Page 1

Îœagazine

#11

Winter 2 0 2 0

Fi ne food and drinks of Greece

TABLE GRAPES Greece No3 producer in the EU

ambrosiamagazine.com


13 - 16 NOVEMBER

2021 AT H E N S • G R E E C E

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2

Contents ma ga z i n e

Contents > Editor’s Note

4-5

> Business Insider

6-7

> The Greek F&B response to Covid-19

8-11

> Central Macedonia: Queen of the North

12-23

CENTRAL MACEDONIA

> Busting the Olive Oil Myths

24-27

Queen of the North

> Greek Pastry: Trust in the Crust

28-33

> Hotos: In the Name of Cheese

34-35

> Doing it the Modern Greek Way

36-39

> Grape to See You!

40-41

> Market Report

42-45

> FOOD EXPO Greece B2B Platform

46-47

> What’s New

Covid-19 The Greek F&B response

8

48



12

Olive oil Busting the most common myths

24 #11 Winter 2020

Μagazine

Winter 2 0 2 0

Fi ne food and drinks of Greece

Fine food and drinks of Greece

#11

greek Pastry Trust in the crust

magazine

On the cover: Greek table grapes are considered among the best in the world.

TABLE GRAPES Greece No3 producer in the EU

ambrosiamagazine.com

28


4

Editorial ma ga z i n e

Editor’s

id

NOTE

Publisher Nikos Choudalakis nx@forumsa.gr Publishing Director Thanassis Gialouris gialouris@forumsa.gr

W

hen the rumor of a novel coronavirus started spreading, we were in the process of printing the previous issue of Ambrosia magazine and preparing for the 2020 iteration of FOOD EXPO Greece. Since then, the trade show has been postponed –to be fair, all trade shows have been put on hold– and everyone has been living in a state of perpetual uncertainty. In 2020, the year of COVID-19, time has been an irrelevant concept. And the prosperity of entire nations has been threatened by a foe the world hasn’t experienced in over a century. And yet, during this trying period, Greek F&B exports have been somewhat thriving. Greek food seems to be weathering the storm and, according to all interested parties, the pandemic did little to stall innovation, investments and, Amid the pandemic, in some cases, expansion. And Greek F&B companies are since trade shows are no longer a viable option for Greek food innovating, investing and, companies and international in some cases, expanding traders to come together, pioneering initiatives such as the FOOD EXPO B2B Platform –a digital market place, which connects FOOD EXPO Greece exhibitors with thousands of key F&B merchants from all across the world, to initiate profitable business deals– are more welcome than ever. In addition, Greekfoodnews.com, an online platform dedicated to specialty food from Greece, updated with the latest news and features and committed to delivering the highest editorial standards to professionals around the world, is also on hand to further highlight the quality, nutritional value and export potential of Greek Food & Drinks and help them in their international journey. The world has indeed entered uncharted waters. But whatever the outcome, Greek producers, processors and exporters will likely show resilience to the crisis. And will come out of the pandemic more ready to face any challenges that lie ahead.

Sales Director Thanassis Panagoulias sales@forumsa.gr Creative Art Director Niki Galanopoulou ng@forumsa.gr Editor-in-Chief Vana Antonopoulou va@forumsa.gr Contributing Editors Eleni Donou, Eva Touna Art Directors Nikos Kartalias Lenia Chalkea Photo Retoucher Gogo Trikerioti Sales Department T. Belekoukias, A. Kaliantzi, I. Margelis D. Michalochristas, K. Molfeta, A. Mourati, G. Theodoropoulos Advertising Coordinators M. Spichopoulou, G. Patsari Int’l Relations F. Papanastasiou Digital Coordinator Katerina Kokkinou Digital Assistant Melina Georgousi Printed by Baxas SA

Nikos Choudalakis

Publisher

ambrosiamagazine.com

FORUM SA: 328 Vouliagmenis Ave., 17342 Agios Dimitrios, Greece Tel.: +30 210 5242100 - Fax: +30 210 5246581

