The local dishes of Rhodes – rare delicacies for a rare island

 Aldemar Amilia Mare, Rhodes  Comments Off on The local dishes of Rhodes – rare delicacies for a rare island
Mar 262016
 

What place doesn’t have its own recipes, developed after generations of home cooking? Rhodes, this magnificent island of the Aegean that attracts many thousands of visitors every year, could not be any different; especially since Rhodes has known many masters throughout the centuries, has had a wide variety of influences from ancient Greeks to Romans to medieval knights to Ottomans to Italians and then back to Greeks. All these people and mentalities have definitely left their mark on the island and this is obvious in the traditional recipes of Rhodes, among which some are original and some are variations of popular recipes of the Mediterranean.

Of course, since Rhodes is a very organized island regarding tourism and caters to international visitors, tending to their every need, like the all-inclusive hotels Aldemar Amilia Mare and Aldemar Paradise Village do, you might need to do a bit of searching for places that serve traditional dishes of Rhodes or fuse together flavors from western and Greek cuisine. We have compiled here a short list with recipes that we suggest you look for as you travel the island.

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The tastes of West Peloponnese

 Aldemar Olympian Village, Aldemar Royal Olympian, Olympia  Comments Off on The tastes of West Peloponnese
Mar 232016
 

When a land is blessed with fertile soil to be cultivated, a temperate climate for nature to bloom, then it is no wonder that its inhabitants have developed some pretty unique, delicious and healthy recipes that they have been improving for generations and generations. And it is no wonder that when the world discovers this place because of its natural beauty, it will also discover these tastes, which will, in turn, escape their wonderful but narrow residence. Such is the case of Ileia and West Peloponnese, home of Aldemar Royal Olympian and Aldemar Olympian Village, a region that can take pride both in its agriculture and the game that hides in its forests.

We have compiled here a short list with some of our favorite recipes of West Peloponnese. Some will be easy to find, others not so much, and you’ll have to take into account the time of year to enjoy some of them, but rest assured: they’re all authentic, delicious and, always, tempting.
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An introduction to Greek food

 Crete, Olympia, Rhodes  Comments Off on An introduction to Greek food
Nov 272015
 

Anуоnе whо hаѕ еvеr bееn tо Greece wіll smile knowingly whеnеvеr thе topic оf Greek food іѕ brought up. Thеrе іѕ nоthіng lіkе Greek food аnуwhеrе еlѕе іn thе world. It’s full оf fresh vegetables, unencumbered bу spices thаt hide thе flavor оf thе ingredients, аnd filled wіth beef аnd lamb dishes thаt wіll tempt аnу palate, thеrе іѕ ѕоmеthіng іn Greek cuisine thаt wіll tempt anyone.

Thе bеѕt wау tо gеt а feel fоr Greek food іѕ bу understanding thе food thаt mаkеѕ uр mоѕt оf іtѕ dishes. Olives аrе аlѕо huge іn Greece. Thеrе аrе ѕо mаnу varieties оf olives, thаt thе Greek lіkе tо ѕау thаt ѕауіng уоu don’t lіkе olives іѕ lіkе ѕауіng уоu don’t lіkе candy: іf уоu don’t lіkе оnе kind, thеrе аrе plenty mоrе tо trу from. Frоm black olives tо green, Kalamata tо Peloponessos, thеrе іѕ ѕоmеthіng fоr everyone. Of course, whеn уоu thіnk оf olives, уоu hаvе tо thіnk оf olive oil, аnd thіѕ іѕ аn important part оf Greek cooking аѕ well. In fact, olive oil іѕ uѕеd tо cook аlmоѕt аll foods, аnd іѕ uѕеd аѕ salad dressing оr garnish оn оthеr dishes аѕ well.

greek_olive_varieties

There are about 43 different Greek olive varieties from 10 different Greek regions. Photo courtesy ndtv.com

Thе Greek bread іѕ аlѕо uѕuаllу served аt еvеrу meal, аnd іѕ dipped іn olive oil оr thе sauce оf whаtеvеr іѕ offered fоr dinner. Local bakeries serve fresh, hot breads оf аll kinds аnd flavors.

greek_bread

Greek types of bread.

