Friday, November 26, 2010

Grocery Shopping

I've long considered this to be an annoying chore, those constant trips to the store to pick up another item I forgot to complete my meal - battling the inevitable whacky wheel on the cart - standing bored in a long line at the register.

Although grocery shopping here is more difficult in many ways, it's always an experience. The Laiki (li-KEE) opens in a different neighborhood in Athens each day. When Fridays come around, I grab my little 2 wheeled cart and walk about a quarter mile up steep uneven cobblestone sidewalks to the street where it's set up. The fish is fresh,
with loads of variety that I have very little idea of what to do with.
The fruit and vegetables are fresh and delicious. Grecians eat in season and they eat locally grown produce. Eggs are not refrigerated because they're so very fresh. The shells aren't washed so the natural barrier stays intact, keeping bacteria from entering the egg. Eating an egg here is amazing. The yolks are so dark that your scrambled eggs are orange rather than yellow. I normally buy lentils for my pot
and surely the world's richest, most delicious honey for my tea: Shopping at the laiki is not something done quickly. It's not at all convenient. I don't understand the language enough to make proper change, so I resort to an outstretched palm full of coins, from which the smiling, indulgent merchants pick out what I owe. We smile and nod our heads at each other alot. They sometimes try to practice their English. We laugh at our shared ineptitude. Shopping at the Laiki - it's become a one of my most favorite local things to do.


  1. Oh, what an experience! Get one of everything, just to try it. So incredible!

  2. Hi Julie, I am loving reading your posts about Greece. Going to another country is always an an eye opener it never ceases to amaze me how it will teach us new and better ways of doing things and forces us into experiencing things we've never done or considered. It also makes us reflect on home and the things that we miss and love too.
    I wish I was there with you to amble through the stalls, finding new and different foods is a small adventure in itself and coming up with ways of cooking them is another! Have you discovered You might find it helpful - it's *the* best greek food blog around I think :) It might have some ideas for all that fabulous produce.

  3. Oh! Thanks for the Greek food blog! I'm off to check it out! :-)

  4. Marissa: I do want to buy one of everything because it all looks so pretty!

    Ria: Come visit! You can help me try to cook octopus. LOL!