Friday, August 21, 2009

Opa! Opa! Opa!

Hello to all! At the moment I am on board a Greek ferry between the island of Naxos and Piraeus (the port near Athens). Aaahhhh! The power of the Internet! I am tapping this post oit on my iPhone so it promises to be relatively short.
This has been a wonderful journey thus far, though not without it's complications. We've been forced to abandon our trip to the island of Milos due to ferry cancellations and have basically lost a day to travel. Just the same, the islands we have seen are gorgeous with their sugar cube houses and dramatic coastlines. We've spent time lounging on a black sand beach, riding donkeys up the side of a mountain, and exploring beautiful, winding towns carved into the sides of steep cliffs. And now, Athens awaits us! But enough about that! On to the food!
The best thing we've eaten so far, hands down, is stuffed grape leaves. Grape leaves are tightly wrapped around bundles of soft rice mixed with a little cheese and herbs. The neat little packages can be eaten in two tidy bites either on their own or dunked in tyziki sauce (my favorite!). We've eaten them twice -- once drenched in olive oil and served with kalamata olives and the other time served dry with fresh slices of tomato. When I return home I'm going to do everything in my power to recreate these tasty little bites. Yum! I could go for a plate of them right now!
We've also eaten some amazing cheeses -- soft, salty feta and Saganaki (a new one for me). The feta is unlike anything I've eaten in the USA. It's so fresh and soft. We cut it into pretty little pieces and popped them into our mouths using just our fingers. Wonderful! The Saganaki was a local cheese that was very lightly fried (almost like tempura) in a thin block. We cut it into pieces and were surprised by it's complex, buttery taste. It was rather hard and had a nice flavor from being fried. Also, it wasn't greasy at all. When I return home I'm going to look it up and find out for certain how it was prepared. It really was extraordinary.
We've eaten many other delicious foods and had wonderful local wines, but this will have to suffice for now. I have pictures galore (Paige has been very sweet to wait until I've photographed all the food before diving in) and will post a number of them upon my return. We have two and a half more days in Greece, during which I plan on stuffing myself silly, then we move on to Italy for a week. I'm sure well find a thing or two there that's worth writing home about! Cheers!

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