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DSC00861Greeks, the founders of Mediterranean diet, are believers in freshness. Since the discovery of refrigeration, many food products are frozen before distribution. Even though Westerners and Europeans see nothing wrong with frozen foods, they are considered of lesser quality and are required by law to be marked as such on the menu. They may have the “κατ.”, “κατεψυγμένο” written next to the item on the menu.
Although Greece is a Mediterranean country, visitors may be surprised to learn that some of the items they’ve been ordering under the assumption they’d be fresh, are actually frozen. For example, when you order calamari in a Greek restaurant, and you are served a plate of perfect looking “rings”, fried to a golden crisp, it’s pretty certain they enjoyed a refreshing soujourn in the deep freeze before landing on your plate. On the other hand, when you order grilled “thrapsalo“, a larger variety of seafood from the calamari family, you can almost always be guaranteed it’s fresh.
Pay close attention to that asterisk if you are searching for truly fresh seafood, we once spotted the proprietor of a fish taverna on a Greek island pulling “fresh” octopus from the sea, when in fact the telltale signs of the packaging in which the previously frozen octopi had been minutes earlier told us a different story.

Octopus, being cleaned in the sea, or thawed?
Octopus, being cleaned in the sea, or thawed?

By Athensguide

How does a little girl from Skokie, Illinois find herself in historical Athens, leading curious explorers through the winding streets of Plaka, down "pezodromos" to hidden ouzeries for tempting mezedhes and homemade barrel wine? The journey began more than twenty years ago, and regardless of whether the wanderlust comes from the spiritual and culture DNA flowing through my veins, or the alignment of the stars on that cold mid-December day this Sagitterian came into the world, I never seem to tire of exploring my adopted homeland of Greece. Here you'll join me as I explore Athens: be it the back streets of Psirri and Gazi, or through the National Gardens and Zappeio where a family of turtles makes their home, or down wide, treelined Imittou Street in Pagrati, which pulses with Athenian life 24 hours a day. And while Athens has stolen my heart, the rest of Greece vies for my curiousity and wanderlust. My two guys (that'd be the Greek God, Vasilis and our Greek dog, Scruffy) and I can often be found settling in for a long weekend in some charming mountain village, or a quaint fishing port on a nearby island, or learning how Greek vitners are producing wines that rival some of Napa Valley's finests productions, or celebrating a panayeri in Epirus or sharing in the festivities as a family of Cretan sheepherders come together to sheer their 1500 sheep in the spring ... And if you happen to find yourself heading to Athens, consider finding yourself a real home for your stay. Living amongst the locals, be it for 3 nights or 3 weeks, will offer you the chance to experience true Athens, beyond the Acropolis. Choose from one of our 5 beautiful penthouse and historical homes, and who knows, I may be leading you down that winding "pezodromo" to our favorite hidden ouzerie!