Cooperatives of women in Lesvos
Favorite thing: During the last years the cooperative spirit in Lesvos has been developed at a fast rate. The initiative had been taken from women all over the island. At first the motives were personal. It was an outlet for the energetic and talented women, who had been harassed. They wanted to be occupied with something creative and at the same time they could invade the world of business.
In the past, housekeeping was the main occupation of most women. Thus by the creation of cooperatives they had the opportunity, as they say, to be out of the house and to cooperate as a team with the same aim. The idea was good. These women could do well and they were able to express their talents in a broader perspective than only at home. Beside the occupation they had, they started, step by step, to see even financial benefits.
At this moment, in the two big islands of the prefecture of Lesvos (Lesvos and Lemnos that is), there are six cooperatives of women. They are occupied with a variety of projects (from tourism to preparation of traditional sweets). To understand the activities of cooperatives, it would be better to see each one separately.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN AGIASOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1998. The cooperation counts 85 members who prepare sweets, liqueur, pasta’s, home-made noodles, salted vine leaves and also hand made embroideries. The investment for the first material’s purchase is one of the main cooperative’s problems. Women try hard to find financial resources to get a workshop. The President of the cooperative is Mrs. Tsoukarelli Xrisoula.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN ASOMATOS OF LESVOS:
It has been recently founded in April 1999 and has 31 women. The cooperative prepares sweets, concoction of honey and sesame, baskets, pasta’s, salted vine leaves, olives (green-black), scented plants and embroideries. Their products are sold in specialist shops. President of the cooperative is Mrs. Pitsa Helen.
Fondest memory: COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN MOLIVOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 2003 and counts 9 members. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams etc. that can be bought at their specialist shop just outside of the town Molivos, on the way to Eftalou.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN PETRA OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1983 and it is the first cooperative of women in Greece. At this moment it has 54 members who are renting out rooms for visitors. They offer home-made breakfast to their tenants and have their own traditional food restaurant. The women also arrange excursions around the island showing tourists the Greek civilization. Chairman of the cooperative is Mrs. Xiotou Helen.
COOPERATIVE OF WOMEN IN POLINCHITOS OF LESVOS:
It has been founded in 1997 and counts 30 members from who 15 are active. The women are occupied with the preparation of sweets, jams and liqueur and also make icons from old wooden and embroideries. At their specialist shop one can buy scented plants, olives, herbs and salted vine leaves.
Favorite thing: There are a variety of small pitas which are triangles made with phyllo dough and filled with anything from feta cheese to ground beef, spinach, lambs liver or even pastourma. But if you get this as part of a large pikilia it will most likely be cheese. Stuffed grape leaves (Dolmadakia) are a popular mezedes as are stuffed zucchini flowers on Lesvos. Bourekakia that are served in Lesvos are cheese filled pastry rolls usually deep fried.
- Food and Dining
Favorite thing: Pastourma (heavily seasoned smoked beef) sliced makes an easy meze if you are sitting on your hotel balcony with a glass of ouzo watching the sunset. Add a few olives and a piece of cheese and you have a meze you can eat anywhere.
Mezedes: Various Types of Keftedes (Meat Balls)
Favorite thing: There are a number of fried balls that are served as mezedes. The tomato keftedes (fried tomato balls), the fried revithia keftdes (chickpea balls), the kolokithokeftedes which are fried zucchini balls and the original keftedes (the small meatballs that are seasoned with mint and onions and are deep-fried). But you can have keftdes made from just about anything including psarokeftedes (fish), octopodikeftedes (octopus), kotokeftedes (chicken), hortokeftedes (wildgreens), kavourikeftdes (crab) and prassokeftdes (leeks).
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Favorite thing: Saganaki is either grilled or fried cheese and makes a terrific meze that you can easily make at home. A simple fried saganaki is a piece of kasseri cheese deep-fried and seasoned with lemon. The more complex saganakis are with tomato sauce and either mussels, shrimp, pastourma or whatever the specialty is, in a small casserole dish usually broiled in the oven.
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Mezedes: Gavros Marinatos-Lakerda-Clams-Mussels
Favorite thing: Gavros Marinatos are marinated anchovies in oil, lemon and oregano and these are available all over Greece, even in the supermarkets. The best may be at The Captain's Table in Molyvos, Lesvos but I have had these all over and have never had a bad plate.
Lakerda is bonito tuna, marinated for a few days in olive oil and served with lemon. You can get this fresh in Lesvos but every time I have ordered it in Athens or on other islands even though they said it was fresh it was either from a can or too salty. Good lakerda is not salty.
Fresh clams or mussels make an amazing meze.
Mezedes: Salted Sardinnes of Kalloni Bay
Favorite thing: According to my opinion the best meze is sardeles pastes (Salted Sardinnes) of Skala Kallonis. These are the small seasonal sardines which are salted in the morning and eaten that night, raw, like sushi, on the island of Lesvos. They can be served plain or with lemon and olive oil. If you are a sardine-anchovy kind of person you will love them. If not, well you should try them anyway because you never know. You can find them in July in Lesvos at just about any restaurant. You won't find them in Athens or on all the islands.
