Sunday, September 12, 2010


Last night I went to the LA Greek Fest, for the first time ever since living her in CA. And honestly...what took me so damn long?

I used to go to the Greek Festivals on an annual basis when I lived in MA, and always had such a great time. Of course, I was much younger and still subscribed to the teachings of my Greek Orthodox upbringing. When I jumped ship (jumped church?), I pretty much just opted not to attend anymore.

That being said, the Greek festivals of my youth certainly weren't hosted by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. And they were there last night, along with Nia "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" Vardalos, overseeing the festivities. During a routine search for Retsina (Greek wine) I even overheard them speaking on the PA system. That's a pretty big get for the Greeks!

The festival took place at/around St. Sophia Cathedral, which is by far one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. Greek Orthodox churches are known for being pretty opulent, and this was no exception. I'm still not sure that it beats St. Constantine & Helen in Cambridge, MA (where I went as a child)...but it was still breathtaking. I lit a candle, for old time's sake.

Interestingly enough, the LA Greek Fest takes place in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter of Los Angeles. Go figure.

The food was of course beyond belief, and brought back so many wonderful childhood memories. I had dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and the taste brought me back immediately to when my grandmother used to make them from scratch. Picking the grape leaves from the tree outside her home and everything!

And as a final sweet treat, I totally gorged myself on loukoumades, which are delicious balls of dough fried and soaked in honey. They were always the highlight of the festivals in my youth, and remained so last night as an adult. Overall it was amazing to be there with "my people" and return to celebrating a major part of my heritage. I'll be back next year, for sure!

1 comment:

Alison said...

Oh my goodness! I'm not Greek, but I definitely want to hit up a Greek festival now! I can't even tell you what I want to do to those dough balls.