Greece 2008 Comes to a Close


I’m back and in a bitter-sweet way. It’s good to be back in Canada after another wonderful, memorable and fantastic time vacationing in Greece.

Although I wish I could still be in Greece, all things must come to an end and I don’t want to get sick of Greece and I always leave unfinished business (an excuse to go back to Greece each year).

Most of the goals I had set out to accomplish on my vacation were met. I met up with friends, caught up with family, made some new friends and took in some winery tours and did a taping for a “Kalofagas” promo.

Throughout my entire vacation, good food & drink was shared and I’m delighted to bring back more fresh & exciting Greek food ideas for you.

Each year that I go back to Greece I learn more about the best cuisine out there (Okay, I’m biased) with the help of the food wisdom from friends and relatives.

To me, the resumption of blogging just after my return from Greece is like a “a new season” for Kalofagas! There will be plenty of days and posts to share my vacation with you (so please be patient).

Let me start off with a quick and easy dessert or breakfast option for you.

In Halkidiki, Greece from August 15th until early September, tree-ripened figs can be had and if you lucky like me, you’re surrounded by countless fig trees where one cannot pick or eat all of nature’s bounty.

This yogurt parfait is inspired by a product I ate made by Activia, who offers a fruit bottom yogurt with figs.

The concept is quite simple…instead of serving honey with strained Greek yogurt, my not substitute with marmalade-like center of the ripened fig?

Yes, that’s right…a tree-ripened fig is that sweet…like marmalade.

Simply spoon in some dollops of strained yogurt into a bowl (or go a little fancy with a tall glass) and layer the meat of the figs with the yogurt.

The tangy Greek yogurt plays off really well against the very sweet insides of the figs.

If you haven’t eaten a tree-ripened fig, you must make it a personal foodie goal…you’ll never buy a basket of those bland excuses for figs you find at the market for a $1 a piece.

Enjoy!

© 2008 – 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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97 Comments for “Greece 2008 Comes to a Close”

Farmer Jen

says:

Yay! You are back! We missed you and Kalofagas so much. I do want to hear all about your time in Greece and will try to be patient. Thanks for the fig/yogurt idea. I have both in my kitchen and I think I will try them together for breakfast. Welcome Back Peter!

Núria

says:

Welcome back Chico!!!!! That face says it all :D.

I missed you Pedro ;D… those were even longer holidays than mine.
This is a great dessert! Figs are the best fruit ever!

I had this same thing done with 3 levels: yogurt, figs and kiwi… delightful.

Antonia

says:

Welcome back – glad to hear you had a wonderful time and look forward to hearing all about it. I love those Activia yoghuts with fig at the bottom but haven’t tried making my own. My next-door-neightbour has a fig tree which is laden with figs currently, but I can’t quite reach them from my side of the fence. Boo hoo.

Nat

says:

Welcome back Peter!I can see you’ve had a wonderful time in Greece, and looking fwd to hearing about your stories &gorgeous recipes &about the DVD!. As promises are debts, I’ve finally tried one of your recipes: Lemmon muffins with poppy seeds, (no topping, as recommended) and I must tell you that they were really delicious! :-D Very refreshing and moistered. I’ll send you the photos as soon as I have them. So, take a good rest after this busy month and thanks 4the recipe! xxNat
PS: Great figs dessert as well!;-)

Ivy

says:

Hey Peter, welcome back. Glad to hear that you had a great time and you were missed. Looking forward to your new posts.

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

Rosa's Yummy Yums

says:

Welcome back and good to know that you had a great time in beautiful Greece!

A delicious looking dessert!

Cheers,

Rosa

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy

says:

Welcome back, Peter! I missed you!
I’m so glad you had a wonderful vacation. Can’t wait to hear more about it.

You are so right about fresh figs. There is nothing like plucking a fresh, plump, ripe one right off the tree. One of life’s greatest pleasures!

Love the parfait. It looks fab!

Jan

says:

Good to see you back and glad that you had such a great time.
I’m loving that dessert – it looks Fig-olicious!

Foodycat

says:

I am so pleased you are back! I have missed your inspiration! Those figs are amazing – you are so lucky to have had access to them!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen

says:

Welcome back Peter! From the looks of that photo – there is more bitter than sweet in your return! But one bite of that parfait and I think you make up the difference! Glad to see you back! :)

glamah16

says:

Welcome back my B— King. Looking forward to all the great posts this new season. Now staop frowning or your face will saty like that.
Tha fig parfait looks out of this world.