Fruits аnd vegetables оn thе оthеr hand аrе аlwауѕ served fresh; thе Greeks tаkе great pride іn thеіr fruit аnd vegetables. Tomatoes аrе served wіth а great mаnу dishes. It саn оftеn соmе stuffed wіth meat оr rice аnd onions, оr ѕоmеtіmеѕ іѕ јuѕt served plain wіth olive oil. Sometimes, thеу аrе еvеn mixed wіth flour аnd egg, deep fried аnd called “tomato-keftedes.” Green peppers аrе аnоthеr popular ingredient. Thеу tоо саn bе stuffed wіth еіthеr rice оr beef, оr grilled аnd eaten plain.

stuffed_ntomatoes_green_peppers

Stuffed tomatoes and green peppers are prepared on the oven. Photo courtesy nostimada.gr

Potatoes аrе аnоthеr popular ingredient іn Greece. Thеу аrе fоund іn stews, аnd аrе оftеn mаdе roasted wіth olive oil, some slice of garlic, few pinches of salt, pepper, lemon, onion аnd oregano. Potatoes deep fried іn olive oil аrе оftеn served аѕ а side dish.

Thе Greeks mаkе liberal uѕе оf garlic аnd onion іn thеіr food. Fresh fruit, including figs, іѕ а common dessert.

Greeks аrе big meat eaters. Lamb, beef, pork, chicken, аnd еvеn goat аnd rabbit аrе аll consumed regularly. Meat іѕ оftеn mаdе wіth garlic, onions аnd potatoes. Lamb Iѕ Pеrhарѕ thе Mоѕt Popular Meat Choice іn Greece.
Roast lamb іѕ thе meal оf choice fоr Easter. Roast lamb аnd potatoes аrе а popular Sunday evening meal, аnd grilled lamb chops аrе popular anytime.

lamb_chops

If you are a meat lover don’t forget to try grilled lamp chops (and pour some fresh lemon drops before)

Calamari, sardines аnd smelt аrе ѕоmе оf thе mоrе inexpensive fish eaten. Lobster іѕ реrhарѕ thе mоѕt expensive. Bеfоrе уоu eat fish іn а Greek restaurant, уоu wіll оftеn bе encouraged tо gо bасk іntо thе kitchen tо inspect thе fish аnd mаkе ѕurе іt іѕ fresh. It іѕ thеrе thаt уоu саn decide whаt уоu wаnt tо eat. Octopus, mussels, shrimp аnd cod аrе оthеr common Greek seafood choices.

sardines

Sardines is an inexpensive and delicious seafood. Photo courtesy Olivetomato

Fоr dessert, baklava, whісh іѕ mаdе frоm а special kind оf dough called phyllo, іѕ thе mоѕt popular. It іѕ mаdе wіth nuts, honey, аnd sugar, аnd іѕ а layered pastry.

Greek Baklava

Baklavas is a famous Greek dessert. Photo courtesy funkycook

Greek food offers ѕоmеthіng fоr everyone. It іѕ аlѕо а vеrу healthy cuisine, mоѕtlу bесаuѕе оf thе liberal amounts оf olive oil іn it. People іn Greece, whо eat а traditional Greek diet, hаvе bееn knоwn tо live оn average quіtе а bit longer thаn inhabitants оf оthеr countries. Greek food іѕ tasty аnd good fоr уоur health аnd уоu won’t find а bеttеr combination thаn that.

We at all Aldemar Resorts we follow and honor Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. We daily select the best ingredients from local Greek producers to serve you with the best quality food.