Published by FORUM SA

ISSN

2623-4858


6

Business Insider ma ga z i n e

GREEK FOOD INDUSTRY: RESILIENT AND OPEN TO TACKLE NEW CHALLENGES

T

he Greek F&B industry is the main industrial sector in Greece, dynamic, competitive and extrovert, a fundamental pillar of the Greek economy throughout the years. The on-going coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected the whole European Food Industry. The Greek Food Industry has also had to face important challenges. 99% of our food and drink businesses are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The pandemic has threatened the continued existence of many of these. One major impact on F&B manufacturers has been the closure of large segments of the foodservice sector –including restaurants, hotels, bars and cafeterias and resulting to a drastic reduction of their turnover. Availability and transport of raw materials, ingredients, packaging and packaging materials, necessary for the production process, were affected. Uncertainty, transportation obstacles and border-crossing complications negatively impacted exports. Still, our industry has shown resilience and has done a major effort to ensure that all citizens can continue accessing safe, affordable and high-quality foodstuff. Throughout this difficult period, our main goal was to ensure a sufficient market supply and we managed to respond successfully to consumer and market needs, in collaboration with all stakeholders in the food value chain. All the people working in our industry, mainly the greek F&B industry front-liners, have kept the supply has shown resilience chain working and have shown remarkable loyalty. and has ensureD In the meantime, the food sector is called to monitor market supply developments at international, European and national level and tackle the new challenges. The focus is lately mainly put on socioeconomic sustainability, as also foreseen by the European Green Deal, a new EU growth strategy. Circular economy, climate neutrality, food sufficiency, food waste, product reformulation, food quality and safety, are always issues of concern and discussion that require responsible actions. In this context, the commitment to growth of the Greek Food Industry is indisputable and the priority put on our consumers, our products and the sustainability of the food sector is non-negotiable. The Greek Food Industry is a driving force and a growth contributor, especially during the post-pandemic period. It is ready to seize new opportunities to promote the sustainability of the sector, ensuring a fair, healthy and environmentally responsible food system.

THE GREEK F&B SECTOR

1,225 GREEK F&B BUSINESSES €15 BILLION IN TOTAL TURNOVER €5 BILLION IN TOTAL EXPORTS

Evangelos Kaloussis

Chairman of the Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT)

SEVT - ID The TheFederation FederationofofHellenic Hellenic Food FoodIndustries Industries(SEVT) (SEVT)

The Federation of Hellenic Food Industries (SEVT), is the official body representing the interests of the Food and Drink Industries at national and European level. SEVT has as members not only food and drink companies but also branch associations.


8

Greek Covid-19 Cuisine ma ga z i n e

Covid-19

GREEK F&B industry

RISES TO THE TEST


While every industry in the entire world has been impacted by COVID-19 in some way, certain sectors, such as Food & Beverages, are booming. And countries like Greece, which has been minimally impacted by the pandemic, are reaping the benefits of an unprecedented demand. How are Greek F&B companies coping with this new normal?

T

he spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the economic activity at global level, creating pressure for Greek exports (with other than oil exports reduced by 7% in the months of March-April 2020 compared to the same period of the previous year). An optimistic, however, exception to this “rule” are Greek food exports, which, taking advantage of the positive way Greece handled the pandemic crisis, increased by 9 percent during the aforementioned period. Following a survey by the National Bank of Greece, this situation can be considered as favorable in order to claim the potential share of Greece in the international food markets (based on the productive potential of the country). A first estimate of the benefits of this extroverted strategy (based on the Greek position with Italy as its main competitor) amounts to approximately €1.2 billion per year (with food exports growing to €6 bil-

Alexia Koutroulia

lion from €4.8 billion in 2019). It is worth noting that, Greece is the only EU country that exhibited increase in food export orders during the 2-month peak of the pandemic (April-May), while Italy (its main competitor in the global F&B market) has shown a sharp decline in the export orders as far as food is concerned (namely, -27 units in April-May 2020, -12 units in March, -1 unit during the first two months of the year and -1 unit in 2019).

The exports conundrum According to the survey by the National Bank of Greece, the first indications point towards a further strengthening of the upward trend of Greek food exports, with the export order index reaching +13 points for the months of April and May. Practically, this positive level of the indicator reflects the fact that the majority of Greek food exporters states that, at least for the next months, orders will still hold sway. Mr Stathis Giahanatzis of Fedon SA (www.fe-

stathis giahanatzis

CEO

PALMIE GASTRONOMY

FEDON SA

Despite the unparalleled zeal that most Greek companies continue to show in their efforts to adapt to the ever-changing conditions affecting our economy, there are still a number of major challenges to face.

