In the UK, Greek Food historically has been seen as little more than plastic wrapped Feta Cheese, Olives, Moussaka and the rather challenging Retsina Wine.
But something new and exciting has been happening in the Greek food and drink industry over the last 10 years and we were very lucky to experience it for ourselves last week at the Andaz Hotel in Liverpool Street hosted by Premium Quality Organic Food from Greece.
From the trend of using the distinctive flavour of Mastiha in some of London’s finest cocktails bars, to the continued discovery of the health benefits of currants, and the desire for chefs to only use the finest artisan Greek cheeses in their dishes, there is a strong demand in the UK’s food and drink industry for authentic and organic regional Greek produce.
To bring this story to a wider audience, a series of pan-European tasting events are being organised - funded by the EU and Greek Government. The UK event which took place last Monday 23rd April 2018 at the Hyatt Andaz Hotel was specifically highlighting the impressive range of organic foods now being produced in Greece and their many health benefits. Each producer and co-operative who attended introduced the latest additions to its ranges, and we were treated to a taste of them through a beautifully designed menu by award winning Executive Chef Altanis Apostolos from Hyatt Regency, Thessaloniki.
The Co-operatives and Companies that participated were:
Kourellas - an innovative dairy company located in Graven that produces a range of Artisan Cheeses and yoghurts using milk from its own farms. - www.kourellas.gr
Pesunion - an agricultural co-operative union located in Aigio that now processes over 90% of Greece's Vastizza PDO currants www.pesunion.gr
Krokos Kozanis - Saffron has been cultivated in the region of Kozani since the 17th century. Located in Krokos, Greece, this cooperative has the complete responsibility for collecting, processing, packing and distributing Saffron for use as a spice and for organic Tea and drinks www.safran.gr
Mediterra SA - Located in Chios, Mediterra SA, was founded in 2002 with the main objective to promote the consumption of mastiha and to explain its health properties and sells organic products based on Chios Mastic including Alcoholic Liqueurs, confectionery, jams, etc. www.mastihashop.com
Blauel Greek Organic Products - Located in Mani, Blauel is the oldest and largest award winning farming project in Greece. The company produces a range of products including dried tomatoes, olive paste, garlic, oregano, basil, capers, vinegar, Organic extra virgin olive oil with Chios mastic or lemon, Organic Olives, Green Mani, Kalamata olives Mani, and vegetables in organic olive oil. www.blauel.gr