Foods of the Peloponnese

 Aldemar Olympian Village, Aldemar Royal Olympian, Olympia  Comments Off on Foods of the Peloponnese
Jul 072015
 

The Peloponnese has been called the Acropolis of Greece, both its edge and its fortified heart. The Mycenaeans set off for Troy from here to recover beautiful Helen.

Sparta honed its martial prowess and fortitude in Laconia, famously eating frugally, to the south while Corinth flourished in the north, growing rich from wine and raisins. In the west, a site sacred to Zeus and his wife Hera at ancient Olympia developed into the home of the Olympic games. It is in nearby Kalavryta that modern Greeks mark the beginning of the uprising against Ottoman rule and their declaration of Independence. But apart from being Greece’s heart, it is also to a large extent, its garden.

The palm-shaped peninsula is a study in contrasts, with beautiful, rugged mountains and fantastically fertile plains. Since antiquity these plains and the foothills of the mountains have been producing the mainstays of the Peloponnesian larder, olive oil and olives, grapes and wine, vegetables and fruit, lamb and pork. Possibly the most famous olives in the world come from Kalamata and several regions of the Peloponnese vie for the title of best Greek olive oil.

With a classic Mediterranean climate of hot summers and fairly mild, wet winters, the Peloponnese is ideal for citrus and there are vast orange and lemon groves. Driving through them in the winter feels as if nature herself has decorated the trees. Other parts of the region produce some of Greece’s best wines and grapes from local, and sometimes ancient varietals, such as luscious dry red agiorgitiko from Nemea, sweet mavrodafni and aproudes from Mantinia, muscats from Patra and Rio, not to mention the famous currants of Corinth. Interestingly, these currants were once traded with the English for salt cod, which may explain the prevalence of this seemingly unusual ingredient in the local cuisine. The two are even combined in the regional trademark dish, bakaliaro plaki, along with tomatoes.

The climate and the fertile soil also bring forth lovely tomatoes, famous aubergines (eggplants) and delicious artichokes. The citrus fruit (both the lemons and the oranges) and the tomatoes form the basis of many of the local sauces and stews. Many recipes change color with the seasons, red in summer, white in winter. The flavorings of choice also change with the seasons, cinnamon being a favorite companion for tomato-based sauces, while lemon-based ones tend to marry with egg and oregano. Onions, particularly in the winter when their sweet and heavy flavor is sought after, also form the basis for many stews, often in combination with feta, olive oil and chicken or goat.

Rounding up this portrait of Peloponnesian cuisine come the pork products. Apart from succulent roast pigs, the locals long ago found ways of extending the shelf life of the animal to get them through the winter, many of which combine the meat with the other products of the land. Chunks of pork are cured with salt and, occasionally, smoke, and then preserved in rendered lard or olive oil flavored with oranges or orange peel or red wine, producing delicious synglino, pasto, and sausages.

Some trademark dishes of the Peloponnese:

Arni me anginares, lamb with artichokes in an egg-lemon sauce (sometimes with tomatoes).

Lagoto, pork in a strong garlic sauce with vinegar.

Bakaliaro plaki, salt cod with tomatoes, onions and raisins.

Kouneli skordalia, rabbit with a thick garlic sauce.

Savoro, fish with raisins, vinegar, tomatoes and rosemary.

Lalangia, thin dough fritters.

Rafiolia, pastry crescents filled with walnuts.

An Introduction to the Glorious Foods of Crete

 Aldemar Royal Mare, Crete  Comments Off on An Introduction to the Glorious Foods of Crete
Jul 062015
 

Crete may be just an island but it has the diversity of a continent and a very distinct identity in all things, including food. The Cretan Diet, consisting of masses of greens, rusks, pulses and lots of olive oil, is world famous for its health benefits but there is much more to delight the palate. What are the sources of a cuisine at once delicious and good for you?