Greek F&B businesses have created the appropriate conditions to continue undeterred their production activity, while ensuring the hygiene of their products, but also the safety and health of their employees.


10

Covid-19 ma ga z i n e

don.gr), which produces a wide range of bakery and confectionery products since 1971 points out that “Our exports were unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, since our products cater to the retail market, which has increased its sales dynamic, especially where long-shelf-life products are concerned. On the other hand, the trend is growing in countries that are still plagued by the corona virus”. “The HoReCa channel was the one most affected, both in Greece and abroad. We have noticed that East Asia went back to normal the fastest, followed by Europe. The US and Latin America represent a special case since they are major markets, while the COVID-19 spread there was delayed and explosive. We believe that international trade will not undergo dramatic changes over the medium term,” specifies Mr Stathis Karapanos, Export Manager at Violanta (www.violanta.

even amid covid-19, greek fresh produce is exhibiting increased export numbers gr), a company focused on the production of baked products. Mr Christos Vassilogamvros, Chief Administrative Officer at 3P Salads (www.3psalads. gr), a producer of ready-to-use salads, dressings, and sauces, concurs that “During the 75

days of the lockdown, there has been an impressive increase in the range of 26% in our export activity, specifically for products catering to the retail market. Since mid-May, with things returning to normal, growth has gone down. The international HoReCa market was down approximately 50%, just like in Greece.” Even if the HoReCa channel was especially hit, fresh produce showed increased export numbers, such as watermelons with exports up 100% to 44,000-44,500 tons, compared to the same period in 2019; kiwi fruit with record exports in both in volume and value surpassing the record period 2017/2018 of 154,000 tons; or cucumbers which showed an increase of about 25.7%.

A responsible response “The post-COVID era is going to be difficult, due mostly to the worldwide spread of the problem which will bring about changes not only to the way we consume, but to consumer habits, as well. Businesses should explore new ways of promoting their products, design new packaging, and be ready for all the challenges that lay ahead,” states Mr Harris Siouras of Siouras SA (www.siouras.gr), a leader in the production of top-tier quality Greek table olives. “We must not downplay the role of the economic uncertainty created by the pandemic,” asserts Mr Petros Rizopoulos, producer & owner of Mitira (www.mitiralesvos.com), a business active in the cultivation and processing of organic olive oil. “People are still losing their


jobs and the global economy is contracting.” The official outlook Even so, Greek producers and F&B businesses Official sources such as Greek Exporters' Associaare currently basking in the trust of buyers tion concur that the pandemic has been a bitteracross the world. “International buyers and sweet success story for the Greek F&B exports. Mr consumers have always trusted the quality and Panayiotis Hassapis, Executive Vice President at taste of Greek products. I believe that the the Association explains that “If we look at the country’s response to the pandemic is defi- data available regarding the first five months of nitely helping, but I don't think it acts as a 2020, sector exports increased by 11.9%, resultcatalyst. Other factors, such as price, quality, ing in €2.4 billion this year. During this time, consistency in delivery and volume, continue an upward trend was recorded for many prodto significantly determine the impact of Greek ucts, such as dairy, fruit, olive oil, cereals and F&B companies on foreign markets,” points various cereal, vegetable and fruit preparations. out Ms Alexia Koutroulia of Palmie Gastron- Italy and Germany were the two most important omy (www.palmiegastronrecipients of Greek products, omy.gr), one of the major where there was also a signifiGreek foodservice compacant increase in Greek exports nies, member of the Group by 30.1% and 17.4% respecPalmie bistro. tively, followed by the UK with “We have created the apa 6.6% export share, the US propriate conditions to conwith a 6.0% share and Spain tinue undeterred our prowith a 5.0% share.” “The panduction activity, while ensurdemic has made people reconing the hygiene of our prodsider their eating habits and foucts, but also the safety and cus on foods that will strengthpanayiotis hassapis health of our employees,” en their immune system, resultExecutive VP says Mr Siouras, whereas Mr ing in increased demand for GREEK EXPORTERS Giahanatzis underlines that Greek products. In addition, “The trust in Greek food by Greek Food & Beverage comASSOCIATION international consumers has panies have managed to fully Greece may not have the nothing to do with how our respond to the increased devast agricultural areas of country has dealt with CO- other countries, but it has the mand, both in terms of qualVID-19, but with their qual- quality of the Mediterranean ity and consistency, as well as ity characteristics that were diet, an important passport for in product specifications and international markets. built decades ago.” delivery times.”


