Friday, October 26, 2012

The Food of Santorini

I was inspired by another blogger's post about the (delicious-looking) food she had on her recent trip to Prague to write my own food-inspired post. Some of you have already seen these pictures on Facebook, but I thought I'd add a little more explanation about the food we ate on our dream trip to Santorini, Greece, in May. Munch on!

These are tomatokeftedes, or fried tomato fritters.  I knew they were a popular dish, so I wanted to try them out.  Even fried, they're very fresh, as Santorini grows a lot of tomatoes.

This is a Greek hamburger.  It's nothing what we're (in the U.S.) used to in a hamburger.  In fact, I don't recommend it unless you've had a few drinks and there's nothing else around to eat.  It's like meatloaf, but... mushier.  I'd had a couple of drinks myself, and was seriously hungry, but after a quarter of it, I gave up.

The "Greek sausages" are like Polska kielbasa, which I like, and I'll eat potatoes in just about any form, so this was a tasty lunch.

This is Pastitzio, a favorite Greek comfort food: pasta and sauce, topped with a beschamel sauce faintly tasting of nutmeg.  Different places cook it in different ways: some in a souffle dish, others in a sheet pan, and I think I had this three times, but it was all SO good.  I was so happy to come home and see that I have a recipe for it in our Greek cookbook.

Greek salad: Mr. Calm had one at pretty much every restaurant we went to.  The feta cheese on Santorini is shipped in from Crete or another island, where there are a lot of sheep farms.

Gyros: a bit different there!  They stuff the fries into the sandwich.

I don't remember what this is: I could really understand the baker (the farther you get from the coast and tourist areas, the less English you'll find).  All I know is that it was one of the tastiest desserts I've ever had.  The outside of the croissant is basted with honey, there is a light lemony cream inside, and it's "fronted" with whipped cream and honeyed almonds.

The soft drink choices seemed to be: Coke, Coke Light, Sprite, and Fanta.  Who cares, when you've got that view to eat against?  By the way, eat at Kamari Beach at your own risk.  It's along a boardwalk with hotels and restaurants, and the proprietors will come out and get in your face, asking you to stop and eat at their establishment.  I chose one whose owner didn't breathe on my face and nearly stuff his forefinger into my shirt.

This was my typical breakfast at the hotel: fresh bread, peaches and Greek yogurt with honey, a very thin quiche, and coffee.  The cream I used... well, I'm just not sure what animal it came from, but I know it wasn't a cow.

Mr. Calm and I ate three times for lunch at Restaurant Poseidon at Perissa Beach.  By the time we left, the owner would come out to shake our hand when we arrived, and he gave us a tablecloth as a souvenir.  This is Spaghetti Poseidon, which Mr. Calm gobbled down.

One thing about service: when you arrive, they set the table with the tablecloth, glasses, condiments, and your bread.  The only time you see the server is when they either bring your food, or you want them to come to the table.  No asking if you want more or if you're doing okay, and you know what?  I liked that just fine.  Service was always prompt.  We also always got a freebie: either a dessert, or a glass of vinsanto (a wine made from raisins).

Mythos beer: why oh why is this not more readily available here?  I think the closest store to me is in *Michigan*.  I loved it.  Other than wine, this was my choice to drink when we'd go to downtown Fira (the capital city) in the evenings.

These are Swiss Cheese Cheetos.  Oh.  My God.  SO tasty!  I wish they'd sell these here, too.  I brought some home for OD.  She didn't eat them.  Guess who did? ;)

This is some kind of eggplant mousse.  I'm picky, but in the interest of, eh, exploration, I tried it.  Mr. Calm enjoyed it more than I did.  And I really tried to like olives: tried one whole one, and some tapenade that we got with our bread.  It just ain't happenin' for me.

Like I said, we'd go to downtown Fira (Fira center) in the evenings (we were staying next door in Firostefani, overlooking the caldera), and we'd generally find a place to sit, have a drink, and people- and car-watch.  This was at the Internet Cafe.  Got my Mythos!  And we would watch every single car, bus, and motorcycle go through the one stop sign in the center.  NO ONE stopped.  Thank goodness they're only going about eight miles an hour.

Another favorite place of ours was the Corner Creperie.  Crepes are very different there: a bit thinner, and pretty popular.  This is Mr. Calm's garden crepe.  We also had some sweet ones at another creperie.

There are a lot of bakeries on Santorini: open all day, selling all kinds of goodies.  Every croissant I got was about ten inches long.  I'm a bread freak, and I was in heaven.

This is kadaifi, a traditional dessert.  We got this free our last day at Perissa Beach.  Yes, it looks like Shredded Wheat, and tasted like it, too.  I wasn't such a fan, but it was okay.  It's got honey in it, and nuts.

These beef fritters were some of my favorites.  Ever since our trip, I've used Greek yogurt as sour cream, because it tastes just like it.  There was a little too much paprika on this dish, but otherwise I really enjoyed them.

And Mr. Calm got his seafood.  This is his culinary heaven. :)

Even with all that food-- three squares a day-- we managed to come home a few pounds lighter, because with the exception of driving to the beaches, we walked everywhere, at least two or three miles a day.

Full yet? ;)


  1. You sure tried a lot of varied Greek food, Athena!
    I've had the kadaifi, but same as you I found it a little too dry. The beef fritters look great!
    And I do love Greek salad :)

  2. I love seafood too. But everything looks great! {:-D

  3. Looks delicious!!! And you're reminding me of my trip to Greece a few years ago. We toured the country, based out of Athens, and then took a cruise around some of the Islands. We were only in Santorini for 1/2 day. It was heaven though- and I miss Mythos too!!!!

  4. Wow, what an amazing food tour! I always enjoy learning about new cuisine. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. I didn't realize there was so much variety to Greek food so it was fun to see your photos!

  6. What a variety of different foods! That crepe caught my attention, as did the pasta dish.

  7. What fun to get to try the local foods! And how different each dish is.
    Even better that you got to eat it all and lose weight!!!

  8. Foreign food can be so interesting--and tasty (hopefully).
    You certainly got quite a variety!
    I do love Mediterranean food and one can get some of the items you featured here in the states.