By Costas the Greek

says:

Yay! Welcome back! Hope you took some good pics of olive oil over there. Did you eat plenty of pikilia with a glass of ouzo on the beach?

Bridgett

says:

Welcome home! I can imagine the wonderful time you had while in Greece and look forward to reading a bit about your adventures. Ah, I love figs and your parfait looks mouthwatering. The little seed-flecks along the layers make it look all the more appealing to me. Gorgeous as well as tasty!

Jen of A2eatwrite

says:

Welcome home! I’m glad it was a good vacation.

We actually have some lovely figs around right now, so while I’m sure they’re not the way they were in Greece, I’ll certainly try this.

RecipeGirl

says:

Welcome back! I’ve been looking forward to your return. Figs are my new fave. Lucky you to have been surrounded by loads of fig trees!

San Francisco Photos

says:

Damn (excuse my language) those figs look yummy. Wow so red and beautiful. And even that yogurt fig pistachio nut parfait looks so divine. Wish I had some now.

Judy@nofearentertaining

says:

Welcome home my friend! I guess summer is officially over if your home? Can’t wait to hear more about the trip. I know you have some rubbing it in to do!

Paula

says:

Welcome home! Sounds like you have a marvelous time. Looking forward to all the goodies and photos you have to share. They will serve as my vicarious Greece vacation! This parfait looks terrific … great flavor combos!

Proud Italian Cook

says:

Welcome back Peter, I want to hear all about that DVD, and of course every thing else. I wish I could find figs that look that good!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

says:

Welcome back – Missed you and all your wonderful creations!! Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for all your fans!!

maria

says:

Peter! Welcome back, I’ve missed you on my feed reader!

I am so envious looking at those gorgeous sticky suka – I was just saying to my sister in the market yesterday no wonder more people don’t like figs – all they’ve known are either the dried, chewy dusty ones, or something imported from California that tastes like water!

I always have fond memories of snatching them from trees in the horio with my papou.

Welcome back, I am excited for your stories!

Allen of EOL

says:

Well, it’s about time you sauntered your butt back to a computer :-) Glad to have you back and excited to hear your tales of Greece … remember, we want all the juicy bits too!

Mary Coleman

says:

Reality bites sometimes, doesn’t it.
But it sounds like you had a blast and I, for one, can’t wait to see what you come up with. This fig yogurt parfait looks outstanding.
Welcome home!

Sandie

says:

So you’ve made your return…ah, the happy-sadness of it all: glad to be back/miss vacationing already. Believe me, I can relate.

Looking forward to the new season of Kalofagas. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store.

Lori

says:

I have been checking backa nd checking back. Looking forward to all the new posts of Greek food. One of my favs!

Heather

says:

Glad to see you made it back in one piece. Figs are so strange – the only fruit with the flowers on the inside! It reminds me of an “innie” belly button.

Lulu Barbarian

says:

Yay! Peter’s back! I love the fig and yogurt combo. I only wish I knew how to get to the ripe figs on the tree before the birds do. I don’t suppose you brought the secret to that back from Greece with you?

Nina Timm

says:

Wow, am I glad you’re back. My morning coffee has just not been the same without you….I am glad you had a good time, can’t wait for all the new recipes!!!!
The figs look divine …the color is so intense, like the flavor, I suppose!!!

farida

says:

Peter, so nice to see you back! Glad you had a great time in Greece. Must be beautiful there in summer. Looking forward to your new recipes and pictures from Greece!

Astra Libris

says:

Hooray – you’re back! Your yogurt is absolutely heavenly – you brought me right back to Israel, picking fresh figs off the tree as I wandered on my uncle’s farm… Thank you for the beautiful memory reminder, and the incredible recipe!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js

says:

Welcome back, Peter!

Yeah, make me insane with your stories of tree-ripened figs, will ya? ;)

ΕΛΕΝΑ

says:

Peteeeeeerrr, welcome back:))
I am sure you had a wonderful time in Greece and you are “full” of special greek recipes.
Next year you should visit “our places”, I think you will like them.

Jeanne

says:

Hurrah – you’re back! You’ve definintely been missed :)

And OH, what a way to get back into blogging after the holiday! That bowl of figs looks obscenely good and the breakfast/dessert is inspirational. Now, if only we can get enough sun here in England to ripen a fig… :o)

Peter G

says:

Welcome back Peter! Nice to see you made it back safe and sound. Look forward to hearing more about your adventures. The figs look great with that yogurt…a nice comeback!

