'Taste of Greece'
Last Tuesday, in the hot, small kitchen at Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Karen Nelson began the task of preparing dolmades for the annual "Taste of Greece" festival. Her goal, with the help of her mother Christina and fellow church ...
Last Tuesday, in the hot, small kitchen at Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, Karen Nelson began the task of preparing dolmades for the annual "Taste of Greece" festival. Her goal, with the help of her mother Christina and fellow church member Chicki Bovis, was to make 1,500.
"I would like to get 600 done today," Nelson said. "It's a time consuming process."
"And I'm waiting for the ones that break so I can eat them," said the Rev. Philemon Sevastiades, pastor of the church.
This year marks the 10th annual "Taste of Greece" festival at Twelve Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, 632 E. Second St. The event will be Saturday, July 6, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 7, from 12 noon to 5 p.m.
Besides raising money for the church, the event shares and celebrates Greek tradition with the entire community. At least 1,000 people are expected to attend.
"Half of our church is not ethnically Greek, but everyone embraces the heritage of the founders of our church," the Rev. Sevastiades said.
"It's a way to preserve what our grandparents did," Nelson said. "It lets us have fun; it lets us show Duluth what we are and who we are."
The event includes Greek dancing, music and a marketplace selling Greek merchandise. But it's the homemade, traditional Greek food that proves to be the biggest enticement for festival-goers.
Dolmada, a tender grape leaf stuffed with meat and rice and served under a fresh lemon sauce, is a festival favorite. Other ingredients include garlic, salt and pepper, tomato, onion, lemon flavor and lots of spearmint.
"I haven't found too many people who don't like them," Nelson said. The grape leaves are hand picked from a vine in Duluth.
For variety, an eggplant dish called moussaka is being added to the menu this year. And everyone can expect traditional lamb dishes, Athenian chicken and plenty of Greek pastries.
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Taste of Greece menu
* Chicken dinner, piece of chicken (breast or leg/thigh) with salad, rice and bread, $6.50.
* Lamb dinner, portion of lamb with salad, potatoes and bread, $7.50.
* Greek sampler platter, Greek salata, spanikopita, pastichio and two dolmades, $8.50.
Ala Carte items
* Lamb, marinated with garlic and olive oil, $4.
* Athenian chicken, chicken marinated with olive oil and special seasonings (choice of breast or leg/thigh combo), $3.
* Souvlaki (serving = 1 stick), tender, seasoned marinated pork shish-ka-bob with bread, $3.
* Gyro sandwich, beef/lamb mixture with special seasonings topped with an authentic tzaziki (cucumber) sauce served in warm pita bread topped with onions and tomatoes, $4.
* Greek salata, lettuce greens with onions, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, Greek olives and feta cheese mixed with Greek dressing, $2.75.
* Moussaka, layers of baked eggplant with sauteed ground beef baked with a delicious souffle topping, $2.50.
* Spanikopita, chopped fresh spinach with grated feta cheese, wrapped and baked in delicately layered filo dough, $2.50.
* Pastichio, Greek style lasagna -- layer of baked pasta, meat and spices topped with a creamy cheese sauce, $2.50 or $25 by the pan.
* Rice pilaf, steamed white rice laced in butter and spices, $1.50.
* Greek potatoes, potato wedges seasoned with lemon, garlic and oregano, $1.50.
* Dolmada (1 serving), tender grape leaf stuffed with meat and rice served under a fresh lemon sauce, $1.
Desserts and pastries
* Loukoumades, Greek donut holes dipped in honey and sprinkles with cinnamon, $2.
* Baklava sundae, vanilla ice cream topped with a crumbled baklava topping, $2.
* Baklava, layered filo dough with spices, nuts and honey, $1.25.
* Melomoukarouna, spice cookie dipped in honey topped with nuts, 75 cents or three pieces for $2.
* Kourambiethes, butter cookie topped with powdered sugar, 75 cents or three pieces for $2.
* Koulourakia (six pieces), butter cookie topped with sesame seeds, $1.50.
* Diples, rolled dough dipped in honey topped with nuts, $1.25.
* Assorted sweet breads, $3.50.