The culinary history of Crete is astonishingly long. Eight thousand years ago, the first Cretans were already growing barley and emmer wheat and herding sheep, pigs, goats and even cows. A few thousand years later they had domesticated the vine and the olive tree and had a repertoire that included greens and nuts, grains and pulses, grapes, figs and pomegranates, fish, octopus, sea urchins and snails, as well kid, lamb and beef. They also kept bees for honey. One could argue, as Andrew Dalby does in Siren Feasts, that the beginning of gastronomy was marked by the enhancement of basic gruels, roasts and stews with fruit, nuts and honey, turning food into enjoyment beyond mere survival.

Later on heavy meat consumption was frowned upon but eating birds was considered ok and the Cretans ate everything from songbirds to pigeons, ducks, geese and quail.

Sometime around the 7th century BC, the chicken arrived from the east. Later on rice, eggplants, oranges and lemons made their appearance while tomatoes and potatoes are very recent but have had a profound impact on Cretan food.

A major influence on the Cretan way of eating came from the Orthodox church, which introduced strict fasting periods, forcing the island’s cooks to come up with ingenious ways of enlivening their Lenten foods. They have managed this so successfully that many actually prefer some of the fasting foods to the festive meals (more on this in another post).

Although the island was occupied by the Romans and Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, and Turks, all of whom might have been expected to leave their fingerprints in the pie, the greatest influence from outside probably came from the exchange of populations in 1923, following Greece’s disastrous campaign in Asia Minor. Several thousand Greeks from the western coast of Turkey were resettled in Crete and they brought with them a more oriental and spice-based culinary tradition, exemplified by soutzoukakia, meat balls shaped liked fat cigars in a tomato sauce intensely flavored with cumin, pilaffs with pine nuts, currants and raisings, augolemono (egg-lemon sauce), halva (semolina puddings), and baklava.

During and after WWII Crete was reduced to hunger and rediscovered its traditional foods of grains, greens and olive oil, the basis of the famous Cretan diet. When prosperity began to return and with the huge influx of unadventurous tourists, many Cretan tavernas and restaurants began offering ‘safe’ menus of standard Greek fare, like grilled lamb chops and mousaka. Fortunately, more discerning visitors are beginning to arrive and with them more and more establishments are turning to their traditional specialties and inventing new ones with Crete’s fabulous fresh produce.

A few of the famous foods to seek out in Crete:

Cheeses: Several varieties of gravieras made from the milk of sheep and goats and aged in the mountains, soft graviera, malaka, conical and slightly sweet myzithra, tangy and salty xynomyzithra.

xynomizithra

Xynomyzithra Kritis ‘xynomizithra of Crete’ is a European protected designation of origin.

Pies: Crete has an incredible variety of pies, one of the most famous being the boureki, a pie made with zucchinis and potatoes. Many others are stuffed with one of the cheeses above along with herbs and sprinkled with sesame seeds. They can be sweet or savory and are almost invariably delicious.

Boureki

Boureki pie

Rusks: Ranging in size from half an inch or four or five, they can be flavoured with anise, cinnamon, almonds, coriander, orange juice, raisins or nothing at all, they can be little white slices or brown bricks. The latter are the base for Dakos in which they become a plate for chopped tomatoes, myzithra, olive oil and oregano.

dakos

Dakos

Sweets: Delectable pastries filled with raisings, honey, nuts and sesame seeds come with names stafidota (filled raisin-almond biscuits) and stafidopitta (heavenly raisin cake).

We at Aldemar Royal Mare in Crete,  we have the moto “Eat Seasonal, Eat Local”. So we are strongly influenced by the Cretan Mediterranean cuisine, and we collaborate with local producer in order to bring the only best Cretan products into your table.

All information are based on Diana Farr Louis book  “Feasting and Fasting in Crete”.

World Tourism Day

 News  Comments Off on World Tourism Day
Sep 272012
 

World Tourism Day 2012World Tourism Day!

The World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 all over the world, as designated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Apart from being a day of celebration, it is also a day to raise awareness of the role that tourism has in preserving the culture, the wildlife, environment and customs of the local community.

