Greek

September 27th 2018

Today we went out for a traditional Greek dinner in Skopelos Town. I would have also described all of the meals we’ve had so far this holiday as “traditional Greek” but this one took it to another level.

We were walking down the seafront looking for somewhere to eat, and struggling to decide. Alice has this rule that there has to be a decent number of people in the restaurant before she agrees to go in. Because if there’s a lot of people there, then the food has to be good, right?

Well, this particular place looked completely full. And, as they tend to do, they ushered us in and we accepted.

Basically as soon as we sat down a man came over and started hurriedly talking to us in Greek. When I’d exhausted all of the Greek that I know (Kalimera = Good Evening) I had to explain that we were “English, sorry”.

“Ah, you look Greek!” He said.

“Ah yes, it’s probably the beard,” I said, for some reason.

And then, he asked us to follow him into the kitchen. I could tell that Alice also thought that was a bit weird, but we couldn’t really decline, so followed him into the kitchen.

He said that the chef was his mother and she had some dishes for which she was famed, and he wanted to explain them to us.

One by one he explained all of the dishes on the menu, giving particular emphasis to the traditional goat dishes (made from — as he told us — “their own goats”) and the various fresh fish (which neither of us eat, but we didn’t tell him that)

I don’t know whether the goat just needed using up and he was just trying to flog it, but because he’d taken the effort to describe it as a traditional Skolopetian dish, we both wanted to try it.

I thought I’d never had goat before, but I’ve literally just realised that I had a Jamaican goat curry once from a market stall.

Nonetheless, it was an experience. I even fully embraced the tradition with a Skolopetian cheese pie starter (which was big enough for four people so I subsequently didn’t finish it)

The goat stew was good — baked in a clay dish with orzo and, weirdly, Parmesan cheese. It was odd, but good.

The food was not all that made the dinner ‘traditional’ though. In the corner of the room sat a Greek man with an accordion. His songs accompanied our starter and at some point before the main the guy who had shown us around the kitchen joined him and together they sang (what I’m assuming were) Greek folk songs. It made for a great atmosphere.

Slowly, more and more members of the kitchen staff joined in, and the hostess grabbed a tambourine and a member of the public, and danced a jig for ten minutes.

It was lively. I feel like I’d’ve needed a couple more pints of Mythos to have really got into it, but it was entertaining nonetheless.

Until tomorrow, it was such a party that I almost felt rude when we eventually left.

Jacn

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