12

Region Central Macedonia of Thessaly ma ga z i n e


CENTRAL MACEDONIA

QUEEN NORTH OF THE

Central Macedonia is a unique land with a rich history since long before Alexander the Great. It is a region of antitheses and a cultural melting pot that plays a dynamic role as a strong economic, commercial, agricultural and industrial centre in Greece.

Central Macedonia


14

Central Macedonia ma ga z i n e

NO1 REGION IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION As far as the agri-food sector is concerned, the Region of Central Macedonia is a veritable force to be reckoned with.

T

1 Animal and especially cattle farming is big in Central Macedonia.

he Region of Central Macedonia in Northern Greece is divided into seven regional units: Chalkidiki, Imathia, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Serres and Thessaloniki. These are further subdivided into 38 municipalities. The Region is the one with the largest agricultural production in Greece and with the largest exports of food and agricultural products in the country. In addition, the share of the rural economy in the GDP of Central Macedonia remains constantly at a level of over 25%, while the Region’s primary sector holds an 26% stake in the country’s gross value added of the primary sector. For example, 85% of rice, 70% of fruit and 30% of cotton and cereals are cultivated in Central Macedonia, while it currently has the largest mussel production unit (90% of which are exported) in the country, the largest fish cannery (75% exports) and two dynamic fishfarming units with an export potential of approx. 50%. Moreover, the Region produces 35% of beef, 48% of cow’s milk and 20% of sheep and goat’s milk, as well as 29% of fish catches and 25% of honey.

TOP 5 EXPORTS

DAIRY

(IN VALUE - 2018)*

€175,718,808

FRUIT & VEGETABLE PREPARATIONS

VARIOUS FOOD PREPARATIONS

NUTS & FRESH FRUIT

CEREAL-BASED PREPARATIONS

€484,478,019 €355,972,546 *Source: Greek Exporters Association (SEVE)

1

€95,925,867 €74,949,192

APOSTOLOS TZITZIKOSTAS GOVERNOR OF THE REGION OF CENTRAL MACEDONIA The Region of Central Macedonia in close cooperation with local companies and major local actors of the agricultural and food industry, created a joint strategic plan of extroversion and development, introducing to markets around the world, the new brand name “Macedonian Cuisine”. “Macedonian Cuisine" is composed by authentic ancient recipes, high quality fresh products and wines of exceptional local varieties. It encompasses our Macedonian heritage through original recipes and brings together authentic tastes and flavors from many different gastronomic traditions inspired by the unique biodiversity of the Macedonian natural environment and its excellent products. The authenticity, passion, creativity, quality and safety of the Macedonian cuisine and products, combined with the amazing beaches, crystal waters, monuments, and archaeological treasures will amaze every traveler.


hello Greece

the site of Greek products and tourism

H NUT I G RIT H I O VAL NAL PRO UE DU C TS

FARMERS UNION Farmers Union organic extra- virgin olive oil of Aeghion Agricultural Cooperatives, combines superior taste with high biological value. It is produced in the high tech installations of the Cooperative, and according to the strictest food industry specifications. Greek black Corinthian raisin “ super food” is also produced by Farmers Union. It is classified to “functional food”, which means that they provide benefits beyond basic nutrition.

PEACH

Agricultural Cooperatives Union Aeghion SA www.pesunion.gr, Korinthou 201, Aeghio, P.C. 25 100, Greece

Agricultural Cooperative of Naoussa www.acn.com.gr

NAXOS GRAVIERA

KROKOS KOZANIS (RED GREEK SAFFRON)

Naxos graviera, by the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Naxos, awarded for consecutive years, has once again got an honorable distinction from the International Taste & Quality institute 2016(2 stars) this time for the Naxos graviera with truffle mushroom. The famous PDO graviera of Naxos, combines great taste and high content of calcium. One Kilo of Naxos graviera is made by 12 kilos of fresh cow milk. That’s why it gives special extra flavor to soufflé or quiches.

Agricultural Cooperative of Naoussa Protected Destination of Origin peaches, are famous for their distinctive taste, rich aroma and their freshness since they are packaged directly after being picked from the tree. Naoussa PDO peaches, are holding a leading position in Greek and international markets, as Russia and the Arab world.

