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Name that veggie, originally uploaded by greek58.

I love the farmer’s market in Athens. I try to go at least once a week when I’m here and I often challenge myself to buy something I’ve never seen before. Usually I’m able to query the seller and get some idea about what I’ve bought and how to prepare it … Alas, today I am lost. I bought something the seller called “bitter zuchinni” (in Greek πικρό κολοκυθακι).
I’ve no clue what it is nor how to prepare it.
A bottle of ouzo or masticha (or a kosher Vienna pure beef hot dog if you’re Greek and in Athens over Labor Day weekend) to the person who can guide me in preparing and enjoying this unusual, bitter tasting veggie.

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!

4 thoughts on “This week at laiki ….”
  1. It’s a bit of surprise to see it in Greece; It is called ‘bitter melon’ and is popular in Indian and Chinese cuisine. I have only had it in an indian sambal and vegetable curry. Apparently it takes some time cooking, but can be delicious. Good luck!


    1. Hey Eric, Thanks for that! It is even more surprising given the laiki market where I found it … anyway, I’m going to start looking for a good curry recipe to to make it while I ponder who else but I would have actually bought it at the market.
      By the way, where are you, I owe you a prize.

      1. Wow you were serious. I am very unhappy that I am not there to claim my winnings! I’ll be back at Pasxa so I might contact you out of the blue at that time! I agree that it is not the most typical… vegetable? fruit? I have never seen anything so adventurous at our laiki in Pangrati. I’m in new York and have a lovely market in Union Square by my flat, but nothing like Athens’!

        I would be intrigued to see what you did with the bitter melon. Congratulations on your sense of adventure!

        On another note, this really is a great site which makes me feel in touch with Athens.

        1. I actually found this at the Tuesday Laiki in Pagrati. I’ve not seen at either of the Friday Pagrati markets. It got stir fried, with alot of chiles (yes, I actually found a nice selection of truly hot peppers that day as well. I must stay that “fire” is something I really miss here in Greece.
          When you are back in Athens contact me to collect your prize!

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