A Cook's Souvenir from Greece?
I am traveling to Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini in early September. I'm wondering what a good souvenir for a cook would be? A piece of cookware, or linens or housewares? Thanks for any suggestions of items as well as shops to find these items.
If you will arrive Athens first, near Syntagma Square is a place called Masticha Shop. Masticha is a gum ,or resin from trees that only grow in Chios, and no place else in the world. I would suggest the Masticha liquor that you serve chilled, but for cooks, you can make incredible sauces, like no other. They have a complimentary recipe booklet that you can include in the gift bag.
Agree that the marble mortar and pestles are really nice.
Greek coffee pot or olive wood spoons/spatulas/cutting boards etc. would be my pics.
Rhodes has a lot of nice shops selling tablecloths and other linens, but make sure you check that they are made in Greece if you want a truly Greek souvenir- many of the cheaper ones are now made in Asia and India.
You could also pick up some Greek foodie items- I brought home a Greek style marzipan from a gourmet shop I found in Mytilini, you could also buy spoon sweets (the fruit preserves in jars) or dried pastas that might not be common elsewhere (like trahana).
Also, I like to come home with regional cookbooks (specific to the island, rather than a standard Greek cookbook). Often a few cookbooks are available in English, French or German.
The food in Rhodes can be amazing, esp. if you manage to get off the beaten tourist track path- more interesting than most parts of Greece in my experience, so if you were looking for a regional cookbook, I'd look for one in Rhodes.
Although I like the fava and tomatokeftedes that are quite common in Santorini, generally, I found the food in Santorini and Mykonos to be disappointing, and I don't remember seeing any interesting foodie shops or kitchen stores when I was there.
I was backpacking in Greece a few years ago and wasn't able to carry much by way of souvenirs in my pack, since Greece was my first stop on a 6-week vacation. I would have loved to have brought back a delicious extra virgin olive oil, some vacuum packed high quality olives, some dried Greek oregano and maybe even some beautiful ceramic dishes for serving mezes.