Elly

says:

Welcome back, Peter! Glad to hear you had a great time, and I am definitely looking forward to hearing more about it. I really need to get back to Greee. I haven’t been in way too long. This breakfast treat looks fabulous! I love anything with figs so I am totally on board. Mmm.

Natashya

says:

Welcome home, my friend. Thanks for breakie, it looks wonderful.
I made sure the evenings were nice and cool when you returned so that you could sleep comfortably.
I have left you an award on my site this morning, sweetie.
Cheers.

Prudy

says:

Welcome back. You know you’re only allowed to take these little vacations if you promise to share all the food you’ve eaten. You knew that didn’t you? OK, good.

Grace

says:

welcome back–i’m surprised you actually returned. i’m sure it was hard to leave. :)
great parfait–it’s super unique and sounds fabulous!

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

Mike of Mike's Table

says:

Welcome back! I can’t wait to hear more about your trip…you and a few of the other great Greek food bloggers out there put a trip to Greece high on my list of things I want to do. Glad to hear that you’re back and well…and wow, those figs really do beat the hell out of the ones I can buy.

OhioMom

says:

Welcome home! I love figs, but have only tasted store-bought, I envy your fresh from the tree treat.

Shandy

says:

I just found out I love figs. My Grandpa used to eat Fig Newtons and I figured this is a true rendition of what a fig tastes like and didn’t like it. Then I tasted a fresh fig right off of a family fig tree. . .WoW! Sweet, light, and delicious! I am now forever a fan and this parfait looks so fresh and delicious with a perfect showing of fresh figs. Yum!

PeterMarcus

says:

Welcome back! I hope you got very inspired — I can’t wait to see what you’re going to show us!

Susan from Food Blogga

says:

Hey Peter! It’s great to have you back, though you don’t look too happy to be back. :) As for the parfaits–simply elegant. I madeone last week with Greek yogurt, figs, pistachios, and orange that was delicious, now I’ve got to try a version with the marmalade.

Dawn

says:

awwww that face, so sad. Well, everyone here in food-blogger land are happy to have you back, myself included. I can’t wait to see the vacation photo’s of the gorgeous blue waters of Greece.

Peter M

says:

Jen, thanks for your patience and do try this with yogurt.

Nuria, it's good to be back (I think). I hope you had a restful vacation.

Sam, I've had this simple pairing on my mind for awhile and it indeed worked.

Antonia, the ladder is your friend – time to employ your man to get up and fetch ya some figs.

Kat, thanks…the kind welcome from all of you is heart-warming.

Nat, I'm delighted to hear that you tried a dish and that your guests enjoyed it…more to come?

Ivy, thanks so much…I have a wonderful time in Greece and "to xprono".

Rosa, thanks…it was a grand vacation.

Kittie, thanks…all the details will come in time.

Sticky…glad you know I'm talking about (fresh figs). I refuse to buy the ones in the market.

Jan, thank you so much and your never-ending support…is Janet-astic!

Foody, not sure if I'm lucky, it cost me $1300 to get to Greece…I deserve a fresh fig or two, non?

Thanks Katerina!

Jenn, I go through this post-vacation depression each year…it'll pass…with good food!

Cul/graphy…thanks!!

THanks Jenn…I'm getting in the writing mood again.

Glamah darling…thanks…the B-King is rested & ready to roll!

Costas, no pics of olive oil but you know it everywhere. One day I will go to Greece in the fall for the harvest.

Bridgett, nothing like a fresh, ripe fig!

Jen, pick the figs off the trees when they are soft and twist off the branch easily…pure marmalade!

Thanks Arundathi!

Marjie, soon I'll share my vacation food inspirations.

Lori, you are lucky…enjoy those fresh figs!

SF photos…I wish I could eat some more figs now!

Judy, I have special "rub it in" pics just for you! lol

Paula, you're right…I'm sharing Greece with all of you…it's my pleasure!

Thank you Ann!

Marie, all will be revealed in due time.

Cathy, thanks so much…you're a kind regular…love reading your comments!

Thanks SusanD!

Maria, glad to trigger fond memories for you!

Allen, I admit, I casually came back from vacation..sue me! lol

MAry, vacations ending do suck but hey…next year again!

