the second amphora indicates that it either contained mastic, which is an aromatic resin, or pistachio nuts. Since the particular design of the amphora is associated with wine shipments, the researchers think the container likely held mastic-flavored wine. According to researcher Brendan Foley, the success of... More

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