If you would love to combine a beautiful getaway to Pelion, with locals teaching you how to make authentic Greek dishes (from recipes that have been passed down through generations) using fresh produce that you handpick from their organic farm- look no further than Kritsa Cookery.
Overlooking Portaria’s village square, Kritsa is a popular hotel, restaurant, and cooking school, renowned amongst Greek foodies for their authentic techniques and fresh flavours, which highlight the region’s rich culinary flair.
“We organise the cooking lessons to introduce visitors to the culinary treasures that our country offers. Exceptional local cooks pass on traditional recipes and techniques,” says the Karaiskos family.
Pick your ingredients from the organic family farm, which is filled with an array of colourful fruits, vegetables and herbs; including potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, eggplants, pumpkins, peppers, radishes, beets, mushrooms, carrots, lettuce, onion, oregano, parsley, dill, greens, other edible herbs and mountain tea. They also grow trees with apples, plums, cherries, quinces, sour cherries, figs, peaches, apricots, pears, chestnuts, walnuts and apples.
Then once you’ve chosen your fresh ingredients, you learn how to make authentic Greek dishes including kolokithopita (pumpkin pie), and spetzofai (Pelion’s famous casserole of local sausage, green peppers and grated tomatoes). Or try your hands at easier classics such as strapatsada (scrambled eggs with tomatoes and olive oil) or greens with eggs. Other popular dishes are the traditional Pelion bean soup know as fasolada and stewed goat meat, gida vrasti. Famous salads of tsitsiravla, vergia and kritama are also on the menu.
You can find cooking classes focused on seafood and other meat dishes- using fresh local produce; and one of the most popular is the Greek pie lesson, where local women share their tips and secrets on making filo dough the traditional way and filling it with fresh vegetables and herbs collected straight from the farm’s garden and then baking it in the wood oven.
There’s also a range of desserts and once your meal is ready, you are able to enjoy your food combined with local Greek organic wines- as you take in the beautiful countryside atmosphere. Throughout the day, the Karasikos family also treats their guests to a range of local cheese, olives, homemade bread, their homemade spoon sweets, liqueurs, coffee and other delicious delicacies- to ensure it’s a memorable and flavour-filled experience.
A: Portaria Village, Pelion Mountain, Thessaly