Hiker’s grocery list

You will find it unnecessary to weigh down your luggage with packets of expensive, freeze-dried backpacker’s food from home, since Greek stores stock a practical and (usually) appetizing array of supplies suitable for trail meals. Food shopping hours are slightly more generous than those for ordinary establishments, being roughly from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. As with other shops, Monday, Wednesday and either Friday or Saturday afternoon closure prevails, and it’s almost impossible to buy groceries on Sundays except in very large towns or tourist centers or in tiny villages where the kafeneio (cafe) doubles as the only store.

In the largest towns, good shops are found in the traditional bazaars. The Athens bazaar centers around the corner of Evripidhou and Athinas streets; a good store is at 34 Evripidhou. Thessaloniki’s old market is a warren of alleys bounded by Egnatia, Ermou, Aristotelous and Karolou Diehl. While shopping try one of the patsatzadika (patsas kitchens) for which the city is famous.

Following is a list of items grouped by the type of store in which they’re most reliably found. Bakaiiko is the dhimotiki (informal) word for grocery store; but the katharevousa (formal) sign will read pandopoieion. In bakaiika you can purchase: kales stigmeios—instant coffee in packets or cans—vile Isai se sakoulakia—black tea bags, English or Ceylon

votanika /sai—herbal tea; hamomili (chamomile), faskomiio (sage), tsai vounou

(mountain tea—in south Greece) are commonest kinds kakao skoni— hot chocolate powder, imported and local brands; really baking cocoa,

needs milk and sweetening gala skoni— powdered milk; sold in box or bulk

vromi “Kouaker”—Quaker oats in a can; in some cities, local brands in a bag are.


Vlamyl— Greek instant mashed-potato mix

marmeladha—jam in assorted flavors; sold in small packets or plastic jars alall—salt

ladhi— (olive) oil—in bulk or prepackaged laharl— sugar; usually sold in bulk

moussa, pudinga—instant mousses that must be beaten for double the stated instruction time; make with cold spring water and let stand 20 minutes

All of the above can also be found at baharika (dry goods stores).

(vrasta) avga—(hard-boiled) eggs

heemi se conserve— miniature (180-milliliter) juices, in cans or cardboard cartons tyrf— cheese; four most common:

feta— crumbly, creamy, slightly salty sheep or goat cheese—the cheapest and the

one most associated with Greece kasseri— harder, more delicately flavored than feta—also pricier goudha, edam— usually Dutch or German, but reasonable gravlera—Swiss-style gruyere—expensive; processed gruyere is also sold in little 8-pack wheels; not the best but it keeps indefinitely tsalami— dry salami

sardhelles— (canned) sardines; not all brands sold with a key skoumbrl— (canned) mackerel; several brands in tomato sauce hirino kreas— (canned) pork meat; cook it

Squid, grape leaves, stuffed peppers, beef-and-peas, luncheon meat, etc. are all available in cans and are fine for lunch if purchased on the morning of each hiking day, but they’re tiresome to carry until supper. The Greek market is still very weak on dehydrated entrees; you may want to import a few. You can find, however:

soupa— couple of brands of powdered soups in such flavors as karota (carrot),

manitara (mushroom), asparago (asparagus) zymarlka—pasta, such as kritharaki fakes— lentils—quick-cooking protein arakadhes— peas—ditto fasolia—beans; less practical on small stoves e/yes—olives, salty and delicious; Kalamata variety best meli— honey; sold in assorted-size containers or in bulk tragana—”crunchies”—which include: stragalia—dry chick peas (garbanzos) pasteli— sesame/honey and peanut/honey bars

ksirikarpi— literally, “dry fruit”—nuts to you, and sold in special shops or off street

pushcars in big towns—the basis of do-it-yourself trail mix sika—(dried) figs—expensive stafidhes—seedy black raisins

sultaninas—small sultanas (seedless, pale raisins), cheaper than figs and no more

expensive than stafidhes biskotes—cookies; the biscuit industry has burgeoned in recent years—you can now get “organic” cookies as an alternative to the all-chemical, filled-sandwich types

kastana—chestnuts, if boiled, must be split with a knife, scooped with a spoon

Bread is obtained at the psomadhiko (bakery), where the sign outside will read artopoleion.

psomi—mavro (dark) or starenio (whole wheat) or horiatiko (“country”) bread is difficult to find; you buy around loaf (karveli) or long loaf (frantzola) of whatever is available. Miso means “half.” koulouria— hard or soft sesame-sprinkled baked goods, in various roll, donut and pretzel forms

tsourekl·— twisted egg, milk and honey bread, traditional Easter fare paximadhi— hard bread chunks; soak to resuscitate

friganies~-packaged melba toasts, which keep longerthan bread, but roll inside your foam pad or you’ll end up with croutons

For produce visit the manaviko, whose sign reads oporopoleion. Eggs are also often sold at manavika. In very small towns you’ll have to wait for the marmvls

(greengrocer) to appear with his motortrike or pick-up truck. Listed in descending order of portability:



angouria—cu c u m be rs


rodhaklna— peach es

neklarlnes, milorodhakina—nectari nes

berlkoka—apricots; often sold dry with ksiri karpi



nhladhla— pears


Dairy products and ready-puddings are usually sold at a galaktopoleion (milk Nhop; katharevousa and dhimotihi identical) and less often at a zaharoplasteio (sweet  shop). Yaourti (yogurt) is sometimes sold at bakalika but is easier to find at milk ••hops. Some brands come in foil-sealed containers that are quite packable; contents ( tin resemble sour cream more than yogurt however. Proveio (sheep’s milk yogurt) is preferable to ayelladhos (cow’s milk). If you don’t mind risking a mess, the low, flat ι nrtons with pop-lids contain yogurt or pudding from local dairies. These are usually ι hoaperand better than the foil-sealed products.

An assortment of Nalgene bottles with screw-on lids is useful when collecting bulk Itoms; pop-top honey containers never reclose properly and attract millions of ants.


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