Krokos Kozanis was 2 stars awarded , as a PDO biological product by the International Taste & Quality institute 2016. The Greek red Saffron belongs to the highest quality of Saffron in the world. It is well known for its anticancer, aphrodisiac and memory enhancing properties. It has also antidepressant, antioxidant and anti ageing action. Krokos Kozanis saffron, gives to dishes a delicate aroma, a subtle spicy flavour and a beautiful yellow color. It goes perfectly with rice, pasta, meat and sweets.

Eas Naxos www.easnaxos.com, Galanado Naxou, Naxos, Cyclades, P.C. 84300, Greece

The Kozani Saffron Producers Cooperative www.safran.gr, Krokos Kozani, P.C. 50 010, Greece

APPLES ZAGORIN

PAPAYANNAKOPOULOS WINERY

The Agricultural Cooperatives’ Union produces apples which are tested, of high quality, certified with the qualification of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). This distinction certifies that the Zagorin apple is a product of high quality. By using the “Integrated Production” method the Zagorin apple is clean, healthy, tested and this is why consumers in Greece and all around the world trust it. Agricultural Cooperative of Zagora-Pilio www.zagorin.gr, Zagora Pelion, P.C. 37001, Greece

VIOLANTA Full 45 Cookies with Yogurt. An innovative proposition by Violanta, 45% filling with yoghurt cream. Yogurt is now in our daily diet and a valuable element for our health, ideal snack for kids and grown ups. VIOLANDA has a rich variety of pure products, biscuits and cookies that combine traditional recipes and delicious flavor. Made according to the quality guarantee of VIOLANTA. Violanta S.A. www.violanta.gr, 6th km Trikala - Karditsa Road P.C. 42100, Trikala, Greece

The Papayannakopoulos winery participated in the 16th Annual Congress of the European Council of the Gastronomy & Oenology, held in Zappeion. Kidonitsa Papayannakopoulos and Ypsilon Agiorgitiko red, were selected for the official dinner-gala, offered to the speakers and the greatest Chefs of Europe! The winery gives great emphasis in making quality wines with a distinct character that represents fully the potential of the variety they come from. PAPAYANNAKOPOULOS WINERY www.papagiannakopoulos.com


16

Central Macedonia ma ga z i n e

FOOD AS ELEMENT OF REGIONAL DIVERSITY 1

The linkage between food, territory and culture can help rebrand the Region as a culinary destination.

T

he heart of an authentic and exquisite cuisine beats all across Macedonia. Over the centuries, all the cities of Macedonia received a large number of refugees with different customs, culture and culinary traditions. Accordingly, the cuisine of Macedonia reflects the cultural and gastronomic tradition of the Pontic Greeks, the Greeks from Asia Minor as well as the local population. Not to mention the significant contribution of the Hebrew and Armenian community. Macedonian cuisine is an important initiative supported by the Region of Central Macedonia. Namely, it is the link that connects the agri-food sector of the Region with its tourism industry and is a model for the development of gastronomy tourism rooted in local tradition. It is based is the use of ingredients produced in the Macedonian land, by integrating scientific knowledge and, at the same time, respecting the needs of modern consumer.

Abundance of PDO and PGI products Undoubtably, the Region of Central Macedonia is a major player in the agri-food sector and its potential is much more that its current picture. The region’s goal is to improve quality in order to become even more competitive both within the Greek as well as the international marketplace. The PDO and PGI products of the Region are also contributing significantly to the achievement of the above-mentioned goal. Namely, the Central Macedonia PDO & PGI products are: Kerassia Tragana Rodochoriou (cherries), Rodakina Naoussas (peaches), Prasines Elies Chalkidikis (green table olives), Agoureleo Chalkidikis (early harvest olive oil), Galano Metaggitsiou Chalkidikis (olive oil), Feta cheese, Manouri (cheese), Kasseri (cheese), Batzos (cheese), Wine (PDO & PGI), Aktinidio Pierias (kiwi fruit), Tsipouro of Macedonia, and Ouzo from Macedonia.

