This week we landed in Greece, first Athens, then Mykonos, and finally Naxos, where we plan to move in for a little while. There are so many things to write about in Greece, perhaps this trip will fuel us for a few more posts.
But first the water… The beaches are endless, and every shade of blue is on display. From Mykonos to Naxos, we have been privileged enough to see some of the most magnificent days and dusks. Not to mention an endless bevy of smiles and laughs from our very own little Play Gourmet.
The food has been a whole other cultural experience. Greek food is one of the most popular cuisines in the US. Now we finally get to learn the differences between food in Greece and Greek food back home.
The island life has been on full display to us, and the seaside fish taverns have not disappointed. The Greeks have caught and eaten Octopus since ancient times, which is depicted in sculptures of Poseidon and numerous other random pieces of art. Here in Naxos, the tradition is still strong.
Every morning you will see fishing boats return with a fresh catch of Octopus, and in traditional fashion, they are cured by the sun until dusk sets in.
As we walk through town, and along the beach, we see octopus being sun-cured.
Historically, they would let the sun cure them for days, until they shriveled up and could be stored in mass.
While being cooked, they would regain their original size. But, today, they will just lop off those handsome tentacles and throw them on a charcoal grill.
The seaside restaurants in Naxos were overwhelmingly accommodating to share their grills with us.
A setting like this would put anyone who was on the fence, in the mood for this traditional Greek fair.
The simplicity is overwhelming. After a morning of being caught, and a day in the sun, they put it directly on the grill, until the meat is white and tender, and then you simply squeeze a lemon over it once it arrives at your table. As with all food, our little Play Gourmet approaches this with extreme confidence.
Our little Play Gourmet takes his first mouthwatering bite of octopus, after the anticipation built all day.
Now he’s quite proud to boast about eating an octopus.
Every once in a while, you might stumble on a place or a moment that seems to be frozen in time. When I see these old boats, and the octopus hanging by the docks or in front of a restaurant, I can’t help but think how many generations have seen this exact same sight in this exact same place before us.