Happy Greek Indepencence Day!

Being a national holiday, like our July 4 in the USA, I thought I would prepare something common in Greece -- Fried Gavros.  These little fish are wonderful to eat, and currently are only about 4.5 euros per kilogram whole.  The nice thing about buying them at the local fish monger is that they will clean them for you!  Then you eat the whole thing once it is fried.

To start, you need about 15 gavros per person, a lemon, salt, flour, and olive oil.  In a bowl, rinse the cleaned gavros in cold running water until it runs clear.  After draining the water, squeeze the lemon all over and add salt to taste--throw it in the refrigerator for an hour or two (or overnight). 

Cleaned gavros right from the market

When you are ready to fry them, go ahead and heat up enough olive oil to almost cover the fish once they are in the oil--at about 80% power (8/10, 7/9) on the stove.  Drain off the liquid, and place the gavros in a bag with about a cup of flour per kg fish.  Shake it back and forth until they are covered.  

Floured gavros

To fry them, if you want to be able to flip them easily, just pinch four or five tails together and set in the hot oil, or do them indivdually.  I've done both in the photos so you can see the difference.  Cook on one side until they are light brown, then flip until golden brown all over.  

Frying gavros

That's it!  Of course, being a national independence day, and given our July 4 traditions--I had a beer with mine.  Happy cooking!

A wonderful plate of fresh fried gavros!

This blog is not an official Department of State website or blog, and the views and information presented are their own and do not represent the Fulbright Program, Fulbright-Greece, or the U.S. Department of State.  


A fine breakfast

Today marks the end of my third week in Greece!  In that time I have walked an average of about 5 km (~3.2 miles) a day, with up to about 10 km (6.2 miles) one day (at least according to my iPhone health app).  Although keeping up with my journal, keeping up with the website here has proven a bit more difficult.

So for today, I will briefly discuss the markets in Greece.  To start, thank goodness for a few Greek words in my vocabulary, and more in the merchants'!  After only a few days here, I dove into the market (without a basket--had to come back for that) and was truly amazed.  Quickly passing the clothing, slowing past the cookware, I arrived at the fresh fish section, then the oranges, and vegetables, and fruits, and greens, and flowers.  What a wonderful experience!  Then there was the communication--I felt a little like a stereotype from the paleolithic--point there, random number there, grunt there (although I actually do believe paleolithic peoples probably had a very good language, and sea-going craft...).  I did have to laugh at myself, both from a complete hilarity of the moment and my complete ignorance of the language.  But after the first trip, and spending very little, I came home with a grand pile of fresh, tasty, and great food!

Friday Market fruits, vegetables, and herbs


Fish at Friday Market

That was the Friday market.  

On Saturday, I walked the 30-40 minutes to the Central Market in Athens, a permanent structure with terrestrial meats on the outer circle, and a lot of fish in the center.  You can also find cheeses, spices, and an assortment of other features around this area (including the phone store).  

Central Market Meats




Central Market Cheese  I had the sheep feta (back left), which fresh is only about US$3.50 per pound (7.60 Euros per kg).  The nice thing I learned at both markets is that if you even try to speak Greek, they love you for it!  And if you want to taste before you buy, ask if they haven't already shoved a piece on you (which is a great sales tactic).


So with all that good food, I leave you with a few things I cooked that first week.

Breakfast the day after the market--eggs, spinach, orange, and strawberries.

Whole Fish and Vegetables


This blog is not an official Department of State website or blog, and the views and information presented are their own and do not represent the Fulbright Program, Fulbright-Greece, or the U.S. Department of State.  



Upon my arrival, I am now a Fulbright Fellow in Greece through The Fulbright Foundation in Greece on sabbatical from the College of Charleston working with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.  You could say I'm settled already, just a week arriving at ATH, the Athens International Airport, or Diethnis Aerolimenas Athinon Eleftherios.  

This time is not my first in Greece. Or my second.  However, this third time visiting will be for over four months.  I arrived on Thursday, March 2, 2016, midday, two hours ahead of Grenwich Mean Time and seven hours ahead of my home in Charleston (noon in Athens is currently five am there, until the US East Coast Springs forward Sunday morning, March 13, 2016).  

The flights from CHS to IAD (Dulles in D.C.) to Frankfurt to Athens were not too bad, and despite our airline troubles in the US, my United flights on Lufthansa starting at IAD were quite pleasant, with actual food and wine with snacks and lots of water and coffee all around.  The spectacular views in the morning of March 2nd came into my starboard (right) window seat and included the snow-capped peaks of Austria, the cloud-shrowded country of Slovenia (literally at the country boundaries), Croatia with great expanses of plowed fields along the rivers, and finally Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia or Albania, FYROM, and the Greek airspace.  Realizing we had come over the northern Aegean Sea from the unmistakable sight of the bulbous incursion of Pagasitikos Kolpos, the gulf at Volos, Thessaly, my sleepy eyes were peeled wide open as we were about to follow the coast across the study area!  

FlightMap Region text

Once I recognized Volos and the accompanying harbor, I knew we would fly right over the regions of Arkitsa and Theologis--Chalcis was a fun bonus, as the entirety of the gulf goes through a gut that is a few tens of meters wide and less than ten meters deep.

Euboean Gulf, looking to the west.

The study area is to the top left--the water just below the white clouds embraced by the point of land wrapping around the harbor to the point to the left of center.

Baggage claim was easy, and after a quick taxi ride to my front door (35euro), I hauled my bags up to elevator and found my way into my apartment for the next two months.  The capitol of Greece, Athens is a full city.  The green spaces are common, and in between the apartments, businesses, and buildings in general are stacked close together as in any major city.  The rooftops are bedazzled by solar water heaters (which work VERY well), antennae, dishes, vegetation, and the like, but even so the view over the city is quite nice.

View from apartment


This blog is not an official Department of State website or blog, and that the views and information presented are their own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State.