CENTRAL MACEDONIA IN A NUTSHELL

€1.42

BILLION IN EXPORTS FOR THE YEAR 2018

35%

OF BEEF MEAT PRODUCTION IN GREECE

26%

OF GREECE’S GROSS VALUE ADDED PRIMARY SECTOR

85%

OF GREECE’S RICE PRODUCTION

16%

OF GREEK FETA CHEESE PRODUCTION


VOUKOURESTIOU 21, ATHENS 10671 GREECE ΤEL. 210.36.02.919 IFIGENEIAS 3, THESSALONIKI 55133 GREECE ΤEL. 2310.417.111 www.dkmarketing.gr


18

Central Macedonia ma ga z i n e

A MAJOR LIVESTOCK FARMING CENTER From local to international breeds, Central Macedonia boasts one of the largest numbers in cattle, sheep, pigs and goats in Greece.

C

entral Macedonia is a Region with significant livestock production and the main center of cattle breeding in Greece. In Central Macedonia one encounters all branches of animal production in the form of organized farms. The main sectors of livestock production are cattle, sheep, goat and pig farming. In Central Macedonia there are two pure cow breeds: the “Sykia” breed that is farmed in small numbers in Sithonia (prefecture of Chalkidiki) and the “Katerini” breed, again with limited numbers of animals. As regards to the sheep, the “Chios” and “Serres” breeds are farmed in relatively large numbers.

Pigs & poultry potential Pig farming in Greece is considered one of the most dynamic sectors of livestock farming as well as the country’s rural economy. It amounts to 25% of the domestic meat production with a self-sufficiency rate of about 35%. The production of pigmeat amounts to

approximately 115,000 tons per year. Most of the Greek production of pork is concentrated in the regions of Central Macedonia (in fact, the Region has 12.5% of the country’s total animal numbers and 16.9% of its pig farms), Epirus, and Central Greece, while the sector provides employment to thousands of families. Poultry farming is the most dynamic sector of Greek livestock farming and the one with the largest vertical integration. The industry is particularly important for the Greek economy because it covers most of the country’s consumption needs. And although the Region of central Macedonia is somewhat lacking in numbers (Central Macedonia has 12,197,515 poultry, which amounts to 14.1% of the total Greek numbers, while there are 395 poultry farms in the region, a 18.6% of total Greek holdings) compared to other Greek regions, such as Epirus or Central Greece, the industry in Central Macedonia continues to show significant growth potential.

LIVESTOCK FARMING IN CENTRAL MACEDONIA

CATTLE

PIGS

POULTRY

SHEEP & GOATS

ANIMALS: 195,931 25.8% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS FARMS: 2,942 18.5% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS

ANIMALS: 56,526 12.5% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS FARMS: 402 16.9% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS

ANIMALS: 12,197,515 14.1% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS FARMS: 395 18.6% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS

ANIMALS: 1,371,457 10.1% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS FARMS: 6,826 7.9% OF TOTAL GREEK NUMBERS

Source: Greek Interprofessional Meat Organization (2019)


WHERE THE WATER BUFFALOES ROAM Around Lake Kerkini, in the prefecture of Serres (mainly in the North and Northwest), there are herds of buffaloes –the largest ones in Greece. The water buffaloes seem to have been in Greece for 2,500 years. In fact, water buffaloes provided an economic lifeline to the local communities in difficult times and were neglected during the 1960s. Until the 1950s, there were approximately 75,000 animals in Greece, which were used not so much for their meat or milk, but because they were the driving force for agriculture, as they were used to plow the fields. The arrival of tractors and the productive Dutch cows reduced their numbers in 1992 to just 600 animals. In the late 1990s, the remaining populations were introduced into a conservation program as a rare endangered farm animal, and the population has since begun to recover. Nowadays, water buffaloes have revived the area of Lake Kerkini, which continues to grow into a great gastronomic destination with significant buffalo breeders and buffalo meat processors. It is worth noting that Lake Kerkini is a unique wetland protected by the Ramsar Convention. The breeding of buffaloes in an region with such a rich and aromatic fauna gives the meat unique organoleptic and nutritional characteristics. Buffalo meat is of high nutritional value, since 100gr have only 130 calories, when the corresponding amount of beef has 260-300 calories, lamb 241 calories and turkey 323 calories, while its iron content is at 2-3% when in beef it reaches only 0.3%. As for buffalo milk, it contains 58% more calcium and 40% more protein than cow and goat milk. It is also very beneficial for the health, while its antioxidant action is greater compared to other types of milk.


20

Central Macedonia ma ga z i n e

CENTURIES-OLD WINE TRADITION A millennia-long tradition in wine-making bears witness to Central Macedonia’s current viticultural superiority.

