Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So Much Spanakopita

I've mentioned before how my town loves to celebrate. Every month there are at least two activities be they "fests," concerts, reenactments (actually that seems to happen every week) or gatherings of some sort. It's part and parcel of living in a town with HISTORY and pretty major tourist destination. When I first moved here these fests were an annoyance, just another crowd of tourists and locals that I had to wade through.

Well, my friends, it has finally happened. I am no longer just living here, I've officially become part of the sidewalk congestion problem because I love going to these little festivals.

A week or so ago the local Orthodox Greek church hosted their annual Greek Fest. Much like the Seafood Fest, the Greek Fest has the obligatory craft booths, the county fair-esque kiddie rides complete with creepy carnies, music and the adorable toddlers dressed head to toe in costume ready to entertain us. But the real reason to go to a festival is the food.

Sure watching the little kids dance traditional Greek dances is so. freaking. adorable. you might just squee yourself right into a hospital, but watching those same kids dance while you are chowing down on buttery spanakopita, tangy dolmathes and oh so yummy souvlaki is (to borrow a phrase from Matthew Inman) "like frolicking in the back hair of angels." 

While I did take pictures of the girls, the dancers, and the crowds in general, you know I'm not too comfortable posting them on the web - something about souls being wait, that's not it...oh the whole it's around forever and creepy internet people might, you know, look at them. So I leave you a few shots of the food. Forgive the half eaten state of some of the food as we were all so excited we forgot to take before shots! With so much to choose from the girls and I ended up sharing a combo platter which had a small selection of each meal.

This has the pastitsio, a baked macaroni, half a dolmathes (grape leaf stuffed with meat and rice) and a heaping serving of rice.

Here we divided everything up into thirds. There's a few pieces of flat bread, the spanakopita (filo dough with spinach, cheese and egg), the tiropita (filo dough with egg and cheese) and another half of a dolmathes.

I'm not sure of the origin of calamari. Is it Greek? Who knows? Who cares? Because it was all around the best calamari I have ever had! 

And then after a stroll around the craft booths we headed back to the food tents for desserts! These little gems are called loukoumades. Essentially they are doughnut holes (although to be honest they had a more fried dough taste then a doughnut taste) coated in honey, cinnamon, nuts and powered sugar.

Like the main meal, the girls and I opted to get a sample platter of desserts. There were two of everything so we shared one and saved the other for Scott who was home sick (because the best way to make someone get over a cold faster is to bring them Greek pastries!).

Clockwise from top: flogeres, melomakarona, koulourakia, kourambiethes and baklava
The platter included flogeres (a filo cookie similar to baklava with one end dipped in chocolate), melomakarona (a spiced butter cookie dipped in honey), koulourakia (butter cookies), kourambiethes (wedding cookies rolled in powered sugar) and finally baklava (filo dough stuffed with walnuts and honey).

After all that food we decided to walk around downtown and do some exploring we ended up at the Lightner Museum but that's a tale for another day.


  1. Greek food is the best! I also love Greek music. Why am I not organizing a local Greek festival right now!?! Oh, that's right, I'm super lazy. Sounds like you had a good time. Also, you're right, posting pictures of someone would steal their soul. This is a fact.

  2. I love Greek food!! And festivals ALWAYS mean funnel cake... It's like they are having that festival just for me.

    Mmmmmmmm... funnel cake....