Chillbox, a Greek frozen yogurt company whose major shareholder is Dodoni Ice Cream SA, is heading to the United States.
The company is penetrating the US market through a strategic partnership with Lymell Holdings LLC which has acquired a master franchise for the development of 100 Chillbox outlets across the US within the next four years. A first store is expected to debut in Manhattan this summer.
The company currently operates 55 sale points across Greece, while its international presence includes stores in Britain, Austria, Belgium, Belgium, France, Hungary, Sweden, Bulgaria
By George Felton
Monday, March 3rd, marks forty days before the Orthodox Christian Easter and the beginning of Lent. In Greece it’s a national holiday, dubbed Clean Monday, and tradition says that Greeks should go on picnics, fly kites, and eat special dishes such as Λαγάνα, a flatbread, or Ταραμοσαλάτα, a fish egg dip. But this post is not about Clean Monday. I am instead writing to describe the events of the weeks leading up to this holiday, and particularly the last weekend of festivities. Yes, I am referring to Carnival.
The first float I saw!
Carnival is many things. One of the most obvious is that its craziness is supposed to contrast the restraint shown during Lent. It can be seen as an analogous holiday to Halloween in the States, allowing people to dress up in costumes and roam the streets looking for fun and mischief. It’s a time for groups of people to bond together over surreal diversion, to forget their everyday worries. For me, it was indicative of the way Greeks express emotion: all too willing to protest in the streets when upset, and equally as willing to celebrate in the streets when joyous.
The last weekend of Carnival is also the largest, and where better to go in Greece than to Patras. Patras is the largest Carnival event in Greece, and the third largest Carnival gathering in the world after Rio and New Orleans. For the last weekend, two parades are held, one at night on Saturday, and an even larger one during the day on Sunday. The carnival culminates in a fireworks show at the harbor. Each night, Carnival-goers gather in every club, cafe and bar in town to celebrate all night long. To cap off this incredible experience, Saturday also happened to be my birthday. Instead of trying to explain how amazing this experience was, let me show you.
The theme for this group began with the alphabet.
Surprisingly, seeing this many clowns was not terrifying.
These paraders rode in style during the Sunday parade.
Flares, howlers, and other handheld fireworks were all common.
Carnival was a sense-blasting experience: music, whistles, and cacophonous yelling saturated my ears, the smell of smoke from flares and cooked meat permeated every street, a riot of color greeted my eyes, and the general experience of camaraderie and positive emotion always left me wanting more. Most unexpected experience: Joining thousands of Greeks in dancing the YMCA.
Unique experiences are what define our stories. And Carnival is joining the shortlist. Because when else will I get to experience a two-day dance party in the streets attended by hundreds of thousands of people, while celebrating my birthday?
George Felton is pursuing a Classics and Philosophy double major at Whitman College and is studying at CYA Spring 2014.
If you can’t beat the weather then embrace the warm comforts of the kitchen! The following two recipes are designed to bring a little warmth into February. The stuffed tomatoes go really well with a little cool and tangy feta on the side and can easily be made vegetarian by removing the meat. The roasted honey figs are lovely for breakfast or dessert.
Roasted Honey Figs
Ingredients: 6-10 fresh figs Juice and rind of one lemon 3 tbsp Greek honey 1 tbsp of pistachio nuts or/and chopped walnuts Greek yogurt
Method: 1.Halve the figs and place in a roasting tin. 2.Preheat the oven at 180C. 3.Scatter lemon rind in-between the halves and onto the baking tray, then squeeze the juice of the lemon over them and drizzle all over with honey. 4.Cook gently in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes. 5.Take out and scattered the nuts on top. 6.Serve warm with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt. You could ask some other fruits such as mixed berries or sprinkle with nuts if you wish.
Click on the title to see the second recipe!
Bhind 2,340-year-old Kallimarmaro Stadium, located in the picturesque area of Athens between Mets and Pagrati, lies a scene that would not be out of place in a provincial city: small neighborhoods, old houses, hilly roads, stray cats, a couple of abandoned houses and old taverns. Among the last, we love Vyrinis, which is especially old and now in the hands of the third generation of the same family. The restaurant has been renovated and updated but still retains some elements of the old tavern such as the huge wine casks that serve as decoration and the small backyard. Here, young and old contentedly intermingle, and the friendly, always smiling waiters add to the cozy, welcoming atmosphere.
