Annual festival takes visitors on a culinary tour of Greece

Enjoy a visit to Greece without leaving Berks County when the 43rd annual Greek Food Bazaar returns Oct. 18-19-20 at Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church.

In addition to authentic Greek food and pastry, the three-day festival features live music, dancing, gift rooms and church tours.

The food is prepared and cooked on the premises by church members using family recipes handed down through generations. All food items are available to eat-in in or take-out.

Advertisement

Athenian-style chicken platters, which comes with pastitsio or rice pilaf, Greek-style string beans, a Greek salad, roll and butter for $12 will be offered all weekend in the main dining hall. You can substitute plaki (fresh fish fillet baked with vegetables, herbs and wine) or souvlaki (chunks of marinated pork) on the platter meal.

There are also a la carte items such gyro (marinated beef and lamb slices) and souvlaki (pork shis-ke-bob) sandwiches; calamari (squid) cooked in tomatoes and wine; moussaka (eggplant casserole); arni psito (roast lamb cooked with herbs); and pastitsio (layered Greek pasta, seasoned with chopped beef topped with béchamel sauce).

A variety of imported Greek wines and spirits, including Ouzo, an anise-flavored liqueur, are available, as well as domestic and imported beers.

While enjoying a meal in the main dining hall, visitors will be treated to Greek music by Stavros & Maria, a brother-sister duo who are also church members.

The church’s youth dance group, Kefi, will perform traditional Greek dances wearing colorful costumes throughout the weekend.

After a hearty meal, there’s plenty to see and do on the church grounds. The Agora (Greek market) offers packaged Greek foods and prepared dishes to go. The Kafenio (Greek coffee house) features fresh-brewed Greek-style coffee, rice pudding and pastries in a relaxed atmosphere.

Visitors can also shop for original artwork, gold jewelry and items imported from Greece in various gift rooms.

A popular stop for all visitors is the pastry room, where you can sample baklava (almonds, butter and honey layered in flaky pastry), teelikta (walnuts, butter and honey rolled in flaky pastry); kourabiethes (butter cookies topped with powdered sugar);, koulourakia (Greek twisted butter cookie); and galaktobouriko (a filo pastry filled with custard and moistened with honey syrup).

Another Greek delicacy offered throughout the weekend is loukoumades (puffed honey balls), a warm, dough pastry topped with honey, cinnamon and chopped nuts.

Bazaar hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission and parking are free. Additional parking across the street at Berks Catholic High School. The event will be held rain or shine.

The church is located at 1001 E. Wyomissing Blvd., about one mile from Business Route 222 South (also known as Lancaster Avenue). For more information, call 610-374-7511 or visit www.stsconstantinehelen.org.