C

entral Macedonia is an area with approximately 4,000 years of history. Thanks to its climate and soil conditions, with many hours of sunshine and abundant rainfall, the region is excellent for viticulture. Viticultural tradition in Central Macedonia has its roots in ancient times. Many historic cities, such as Pella, Sindos and Pydna, were famous for their excellent wines. Archaeological finds, like the Macedonian Crater (340 BC), which inspired the design of the wine bottle, are a testament to the region's long viticultural tradition. The main area of production regarding viticulture in Central Macedonia, at a 73% rate (for a total of 6,722 hectares), is dedicated to wine production. The major viticultural centers are the regional units of Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki. It is worth noting that 59% of the area planted with wine grape varieties is intended for the production of PDO and PGI wines.

Regions and appellations The winemaking areas of Northern Greece are known for their quality wines and Central Macedonia has many wineries worth visiting,

1 forming various wine routes. The wider area of Thessaloniki, the co-capital of Greece, has evolved into a very important wine-producing region of Greece. The area has four Protected Geographical Indication wines, PGI Thessaloniki, PGI Epanomi, PGI Nea Mesimvria and PGI Vertiskos Slopes. Both local and international varieties are cultivated, such as Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Roditis, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay for whites, and Limnio, Xinomavro, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Rouge, among others, for reds. The vineyards of Chalkidiki are typified by the ones on the slopes of Mount Meliton, in Sithonia, which is one of the largest single vineyards in Greece. On its slopes, at an altitude of 800m, two PDO wines are produced, both called Plagies Melitona, which translates as “slopes of Meliton” in English. One is white, made from Athiri, Assyrtiko and Roditis varieties, while the other is red, made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Limnio varieties. Another major pole of the vineyards of Chalkidiki is PGI Mount Athos in the semi-autonomous monastic district of the holy Mount Athos where only men are permitted to enter, where vineyards have adopted a new, linear planting. In the prefecture of Kilkis, the most important viticultural area is the PDO zone of Goumenissa. The vineyards of Goumenissa lie northwest of Thessaloniki, planted in varied orientations on hilly terrain. The variety

1 Naoussa –at least as far as quantity is concerned– is the most important enological area in Macedonia.

2 Regarding Greek red wines, the relationship between Xinomavro grapes and Naoussa is one of the most enduring.

3 The Chalkidiki vineyards produce the PDO Slopes of Meliton, PGI Halkidiki and PGI Sithonia wines.


2

3

The winemaking areas of Northern Greece are known for their quality wines and Central Macedonia produces many exceptional local wine varieties predominantly cultivated in the area is Xinomavro, complemented by a limited number of plantings of foreign cultivars which have adapted successfully. One of the special features of the vineyards of Goumenissa is the local red variety of Negoska which comprises 23-30% of the total cultivation. The prefecture of Serres borders with those of Drama and Kavala to the east and those of Thessaloniki and Kilkis to the west. Serres has a long tradition in the production of ouzo, but wine production has been growing rapidly in recent years. The introduction of PGI Serres wine in 1995 and its revisions in 2004 and 2010, which permit more varieties in its composition, gave a real boost to the region’s wine production. Both indigenous and inter-

national varieties are cultivated. Ιn the prefecture of Imathia, is found Naoussa, one of the most important appellation areas of the Greek vineyards, where Xinomavro is exclusively used for producing outstanding red dry wines. In the vineyards of Naoussa, the Xinomavro variety takes up approximately 1,500-1,600 acres, most of it planted in linear formation. Due to the climatic conditions prevalent in the area, Xinomavro ripens late, after September 20, which increases its vulnerability in the cold and rainy years, when the tannic character of the wines becomes more pronounced. The diversity of topography and the soil of the vineyards of Naoussa are key determinants of the quality of the product.

WINE IN CENTRAL MACEDONIA

4 PDO & 12 PGI WINE-PRODUCING ZONES

4,907

HECTARES RESERVED FOR WINE PRODUCTION *Source: New Wines of Greece, Cephalonia Robola Wine Cooperative

59%

OF VINEYARDS PRODUCE PDO & PGI WINES


22

Central Macedonia ma ga z i n e

A UNIQUE PDO EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL The olive harvest starts in northern Greece where the climate enables the production of the first olive oil of the year in the country.

