Sunday, 30 September 2007

Nuts-the special ones!

A Greek bio product

Did you know that pistachio grows on a Greek island? And that is the best quality of all other nuts since it is a bio product?

Aegina island produces pistachio, the most popular nut in Greece (and the most expensive and tastier) that has got a special unique taste. It is also a bio product!

Looking back to the 19th century, these special trees, pistachio trees, were not planted in Greece. Only in Aegina island this special tree finds the moisture it needs to grow. The soil is composed of clay, the substance clay pots are made of, so the water runs through it. The soil remains dry despite the amount of water found and that is the reason this nut is so delicious!

What affects the taste of the nut?
1. It’s proximity to the sea.
2. The dry environment.
3. The small size of the trees.
4. The low level of humidity-even at night.
5. The composure of the soil.

The crop is ready in August. They gather the nuts by spreading nets under the trees and shaking the branches with a stick. Then, a machine sorts out the nuts peels them and discards the bad ones. Next, the nuts are washed and are spread under the sun for 3-4 days to dry. Some farmers use a machine to dry them. When ready, they are put into bags and placed into the freezer for 3 days to kill the insects that may have remained alive. In there they can be preserved for up to 2 years. This bio product has no chemicals-just sea salt and real lemon juice on it!

Where can you find pistachio in Corfu?

Certainly in all big stores! Supermarkets have many varieties as well as coffee shops.
Try Demetra markets or Sconto markets all over the island.

For more information go to Aegina

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The square

Here is the square, the peristilion and the chestnut trees.

A stroll at the square

Strolling along the upper square of Corfu can be a unique experience. Just take some time to look around, to admire the view at Garitsa bay, and further on, the old castle. Everything around is green and relaxing.

Take a look at Peristilion, an ancient water tank, which is at the top end of the square. It used to be accessible but since the people started ruining it, the Mayor built an iron fence around it to preserve it. When I was little I used to play there with my friends. We played hide and seek behind the columns and wondered what was inside the locked door. They said it was a huge well with water. Then some kids started drawing on the wall and so the damage started. The restoration took place last year and now it is one of the best well-preserved sights in town.

The square is full of chestnut trees, acacias and tilia/lime trees. Chestnut trees (Kastanies in Greek) drop wild chestnuts (kastana) on the ground and kids pick them up. I also loved picking up chestnuts and carrying them home. I still have one of them which is very old and is hanging from a chain. September is the month for mature chestnuts.

Tilia flowers bloom in spring and their aroma is so strong that it spreads all over the square. The flowers come out in groups and are yellowish. Tilia is a herb that when dried and drank, relaxes the mind. In Greek we call it TILIO

Saturday, 15 September 2007


Do you drink wine?

Learn about it.

Just a little bit of everything you need to know about wine, how they taste it and how you can tell the wine you drink is good!

Myths and Truth

Don’t drink wine on an empty stomach. You get drunk fast!

---Did you know that olive oil helps? You don't get drunk that fast if you eat a nice salad with olive oil dressing.

---Take care! Too much wine causes dehydration.

The wine ‘over the counter’ is never as good as the bottled one.

---No one controls unbottled wine. There is no product name and no responsibility!

---Bottled wine is safer.

If you mix different kinds of wine you get drunk.

---Not true. It depends on the amount of the alcohol you drink. But if you mix different products such as wine (grapes) and vodka (potato), you get drunk.


How to choose the right wine

When does a bottle of wine is not drinkable?

1. Examine the cork: problems at the cork result in a characteristic bad smell. That is not dangerous for your health though.

2. Acidosis: If air penetrates inside, the wine gets spoilt.

Some wines become better when they are left to mature in barrels or in their bottles. Most wines need 2 to 4 years to mature.


Get a glass of wine. Follow the 3 steps below:

Look at it.

Smell it.

Taste it.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is it clear enough to see through it?
  2. Is the aroma pleasant?
  3. Is the taste sweet, bitter or dry?


This Greek traditional wine, dates back to 3000 years, to Ancient Greeks!

This is a unique Greek product. To make it, they add to the white wine retina from pine trees.


South Greece

Petritis Chysohoou, Naousa

Simeonidis Wines

Kavala-olive grove village


Thursday, 6 September 2007

Mount of God

Mount of God, Pandokrator for the local people, is the tallest peak on the green island of Kerkyra (Corfu for the non Greek), and is situated in the northern part of the Ionian Sea , between the Greek mainland and Albania and Italy. The mountain was named after God, Who is pandokrator, that is to say ,He governs everything.

The myth says that the hospitable Pheakes lived on the island long ago and their kind king Alkinoos had an only daughter, Nafsica, who first met Ulysses, the king of Ithaca, shipwrecked on a beach of the island . There is still his petrified ship to see at Paleokastritsa, a popular area on the west side of Corfu.

The northern part of the island where Pandokrator lies is the richest in green. Mount Of God is 918 meters high and has got a monastery on top dedicated to God the Savior. From up there the visitor can admire a wonderful view to all directions , let alone the marvellous dawn and sunset.

Climbing the mount is easy, as there are roads and paths right to the top and a drive by bike , motor bike or car is feasible. There are numerous villages scattered among the green on the way up and there are vast olive groves in every direction. The scenery is adorned by an abundance of tree variety as well. You can see tall cypress trees, pine trees, oaks and orchards and vineyards in between. There you can feel the smell of wild herbs and flowers lingering in the air.

However, the road upwards is winding and narrow so the traveler should be careful when driving. There are many routes one can follow, depending on the area they want to explore. For walkers, the route, Ipsos, Ayios Markos, Korakiana, Dassia, and back to Ipsos is the most popular and the easiest. Up there you can see nature in its full glory , any time of the year.

One of the most picturesque villages , literary perched on the side of the mount is Ayios Markos. The houses are built on the very edge of the narrow road and overlook vast olive groves that reach the beach of Ipsos beyond. To reach the beach from Ayios Markos you need only 5 to 10 minutes by car or 30 mins brisk walking.

A big village on the side of the mountain is Korakiana, Crow Nest in English. There used to be lots of crows in this village years ago, but nowadays there is a big variety of singing birds around, offering the people a unique melody all the year round.
Korakiana is the perfect village to rent a house or a room or even stay there for good. Some foreign visitors have recently bought real estate at low prices and have built their own houses on the mount. It is worth the money and time spent on a housing project over there if one likes nature and especially the green.

Starting from village Korakiana towards Socraki (top) the route is climbing and has got sharp hairpin bends but it is worth the drive. The scenery below is breathtaking. On the first bend upwards the traveler can visit the tiny old chapel of Ayios Isidoros and can light a candle. The chapel has got a big bell that rings only on the Saint’s name day and in emergencies such as fires. It was built a very long time ago to honor the Saint for saving a cart driver’s life . His cart had fallen over the path but the man was alive. This is an old story the local people still tell one another.

Mount of God is definitely a place for nature lovers and adventure seekers as it combines everything, from healthy living on mount lodgings to extensive nightlife on the beach bars and discos. Fun and sports , such as climbing and sea sports , tasty local cuisine and local drinks are some of the most popular attractions.