Πέμπτη 23 Νοεμβρίου 2017

Photo of the day

We LOVE Autumn at the beach...

Plakias Suites

GfK Study: Greece Among World’s Top 5 for Tourism Reputation

Greece is ranked fifth among the top five countries in terms of global perception for tourism in the latest Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBISM) study, after Italy, France, the UK, and Spain.

According to the same study – which measures 50 countries as perceived in terms of culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, and immigration-investment – France has jumped to second place for the first time since 2009, the UK is third, Japan entered the top five for the first time since 2011 with the US dropping significantly in global perception.

Meanwhile, despite the perception of Germany improving across all six categories with higher ratings for its culture (+1.07), governance (+1.28), and people (+1.34), it still hasn’t made it into the top five countries for tourism. Germany’s overall score was boosted by improved perceptions among Egyptians (+5.92), Russians (+2.26), Chinese (+2.17) and Italians (+2.06).

Global perception of the UK has also improved after it lost ground following the Brexit vote with its overall index score back to 2015 levels marking improvement across all six categories. The UK’s largest gains were for governance and people.

“The Nation Brands Index allows our clients to understand where – and why – their nation stands in terms of their current image, momentum and potential,” said Vadim Volos, GfK’s senior VP of public affairs and consulting, adding that “Changing global perception of a national brand is challenging and slow – but countries can influence biased or outdated perceptions by understanding the negative views and actively communicating actions and changes that address those.”
(Source: Gtp)

Τρίτη 17 Οκτωβρίου 2017

Ouzo Appetizers: a Flavourful Ritual

 Cheers, or as we say in Greek “Ya mas!”

Ouzo is Greece’s national spirit, a strong anise flavoured drink, reminiscent of Greek summer.

Greeks drink it along with good friends, either straight or watered down, with plenty of ice and always accompanied by delicious appetizers, called ‘meze’ in Greek.

The strong flavour of the spirit actually ‘begs’ for a spicy, salty, or even sourish ‘meze’, usually served on little plates decorating the table’s surface right before you start eating and drinking. 
Ouzo is served bulk or in a carafe, in tall spindly glasses.

With its stimulating and strong anise aroma it promises to tickle your taste buds. Greeks are very fond of gathering with friends around a table eating, drinking, laughing and toasting each other.

Ouzo simply completes the picture and helps out in getting the spirits higher and higher. Traditionally restaurants will bring you another meze every time you order a new carafe of ouzo.

First servings usually consist of olives, cured sardines, some cheese, pickles or cold sliced meats pinned with toothpicks and at every round of ouzo the appetisers differ.

Of course the variety of the meze may vary from one location to the other and from one season to the next.
Flavours will differ between a mountainous village in winter and the ones you’ll taste in a seaside village in summer.

 Ouzo drink is much better when it is accompanied by the little plates filled with delicious tidbits!

Taste the seafood plates such as octopus (which are first hanged in the sun and then grilled on the barbeque), saganaki shrimps (tomato sauce, cheese and shrimps cooked in a pan,) steamed mussels, marinated anchovies with parsley and garlic, fried calamari (squid) and a variety of shellfish served with lemon juice.

Next on the menu is anything that is cured: sardines, mackerel, sliced meats (such as salamaki or pastourmas,) strong cheese (such as ladotyri, kefalotyri and grilled feta with tomato and hot pepper.) This ‘drinking-spree’ is without a doubt incomplete if you don’t accompany it with tzatziki (a creamy appetiser made with yogurt, cucumber and garlic), eggplant salad or tyrokafteri (creamed feta cheese with kerato spicy peppers.)

If you can’t decide which one of all you want you can order a variety of the above mentioned ‘mezes’ and savour a little bit of everything!
(source: Visit Greece)

Short film from Greece wins at the 2017 World Tourism Organisation Awards (VIDEO)

A wonderful short film about Greece in all four seasons won the top prize in the European category of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) international video competition. 

The film was submitted by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) and was directed by Andonis Theocharis Kioukas.

With visitor numbers to Greece at an all time high, the video and award is a timely reminder that Greece is at the forefront of tourism and cultural experiences in Europe.

Watch the award winning film here:

Greek Food Products Take Center Stage at Anuga Fair

Over 260 Greek food product companies participated in this year’s Anuga food fair held last week in Cologne, Germany, where the world’s finest delicacies went on show.

The Greek companies participated in the exhibition under the umbrella of Enterprise Greece with the aim to expand into new markets and boost their exports.

The event was attended by some 7,500 food and beverage ventures from 110 countries featuring the largest range of gourmet and delicatessen products on the market.

Under the motto “Invest in Taste”, companies, SMEs and cooperatives offering everything, from Greek olive oil and honey to herbs, cheese and raisins met with international buyers with the aim to forge alliances and strategic partnerships.

According to Enterprise Greece CEO Elias Athanasiou, the Anuga meetings paved the way for Greek products – to be branded under a new 35 million euro branding program – to enter markets outside the EU via the catering industry, specialty stores, restaurants and special menus.
The next Anuga fair will be held on October 5, 2019 in Cologne.

Thomas Cook expands presence in Greece for 2018..

Tour Operator says country is promising destination 

Thomas Cook is expending its presence in Greece in the summer of 2018.

The group dubs Greece s one of its most promising in the Mediterranean in the tourism sector in terms of projected growth for 2018.

Greece was a destination in the Mediterranean that stood out this summer. 
 Thomas Cook’s bookings for Greek destinations rose by 24% in the summer of 2017 compared to the summer of 2016”, pointed out Martin Ratchford from the tour operator Thomas Cook’s financial team.

Mediterranean Cooking: Fasolada (bean soup)

By: Ioanna Stamoulou / Greek Classics, Meals.

Fasolada is considered Greece’s national dish and is definitely one of the most traditional recipes of Greek cuisine. 
Every Greek family eats this dish at least once per month, especially during winter.

Serves: 6 Preparation time: 10 mins Cooks in:1.20 mins Ready in: 1.30 mins

500 g beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2-3 carrots, sliced into small round pieces
1-2 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ cup chopped celery + some more for serving
½ red pepper
1 red chili pepper
1 cup of olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper

Step 1
Place the beans in a saucepan with plenty of cold water to cover them. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and parboil for 30-35 minutes, until slightly tender. Drain in colander and set aside.

Step 2
Fill the saucepan with water up to the middle. Boil the beans with the onion and leek until they are soften and then add the carrots.

Step 3
Add the parboiled beans and boil. Then add tomato paste, celery, red pepper, salt, pepper, chili pepper and continue cooking for about 15 minutes more or until the soup becomes thick and creamy soup.
Step 4
Serve this traditional Greek bean soup (fasolada) while still steaming hot with feta cheese and bread.