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Traveling to Greece: Ithaca, Ulysses island

2 min read

Traveling to Greece: Ithaca, Ulysses island

"Σα βγεις στον πηγαιμό για την Ιθάκη, να εύχεσαι νάναι μακρύς ο δρόμος, γεμάτος περιπέτειες, γεμάτος γνώσεις." 

"As you set out for Ithaca, hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery."

- Κ. Π.Καβάφης - C. Cavafy

"Ithaca" is the most famous poet by the great Greek poet, Konstantinos Kavafis (aka Constantine Cavafy). It's based on Homer's account of Odysseus' journey home. These famous lines symbolize the long journey we all have in our life, life itself, the purpose, the determination, and our will to continue, no matter what, in order to find our final destination and our way back home - to reach our "Ithaca".

There is a very real Ithaca (aka Itháki, Ithaka), a small island that has kept a low profile and its natural beauty all these years. It's not touristy at all and you can enjoy the fresh air, the sea, and the amazing local food. What I love about Itháki is that it helped bring the Greek Diet to global fame when it was part of the famous Blue Zone longevity study. The islanders have always eaten more fresh fruits & vegetables than meat, used lots of extra virgin olive oil, and seasoned with flavorful healthy wild & cultivated herbs.

My top 3 traditional Greek recipes from Ithaca are:

1. Riganáda (oregano dish) 

Fresh oregano, tomato, feta, and bread drizzled with olive oil or water. This is similar to the Cretan Dakos we all know and love but instead of barley rusks, the Ithakans use bread.

2. Chicken Tserépa

A tserépa is a very tall clay cooking pot that does wonders to tenderize chicken & veggies, making them just delicious.  You might not  have a tserépa, but you can get a similar flavor with our easy herbal tea-flavored chicken stew.

3. Rice-Ravani(!). 

This is a very unique local dessert with rice, honey, and olive oil that you must try when in Ithaca! 

Find Ithaca on a map

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