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What Up?

Is there anything in the Cultural/Festival line happening next week (5-8 November) on the island, please?


  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 770
    Hi JimJ,

    This is the quiet time of year after the tourist season so there aren't any events happening, at least that I know of.

    This is the time when the locals collect their olives and make olive oil, and also produce their local "moonshine" called Tsipouro from their grape harvest. When you're here, and if you're interested, ask your host if they can suggest anywhere for you to go, watch, and partake!

  • JimJJimJ Member Posts: 7
    Thanks, Augie - I think I'll pass on the tsipouro! To my taste, it's pretty vile at the best of times and even more so when it's freshly made :D I much prefer my Bulgarian father-in-law's home-made rakiya, made from grapes (rather than the left-overs from wine-making) or apricots - some of it over 20 years old :)

    I'll be bringing some rakiya with me, in case we make some salad for ourselves one evening. Bulgarian "Shopska" salad is VERY different from the Greek "horiatiki" - they grate the cheese instead of just cutting it up! :D
  • AugieAugie Administrator Posts: 770
    Oh my. I wouldn't like any drink made with 20-year-old left overs, either! :D

    I recommend visiting my friends in Rachoni and watching how they do it. They only use fresh grapes. They also add extra ingredients such as mastic, cherries, pairs, hops, and others to create some unique flavors. It's great stuff but it's not for everybody (very strong). Goes excellently with a seafood meze!

    I'll have to give this very different salad called Shopska a try when I go to Bulgaria next! ;)
  • JimJJimJ Member Posts: 7
    :D It's the rakiya that's 20 years old, not the fruit!

    It's matured in wooden barrels for a number of years before being "bottled" (aka decanted into 15-litre mineral water bottles) and then stored; we had close to a tonne of it in our cellar but it's surprising how much one can get through - with help, of course. It's also very strong stuff - no smoking when you drink it unless you want to lose your eye-brows ;)

    The last tsipouro/tsikouthia I had was in Crete some years ago - as I said, it was pretty vile to my palate. However, I'm game to try it again: "that which does not kill you makes you stronger" ;) Do any restaurants on the island sell the decent stuff, do you know? One nice thing about Bulgaria (apart from it being MUCH cheaper than Greece for almost everything, of course) is that the wine is pretty good - still better than Greek wine but the gap is certainly narrowing. I have to admit that I'm very partial to a glass or three of retsina with my fish/seafood. However, they do have the nasty habit of making "moussaka" with potatoes and "sermichki" (aka dolmades) with cabbage leaves - and avgolemono is something they've never heard of...

    I was in Halkidiki a couple of times last year and was very disappointed to see that most of the "fresh" fish/seafood they were selling in the restaurants came out of the freezer - and there was even the Lidl packaging in some restaurants' bins :(
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