At Vyrinis, we eat as if every day is Sunday and we’re at Mom’s house. Flavors are traditional and uncomplicated. The menu is tightly edited and focuses on appetizers, but there are also four salads, four casseroles and three grilled dishes. On a recent visit, we started with a dish that our friends repeatedly recommend: “grandma’s meatballs,” a particularly light-as-air version with a tomato-basil sauce for dipping. Slowly, the table filled with small plates. Chubby lachanodolmades, cabbage rolls stuffed with ground meat and rice with avgolemono (egg and lemon) sauce. Ρerfectly round and crunchy revithokeftedes (chickpea balls), a traditional legume appetizer from Sifnos, accompanied by yogurt sauce. Α piece of spanakopita – our friends had also wisely advised us to ask for the pie of the day. (If it’s tyropita, cheese pie, it’s not to be missed!) A plate of homemade tyrokafteri, a spicy dip made of feta and other cheeses, great with meat- or chickpea balls but perfect with the wonderful homemade fries. A fluffy eggplant salad, imbued with smokiness and pungent with garlic. And last but not least, a slice of feta dipped in batter, fried and then served with sesame and honey, a traditional Cretan delicacy that marries salty and sweet. It’s a very happy marriage, we might add.
Click on the title to read more!
By Erika Tobin
We all know the five senses. Sight, touch, smell, taste, and hearing. But have you thought about experiencing them in Greece? Everything here is so pure and genuine that it’s like a cleansing of all my senses. That’s right folks. Greece is exfoliating the pores of my senses. However, Greece has convinced me that there’s a sixth sense we use to perceive things. And that’s of an emotional feeling. Similar to how you can sense when things are good and bad; people here can pour their whole hearts into you just by helping you pick out apples or smile after you nervously speak Greek to them. This country is not about surface level experiences.
From stargazing on the Peloponnese; witnessing demonstrations on Crete; hearing amazing accents; seeing interesting facial expressions and picking up on their hand gestures; seeing people swim in the sea in February; seeing beautiful mountains, valleys, trees and seas, getting to pet cats and dogs; eating a plethora of gyros; and smelling cooking meat all throughout the city; this country is all about the senses’ experience.
A Demonstration on Crete
Dogs casually on tables!
The trees are starting to blossom right now and it smells amazing. Not to mention it’s so pretty and exciting! However it’s still a little disconcerting when you take a giant whiff of amazing flower smell and the breeze shifts just slightly enough and you’re engulfed in a breeze smelling of animal poop. Lovely. Again. Senses.
How many countries do you go to and hear of one day where thousands of residents go to an island and crawl on their knees from the harbor up the streets through the coastal town to the site of their pilgrimage? That they embrace the pain and bloody knees on the island of Tinos. How many countries do you hear about constant protesting even though the media doesn’t always tell you how effective yet still peaceful these protests are? They don’t always get the job done but they do way more often have the affect desired than protests and strikes in America do.
Food and taste are a big thing too. They want you to savor your food and they practice what I always preach: Feed your soul not just your stomach. A dinner will usually last several hours with plenty of conversation, bread and wine. It’s beautiful. Coming from a country where if dinner is over an hour long then people start getting upset its so nice to come here and relax for three hours with some tomatoes (although not right now since they’re not in season), chickpeas, chicken, bread, wine, water, beans, pita, beef and many other good foods like lots of cheese! They want you to taste the food, hear your friends and fill yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically. It’s the best!
How can they have this relaxed attitude? They don’t have table turnover in Greece. You pay a small surcharge and you basically rent your table or chair for the night and it’s yours till they close! This is different even from Turkey where the waiters are much more aggressive and even if you still have half your tea left or food still on your plate they try and take it to clean up and get the next customers in. Not relaxing, let me tell you.
Since I could talk for days about how amazing Greece is, I’ll leave you with this heartwarming story. Yesterday was a bad day. I got my Modern Greek test back and I didn’t do so hot plus it was just an emotional whirlwind of a day in general for me. However, my roommate asked me to go figure out how to buy meat from a butcher with her. And even though I’d never done that and she knows squat-diddly about meat since she’s been a vegetarian for most of her life, I said yes. We were both a little scared. However it was fine! We played off each other and together formed an understandable sentence and she got the one kilo of ground beef she needed for dinner last night and it was very painless! He was so kind and had an amazing smile which he showered upon us multiple times. Let’s just say that the whole two minute walk home from his store we were raving about what an exceptional man he was and how glad we were that he’d brightened our day so much. …We don’t even know his name. haha It’s the little things :)
I love this country. I really do!
P.S. Come visit us!!
Erika Tobin is a student at Pacific Lutheran University and is a current College Year in Athens student for 2013-2014!
In the Peloponnesus region of southern Greece there is a small village called Pavlopetri, where a nearby ancient city dating back 5,000 years resides. However, this is not an ordinary archaeological site – the city can be found about 4 meters underwater and is believed to be the oldest known submerged city in the world.
The city is incredibly well designed with roads, two story houses with gardens, temples, a cemetery, and a complex water management system including channels and water pipes. In the centre of the city, was a square or plaza measuring about 40x20 meters and most of the buildings have been found with up to 12 rooms inside. The design of this city surpasses the design of many cities today.
Click on the title to read more and see some videos about the site!