Monday, 17 November 2008

Christmas Shopping Online

17 November - Christmas Shopping Online from

Last week a man was seriously injured in Agiasos during the hunt. It appeared that he was hit by a large calibre bullet that came from his own rifle or the rifle of a fellow hunter. It's the first hunting incident involving large calibre, as here on Lesvos they usually only hunt small game such as birds.

A few years ago, however, wild boars appeared in the woods around Agiasos (probably released by hunters who wanted larger game) and since then the mountains around Agiasos have become popular for hunters who like to shoot wild boar. The hunt is only during the hunting season in the winter, and allowed only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The injured man was caught red handed by getting hurt on Thursday!

Last week in a butcher shop I saw a beautiful woodcarving of a wild boar. I pointed at it, asking if the butcher ever sold wild boar. He immediately put his two wrists crossed in front of him: "I then go to jail." So the sale of wild boar meat is officially banned here on the island and you'll need to have contacts if you want a tasty boar steak on your plate.

I was a little disappointed, because one of the things I miss here in the Lesvorian kitchen is a nice piece of game. When I lived in the Netherlands, every autumn we went to the Ardennes in Belgium to eat game, but here on the island you have to do with sheep or goat meat, if you want slightly wilder meat.

It doesn't seem such a good idea to receive a steak or a saddle of venison by mail. Just as I would not recommend to have you sent a nice piece of lamb or goat from the island. The local meat is of excellent quality, but whether it would still be so nice after its journey by post, I wonder.

If you want to have a little Lesvos-feeling during Christmas, there are other products from the island that you can order online. First there is our highly praised olive oil, which gets increasing recognition internationally, but is not available on a grand scale in other countries. You can surprise not only Lesvos-lovers, but also culinary enthusiasts with a bottle of local olive oil. In order to convince yourself of the quality of Lesvorian olive oil, you can read here the success story of a German family, who has fallen for the yellow gold of Lesvorian olive oil. Furthermore, a German website where Cretan olive oil and Lesvorian olive oil can be ordered online: Liquid of Greece.

Although opinions differ as to whether ouzo tastes the same outside of Greece, a bottle of Lesvos ouzo will always be a nice gift for fans of Greece. More than one website offers ouzo, just as some well stocked liquor shops sell ouzo from Lesvos. Not all ouzos come from Lesvos, so please make sure that you choose an ouzo from Plomari or Mytilini!

Lesvos has much more to offer than just ouzo and olive oil. In 1983 the first women's co-operative of the island opened in Petra. This project tried to get women, especially wives of farmers, out of their social and economic isolation. Since then the women's co-operatives have shot out of the ground like mushrooms and nowadays you will find one in each village that has more than three tavernas (and many villages do have more than three tavernas).

In Petra the women of the co-operative started renting rooms and they served delicious breakfasts. Meanwhile their restaurant in the central square of Petra has become a hot spot for dinner. The other women's co-operatives however have concentrated their efforts to pickle fruits and vegetables that the island provides so richly, just like drying various herbs that grow everywhere.

While the men sip their coffees for hours and observe the village life, the women, while gossiping and talking, turn the harvested fruits and vegetables into various preserves: jam, pickled fruits in sugar, olive pastes, tomato and other sauces, biscuits with almonds and / or walnuts, Greek marzipan, hand-made pastas and so on. Especially pastries and cakes are very popular with the Greeks. But the co-operatives also offer a nice range of items that can be purchased over the Internet.

It was a bit of a search on the internet to find all these culinary products online, and the websites that I have found are not always set up very well, but with a little patience, I am sure that you can order wonderful things online through the following two sites: Aegean Shop ( (Mind you on this website you have to translate each page to English by pushing the translate button if you don't read Greek) and E- (On this website only some products can be ordered online)

Finally, here's a site where you can't order food, but other pure products from Lesvos: sculptures and jewellery made of olive wood, carved by the English artist Eric Kempson, and various types of lace from the Molyvos shop: 'Eleni's Workshop' , selected by Erics wife Philippa. The couple has lived on the island since 1999 and there is almost no restaurant in the village that was not tempted to purchase one of Eric sculptures.

Copyright © Smitaki 2008

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