Fish Market: Fresh Fish is This Fish!
When we think of Greek islands, we usually think of white houses and sandy beaches. Yet, many of these small Greek islands were inhabited mainly by fishermen. This tradition is still alive today and Spetses is no exception. While in Spetses, you may eat at any one of many local tavernas specializing in fresh fish. You may also buy fresh fish from the fish market and take it home to cook yourself...if you are staying in a self-catering room or house on the island.
When I was in Spetses for Easter, 2009, the local fishermen caught a Tuna fish that weighed 250 kilos!!!! I didn't get there in time to photo the fish before it was cut up, but here are the bloody photos of that fish!~ The filet looked more like red meat than fish!
What to pay: Fish is normally more expensive than red meat, but the tuna steak was selling for only 2 Euros per kilo!
The local specialty of Spetses (as also of many other Greek islands) are Amygdalota, little almond sweets, sprinkled with icing sugar. The most popular are available at the well-established pastry shops of Klimis and Politis.
Mathios, Panayiotis' Supermarket: TOULOUMOTIRI-Goat Cheese in the Goat!
Walking up the main street from the port in Dapia, on your left hand side, you will come to what looks like a local supermarket, which is exactly what this is. The prices are too high for most items, but it's conveniently located and easy to carry things that you need in a pinch. If you like cheese, though, and you are lucky to find this delicacy, do try it.
What to buy: TOULOUMOTIRI! REAL GREEK FETA
A true delicacy, only to be found, or so the shop owner, Mr. Mathios told me, in this little store on the island of Spetses. When I asked him where he got this cheese, he became quite defensive and told me that it was his secret. After I coaxed him a bit by telling him I was writing historical facts about Greece for my internet site, he relented somewhat and told me only he and one Greek farmer in the mountains above Sparti, were still making this old traditional Feta, 'Touloumotiri.' When I asked why it was called 'Touloumotiri,' he explained that the old Greeks called the goat skin, 'Touloupi,' thus the name, 'Touloumotiri.' Nice!
The goat gives up his coat for the Cheese! What a marvelous inventor is the human being! Who was it that thought up this way of storing their cheese? Necessity is the Mother of Invention!
It is a tart, soft goat's cheese, but processed in the 'ancient' way of stuffing the cheese inside the skin of the goat! I was told by the owner of the shop, that there is only one man left in the mountains above Sparti, who makes this cheese in what he said was the 'oldest' and 'first' way that cheese was made in Greece! This Greek Feta is ideal for that special recipe you may have for an appetizer dip.
What to pay: I paid less than 3 Euros for 1/4 of a kilo; 250grams! What a deal!
- Food and Dining
Anything you Don't Need, We Don't Have!
Shops like this one, used to exist in all local neighborhoods around Greece. Sadly, these friendly, locally owned shops have all but been obliterated by the huge, internationally owned shopping malls! What a shame, that Greece is slowly loosing it's local character for the sake of the Euro! Give me back the Drachma any day! Fortunately, for us, Spetses is one of the places in Greece that has tried to keep it's authenticity. Thank you people of Spetses!
What to buy: Normally, I would recommend that the most characteristically "Spetses" item to buy, would be a certain sweet made from almonds. Obviously, this shop doesn't sell sweets. This is made even more obvious by the sign on the front of this shop which translated into English reads: "Whatever you don't need, we don't have!" I, who am perpetually on a diet, certainly don't need such calorie laden sweets! But, what the heck, one cannot go through life separating ones needs from ones desires!
I think this shop sells about everything that you might need in your house or where ever! Check it out if you are looking for an old fashioned oil-lamp or maybe a fancy beaded collar for your horse!
What to pay: Bargin? Price depends on market demand?
- Arts and Culture