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Spring Break in Greece!

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to talk about my wonderful spring break trip to Greece! There, we travelled to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Ios, and of course, my favorite part of the entire trip was the food. Here is a glimpse into my culinary tour of Greece!

Since I was finally in Europe, I felt that it was appropriate to order pasta. Even though it wasn’t fresh spaghetti right from Italy, all the pasta dishes that I had were absolutely delicious. The most common ones I found were vegetarian and seafood versions- all good for the non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike. This pasta I had was especially delicious. I ordered it at a restaurant called El Greco. The service was delightful and the food was fresh and unique. If you’re in Mykonos, you must take a stop at this place. I do suggest splitting plates. The dish in that picture is supposed to serve one. I challenge you to finish that all on your own.

A really great perk of coming to Greece during the off season is that even the best restaurants are really empty. The emptiness though, is not a sign of bad food, it’s just a calm before the storm that is the vacation rush. Some of the greatest meals we had were in deserted restaurants. It was as if we owned the places. Not too shabby…

I couldn’t come to Greece without sampling the more traditional dishes of the region, for example Spanakopita and Moussaka. Spanakopita is a sort of Greek spinach pie which is usually made with lots of light and flakey pastry and fresh feta cheese.

 

Of the two dishes, I definitely prefer moussaka. It is impossible not to like this- seriously. It is amazing. The Greek version of moussaka is sort of meat and eggplant lasagna. It has layers of sauteed eggplants, onions, tomatoes and meat. Then everything is topped with a creamy white sauce and baked. College students take note- it is the perfect hungover food. It is warm, filling and extremely flavorful. The best part is the light hint of nutmeg that you get in the white sauce. It goes so well with the meat and eggplant combination. YUM.

I really can’t get tired of stuffed veggies. You can find them a lot in Israel, but when I saw them on the menu in Greece, I just couldn’t resist. This tomato was stuffed with rice and herbs. The olive oil in it was extremely thick and fruity. I mean don’t even get me started on Greek olive oil. It is completely out of this world. Every meal I went to, I was sure to have a big glug of olive oil on my plate, a little salt and a hefty amount of bread on hand for dipping.

Greece wasn’t exactly filled with street foods. I did find this one man selling these breads. They looked like big stretched out bagels. I have seen these many times in Israel too. While they are delicious, they really can’t compare to American Jewish deli bagels. Nice try but no cigar!

When we were in Santorini, we went to the Boutari Wine company for a wine tasting. If you happen to go to Santorini then I highly suggest this tasting as it was incredibly informative. Our sommelier was very patient with all of our questions and was really willing to take the time to teach us about the wine. We were given sheets of paper to take notes, wine glasses and we began. The sommelier took us through eight different wines of the region, all with varying aromas and flavors. After the tasting, we were taken down into the wine cellar on a little private tour.

Wine tastings are always fun because you get to drink a lot. Yes, I’m in college and that’s what we do. But to be honest, I really learned a lot during this tasting. It was like experiencing the movie Sideways in person.

But of course, after all good wine tastings, it was time for a nap. Before I knew it, I was flying back to Tel Aviv. But it was good timing; I was really craving some falafel anyway…

Bon Eating,

Ariel

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