Monday, June 8, 2009

Beware the Raki…

After we checked in to the Rob & Laura Petrie suite, IMG_1016we take a stroll down the street (the only street) to get some provisions from the super-market. You know, stuff like olives, cheese and tonic water to go with our duty free vodka.

We pass two liquor stores on the way to the super-market, we buy some Ouzo and Greek wine (which is very good, by the way) as CGMan butchers practices his Greek with the owner’s wife.

Next door is a souvenir shop where we buy some beach towels.  CGMan is looking at a decanter set with glasses for his Ouzo and wondering what it says on it. The young man behind the counter was so nice and explained this was for Raki. We ask, what is Raki? He says it is a drink made from fermented grapes. He asks, “You want to try Raki?” Um, yeah.  As he pours three dixie cups, CGMan and I are thinking wine, right? Grapes and all. But it doesn’t look like wine.  CGMan whispers, “Bet it’s like moonshine”. The young man hands us our cups and says, “I am Dimitris, we are friends. Salut!”  and we tilt our cups…Oh. My. Gah!!  It IS moonshine!!

Apparently, everybody makes their own Raki. Each family has their own recipe. His father-in-law sells it in his liquor store, next door, in liter water bottles. Just like moonshine.

Last night, we had a lesson about olive oil from an olive farmer. It is really interesting the history of olives. They go all the way back to 1800 BC. There are olive trees all over the place. Looking out our window, it seems we are in the middle of an orchard. IMG_1019  The olives are harvested in November. And apparently it is not as easy as just shaking the tree and having the olives fall off. Anyway, we learned how the olive oil is made and what makes it virgin and extra virgin (the acidity). He had some of his own olive oil for us to try and for purchase. If there was an extra, extra virgin, this would be it. Of course, I bought some to bring home.

Today, we are renting scooters to go exploring. We have heard of a nice place to do some bird watching and a couple of caves. Our hotel manager is great for letting us know which tavernas to stop and eat. The food here is amazing.

But when the owner offers his Raki for us to try, I’ll have to pass.

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