Sandie, such is the end of a vacation but we need something to anticipate for next yr. too!

Lori, I'm baaaack!

Gloria, good to back to such a warm reception!

Christine, thanks…this welcome makes the end of the vacation easier.

Heather, the inside of a fig looks different to me but that's just the perv in me. ;)

Dragon…back!

Lulu, the Greek secret is that there are so many fig trees…enough for the birds and us humans!

Nina, I will make you hungry during brekkie anew!

Farida, it only rained once….fantastic weather!

Astra, glad to trigger a fond memory…Israel has some wonderful produce!

JS, I'm only sharing! lol

Noob, thanks!

Elena, thanks and it was good to at least chat with you. I too was thinking an in depth trip to the Pelloponese is due.

David thanks…the vacation is done for the yr.

Jeanne, let me know so I can grow some here in Canada too!

Pete, thanks mate…this food blog fraternity has been most comforting.

Elly, don't put it off anymore – go to Greece next year!

Natashya, thanks for thinking of me weatherwise…how can I repay you? lol

Prudy, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Grace, I even tried to extend my ticket but couldn't get a seat!

Andrew, bringin' it on!

Ioanna, thanks and I had a wonderful time meeting up!

Mike, you gotta try fresh figs (not the market ones).

Ohiomom…the fresh ones are to die for!

Shandy….better late than never, no?

Peter, very inspired!

Susan, come live in Canada during the winter and you'll mope too!

Dawn, thanks for the warmth and welcome…gots me some great pics!

Helen

says:

Welcome back Peter! I have missed Kalofagas. I am really looking forward to finding out what you ate in Greece and seeing the results of your new inspiration!

Sylvie

says:

and I’ll add my welcome back to the chorus before me, Petras. And will also add that indeed I am looking forward to your upcoming postings of culinary delights!

Nicole

says:

And he’s back! Good to see you… even if it is a funny face you.

Nice photos. Looking forward to more from the trip.

melissa

says:

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Peter’s back!!

Hope you had the best time ever, but I am really glad to see you again. :)

giz

says:

Welcome home Peter (I think) – you’ve got your sucky baby face on. Just think of it as a mission to bring the amazing food of Greece to the rest of the world. The figs look so fresh – delightful.

Lore

says:

A said face next to a photo of fresh figs?! That doesn’t seem very realistic Peter :P
Today was the first time I found some fresh figs at the supermarket and I was thinking to myself “darn, I wish these would be from Greece” but they weren’t :( at that’s the reason I didn’t buy them even if until now I only saw fresh figs in photos.
I’m more than convinced they make a good pair with yoghurt an pistachios!

Zen Chef

says:

Peter the Greek is back!!!
Sounds like you had one helluva good time! You lucky bast… err you! I’m starting to sound bitter because i didn’t get a day off in three weeks. Arrgghh. Anyway, can’t wait to hear your stories. Those figs look absolutely incredible by the way, so plum and ripe. Yum!

Antonio Tahhan

says:

WELCOME BACK, Peter!! Those figs look so beautiful!! I have a basket in my kitchen that I bought at Costco that I’ll probably be disappointed with after looking at these photos, haha!
I’m glad to see you’re back and I can’t wait to read about your trip and learn about all the great ideas you brought back with you!

canarygirl

says:

PETER! You’re back! I’ve missed you, buddy! :D Your fig parfait looks delicious–can’t wait to hear all about your trip!

Marianna

says:

Ah! It’s so nice to have you back!! And with such a delicious post too!! Those figs are amazing- I totally agree with you that freshly picked ones are way better then what you get in supermarkets! When I was a kid, my grandfather (who has a fig tree in his garden) used to pick out ripe ones for me- they were the sweetest and most delicious figs I had ever had in my life!

katiez

says:

Welcome back!
Now, you’re going to hate me… but I have loads of fig trees, and don’t really like them – too sweet.
But now you have me thinking – I’ll go down and pick a couple in the am and try them with yogurt. that might convert me. I really want to like them.. everybody else does, and I always like to conform…
Oh, new house? Even more fig trees… and a pomegranat ( I can’t spell it but I’m really excited about that!)

Julie

says:

I just came here from Food Blogga. I like your site!

This is a fantastic idea — simple but delicious. Sadly fig season is at an end where I live so I’ll have to wait until next year to try it.