Monday, September 16, 2013

"What do you mean, you don't eat no meat"?

"That's okay. I make lamb". ~My Big Fat Greek Wedding

This past weekend was the Greek Festival here in Cranston, RI at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.  OPA!!  A day to celebrate Greek heritage and food, that would make most carnivores weep for joy.  I was, most likely, the only vegan for miles, but still managed to get my full share of Greek food and fun!

I have to say, the Greeks must be doing something right, because the line for the food tent curled right out past the church, and onto the street! We fortunately went during mid afternoon, and our wait was not long at all. 

While everyone else stood in lines for gyros, pastitsio, and roast meat on a stick, I searched for something a bit more vegan-friendly. L's mother was kind enough to pick up the tab for everyones food, so I went with Dolmades, 6 to and order. Dolmades are the young leaves of the grapevine stuffed with a lemon flavored mixture of rice and onion, usually served cold. These were made fresh, and were fantastic! The rice inside is short grain and creamy, something like the Greek version of arborio rice in Italy. They even had some for sale, right next to the ouzo table!

And, I picked up a bag of the most gorgeously fragrant oregano brought back from Greece! I see some pizza in my future...

After our snack, I was looking for a pick me up, so I thought a nice cup of Greek coffee would do the trick!

Traditional Greek coffee is a bold, full flavored shot of coffee, much like the Italian's espresso.  It is served with a luscious foam on top, and the grounds left in the bottom of the cup. Although it can be made in a different pot, the traditional small pot called a briki (shown in photo) is best because it allows the proper amount of foam, which adds to the unique taste. The coffee itself is finely ground, much like the consistency of cornstarch or powdered sugar.  You can see it in the container to the right of the stove, it almost looks like cinnamon. I was telling the nice gentlemen preparing the coffee that I prefer mine black, and he said that it was NOT traditional to add dairy to the Greek coffee.  Perfect!

This preparation is called sweet boiled coffee:

1 tsp ground coffee
2 tsp sugar
very cold water, about 1/4 cup

Stir until coffee and sugar dissolve.  Place the briki over the medium flame, and lift the briki up and down from the heat, allowing the coffee to come just to the boiling point THREE times.  This will make a lot of the precious foam that gives the Greek coffee its distinct taste.  Serve piping hot!

And do not forget!!  The GROUNDS ARE STILL AT THE BOTTOM!!  I'll know for next time...

I'll leave you with a little dancing, in the traditional Greek style!


  1. I absolutely LOVE stuffed grape leaves. I just wish i had the patience to make them myself.

  2. And Oh My Gosh...we love The Vegan Zombie!!!

  3. Stuffed grape leaves and Greek coffee and Greek music. The best! Vegan Greek food is so flavorful and one of my favorite Ethnic cuisines.