How to Drink Ouzo
Favorite thing: Don't be macho. Drink ouzo with water. When you pour it in the ouzo will turn a milky white. How much to pour in is a matter of taste. A good trick is to water it down as you drink it. In other words you keep adding water. You won't get as drunk this way and because you will be drinking as much water as ouzo (or more) you won't be dehydrated or hungover (maybe).
- Food and Dining
Favorite thing: In the cafeneons ouzo is served with a meze included. The mezedes can be anything from a salad, stewed meat and vegetables, sardeles pastes, koukia (fava beans), sweetbreads, meatballs, cheese, sausage, fried fish or whatever the specialty of that cafeneon is that day. Eat and drink slowly and enjoy the journey. The cafe owners are always good cooks and in many places it is almost like a competition who has the best mezedes.
Everything You'd Like to Know About Ouzo
Favorite thing: From the ancient years until today, the human, trying to create drinks with alcohol, was using scented herbals, fruits, roots, flowers and seeds, at start with extract and fermentation, and later with distillation, with final purpose to feel enjoyment, relaxation and drunkenness.
The depositions of famous coppersmiths from Armenia and the Pont, who made nice decorated distilling vessels, confirmed the deep knowledge of distillation in all the Byzantine empire. Plus all that, the blessing ground of Minor Asia and Thrace, gave a perfect material, where dominated grapes and figs, the same time that the cultivation of anise in Lesvos and Limnos and the production of mastic in Chios, consisted the necessary elements for the production of raki.
Those "professionals", called also rakitzides, because they were producing a drink, distilled product from grapes raki sharing with anise, scented herbals or mastic, which succeeded , after the period where drink was not allowed in Turkey, to conquer the well-off class of Othomanic empire, giving to the best rakitzides special privileges.
Fondest memory: However the ease which somebody could produce a drink of that kind, mixing that clean alcohol with water, created quality problems, because the final product wasn’t distilled product but simple mixed. For that reason in Smirni and Constantinoupoli ports, in every receipt of clean alcohol, they were adding a colored substance, fact that obliged the payee in obligatory distillation before the use.
So, with that way, created ouzo, which went about for many decayed in many Greek areas, with the old name raki. It’s name became from the alteration of customs term giouzo, which means for use and it’s believed that it becomes from the Italian expression OUZO MASSALIA which means for use in Massalia, where the first charges directed. That inscription escorted parcels with raki which destined in areas out of the borders of Othomanic empire.
With the destroy of Asia Minor, rakitzides coming in Greece, where, mostly in Lesvos the distilling companies grew up rapidly. The emulation between refugees and local distillers, create a great development in production and consumption of ouzo.
The Olive Oil
Favorite thing: Naturally low in cholesterol, olive oil has been shown to produce less harmful, and more beneficial effects than other vegetable oils. It's not only tasty, but is also one of the key components of the so-called "Mediterranean diet".
Fats and oils are an essential part of a balanced diet. Olive oil is easily digested - it's quickly and completely absorbed by the system. Also trace components like chlorophyll help the absorption, and the aroma and taste stimulate the appetite - an important assist for the digestive process.
The circulatory system is aided by a diet which includes olive oil - reducing the risk of arteriolosclerosis and other circulatory ailments. The non-saturated fats which make up olive oil, not only are cholesterol-free, but have actually been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
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urls for more info on Lesvos
Favorite thing: - http://www.ypai.gr/training/Lesvos.pdf
An info pdf for the Olympic athletes with history, calender of events-festivals -and tel fax and prices of hotels. very informative!
scubadiving..........I hope one day!
info ranging from lesvos sales pitch about the island to tel nrs important places (police-hospital- schools)
messageboard but not very active for Lesvos
taverna info in and around vatera
genral info on lesvos and limnos
Favorite thing: Lesvos ( Mytelene ) is the third biggest island in Greece.It is located northeastern ,near Turkish costs.One can get there from Athens or Thessaloniki by ferry or plain.There is an express ferry from Athens ,but people don't prefer it because it has no facilities and the journey is too long to be seated in a chair.So take your time!In Mytelene you have to move a lot ,so one has to have a car or a motorbike (or rent one).But ,one can also enjoy picking up a favorite village and staying there.I recomment Molyvos(Mythymna) or Eressos for a long stay.
Fondest memory: You can start the journey by staying one or two nights in the capital Mytelene .See its castle (built by the Gatelouzi ),go to the neibourhood "Varia" with its unique architecture :a mixture of neocassical ,baroque and eastern forms (and stay there too,its not too expensive) and to the art museums "Terriand" and " Theophilos" at Vathia with a collection of modern famous painters the former(Picasso,Matisse etc) and the paintings of a popular Greek painter of early 20th century the later (i'll come to this later).
- Castles and Palaces
- Museum Visits
Favorite thing: The thing everyone going to Lesvos simply must do is travel around and just take in the scenery. The landscapes are variating, but mostly there are olive trees, or aridness. The island is extremely full of mountains, all the roads are therefore much longer than they seem at the map.
Most of the time, you can glimpse the sea far far away.
Mezedes: Xtapodi (Octopus)
Favorite thing: Xtapodi (octopus) is the best meze for ouzo, especially when you are sitting by the sea. The best octopus is grilled, provided it is done right and is tender. Octopus is also served marinated.