Saturday, September 22, 2012

St Demetrios Greek Festival

St Demetrios Greek Festival, $5

The organizers of the annual Greek Festival at Seattle's St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church have clearly learned a few things since the festival was first held in 1960.  After fifty-two years, they have celebrating down to a science.  

Entering the festival is like arriving in a foreign country:  exchange some cash for festival tokens and pick up a helpful map.  Get the lay of the land by attending an informative sanctuary tour, then pick up some souvenirs at one of the shops or bookstores.  Having worked up an appetite, chose from sit-down meals in the dining room, beer and snacks at the adults-only tavernas, or coffee and sweets--available by the box from the Agora market or by the piece from the Kafenion

The bougatsa (above) is served warm from the oven, highlighting its great interplay of textures:  crinkly phyllo pastry, creamy custard, and crunchy walnuts.  Also available: 

Baklava:  a sweet sandwich of walnuts, cinnamon, and buttered phyllo, soaked in syrup
Bakalava sundae: a new spin on the old favorite, chopped baklava pastry with espresso, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream
Kourambiethes:  butter cookies coated in compacted powdered sugar
Kataifi:  shredded phyllo pastry with walnuts, cinnamon, and sugar
Pasteli: candy made from sesame seeds and honey
Galaktoboureko: semolina custard with crispy buttered phyllo, soaked in orange blossom syrup
Koulouraki: pretty braided butter cookies
Melomakarona:  olive oil cookies flavored with orange, brandy, honey, and walnuts
Loukoumades:  doughnuts with honey and cinnamon

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