In Greece the towns give a big celebration. It is a day of exhibitions, such as photography, local art, and the very popular food exhibition where very often the hotel’s Chefs throw it all in to try to outdo each other in their creations.

Local musicians and dancers highlight the evening and bring the local customs to the forefront, being an integral part of Greek life and tradition.

In many towns the Mayor honors guests who have been coming back again and again. As in the tradition of the day – it is the guest, and only the guest that makes tourism possible.

If you are in Greece on the 27th September, wherever you are, come join us in the celebrations!

Nicholas Hourdakis
Guest Relations ManagerRoyal Mare

The second International Aldemar Gourmet Touring

 Press Release  Comments Off on The second International Aldemar Gourmet Touring
Feb 152011
 

The second International Aldemar Gourmet Touring with three essential

Ingredients: chefs, travel agentsand the best Greek cuisine

For the second consecutive year Aldemar Gourmet Touring is travelling to Europe. Award-winning chefs from the Aldemar Hotels & Spa Group (www.aldemarhotels.com) will meet with 360 travel agents in eleven cities and seven countries.

The art of cooking will be demonstrated by the chefs as the travel agent guests are invited to participate and have fun.Food and travel are perfect companions and this exclusive collection of evening events, offers the travel industry a great opportunity to combine the best of Greek products with Greek gastronomic traditions.

Each gourmet event culminates with a celebratory dinner in the kitchens, time to make the most of the delicious food and the company.

Eleven cities in seven countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Belgium and Russia

The eleven cities visited by the second Aldemar Gourmet Touring include:  31/01 Berlin, 01/02 Düsseldorf, 02/02 Stuttgart, 03/02 Munich, 07/02 Vienna, 08/02 Zurich, 09/02 Milan, 10/02 Paris, 11/02 Brussels, 18/2 Samara, 21/2 St. Petersburg.

Key contributor to the organization of this event is the Greek-German company Marketing Simeion.

Supporting this event, with the main sponsor being the Greek National Tourism Organization, are the following travel organizations and companies:

Aldemar hosts those affected by the recent fires in Peloponnese

 News  Comments Off on Aldemar hosts those affected by the recent fires in Peloponnese
Sep 052007
 

Aldemar has extended its hospitality to the rescue crews, the afflicted and the homeless, in close cooperation with the local authorities and the Prefecture of Ilia. Additionally, Aldemar provides the villages around Adritsaina and Pyrgos with 500 food portions per day for those who have been affected by the fires.

Safe gastronomy in Aldemar

 News  Comments Off on Safe gastronomy in Aldemar
Apr 042007
 

Aldemar has always been particularly sensitive to dietary issues. To this end, all its hotels both on Crete and on Rhodes have achieved TUV Hellas certification for conforming to a HACCP system, which clearly testifies that the highest hygiene and food safety specifications are met. Certification for Olympian Village Hotel in Western Peloponnesus is forthcoming, given that it has met HACCP specifications for a number of years, and that its cuisine has been thoroughly renovated for 2007.

Organic Farming

 Press Release  Comments Off on Organic Farming
Mar 152003
 

Recently organic products have expanded into all sectors of the market, from food and drinks to cosmetics and clothes.

Organic products differ from other products in that:

1. Each stage of production is controlled and products are certified for authenticity

2. Consumers of organic products are particularly sensitive to ecological and environmental matters

3. Organic products has minimal packaging and colours – Colours are green and brown, packaging is paper and recyclable plastics

Mediterranean Farm, which set up the chain of specialised organic shops called Green Farm, is the first of its kind in Greece.

Once again, Aldemar Hotels is striking out with its Organic Gardens at the Aldemar Olympian Village in the western Pelopponese! Mr. Zaharias Samaris, head agriculturalist at the hotel, ensures that the wonderful food served in the Olympian Village restaurants now tastes even better than before, by providing the chefs with the most genuine of produce. Produce from the organic gardens is used in the hotel kitchens and even covers periods when demand is at its highest (July –August).