I

Special thanks to the Region of Central Macedonia and the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE).

n the Chalkidiki peninsula, the olive tree has been cultivated since antiquity. With its mild climate and its hilly terrain, the region is well suited for the cultivation of olives. Although Chalkidiki is in Northern Greece, because of its long Aegean coastline (630 kilometres) it is on the same isothermal curves for minimum and maximum temperatures as the olive-growing areas further south, such as Messinia, Aitoloakarnania and Attica. The high rainfall is also beneficial: the average annual rainfall ranges from 470 mm (in the lowlands) to 850 mm (in the mountains). Currently, in Chalkidiki there are 80 olive processing units, while most of the population is engaged in the cultivation of the olive tree. No wonder, since olive groves exist in the region from time immemorial. Nowadays, over 6 million olive trees cover almost 36,000 hectares of land. According to the latest estimates, more than 80 percent of the approximately 120,000 tons of Chalkidiki olives a year is exported to Europe, the U.S. (second export destination, only to Germany), Canada, Australia, even Africa. The local

olive variety, plumb and fleshy, produces not only a tasty table olive, but also extra virgin olive oil of high quality, with very low acidity and excellent organoleptic characteristics. When the fruit is harvested early -during the second half of October- it produces an exceptional early harvest olive oil (Agourelaio) exclusively from green, unripe olives, that are collected and pressed at low temperature on a daily basis. It should be noted that double the amount of unripe olives is required for the production of just one litre. This Agourelaio (meaning “early harvest”) is packed unfiltered and retains the freshness and the peppery taste of the green olive. The application for listing of protected desig-

Agoureleo Chalkidikis has a distinct peppery flavor and is considered one of the best nations of origin (PDO) of the name “Agoureleo Chalkidikis” was submitted to the European Commission in January 2009 and published in September 2012. It is an extra virgin olive oil, a product of the indigenous green Chalkidiki and Chondrolia Chalkidikis varieties, while the production zone covers the entire prefecture of Chalkidiki. Both varieties are perfectly adapted to the geographical environment of the prefecture of Chalkidiki, where they account for around 90% of the olives produced. It is there that the specific characteristics of these varieties best manifest themselves. “Agoureleo Chalkidikis PDO” is known for its low acidity and distinct, bright green color and pleasantly bitter characteristics.


OF CHEESE AND OTHER EXCELLENT PRODUCTS The Region is home to an array of products, many with Geographical Indications, which contribute to over 25% of its GPD. Pella: SWEET AND SPICY The cherries of Edessa and the apples of Panagitsa are famous throughout the world, while also famous are the fresh red peppers of Bachovo or Aridea and the red pepper spice known as Karatzovitiko or bukovo. Dairy products include sheep yogurt and cheeses such as Batzos and Feta.

PELLA

KILKIS

SERRES

CENTRANLIA MACEDO

Kilkis: Northern exposure Kilkis has some famous products: Xinomavro (PDO) and Negoska wines in Goumenissa, cow's milk and sausages in Neo Gynaikokastro, cheeses, pickles and pasta in Vathi, Filiria cherries, raspberries in Krousia, honey in Gerakona and Amarantos. Traditional methods of the Pontic Greeks are also used to make dairy such as gais cheese, tan, tsiortania, tsemen, paskitan, etc.

ΙΜΑΤΗΙΑ CHALKIDIKI PIERIA

Imathia, the royal zone The fertile plain of Imathia is known for its agricultural products, such as apples, cherries, pears, apricots and peaches (approx. 50% of the total Greek production is produced here). In the maritime part of the region there are mussel farms with a total annual production of about 5,300 tons (third largest mussel production area in Greece).

Serres: Wild at heart The land of Serres produces delicious ingredients. Beans from Oreini, rice, tomatoes and potatoes from Vrontous, as well as spirulina produced in Nigrita are famous throughout Greece. Other well-known products are cold cuts from Serres, tzoumagias sausages and kavourmas from Kerkini. Tsipouro, the famous spirit from Serres, has a delicate aroma and mild taste.

Pieria, the land of contradictions As a result of its rich geomorphology —mountainous in the south and west and with plains in the east— Pieria produces fresh fruit (kiwis, apples, peaches and Cornelian cherry), dairy products, cereals, vegetables, chestnuts, honey, poultry and farmed game. Mussel farming is a significant activity in the area.

Chalkidiki: Between land and sea Chalkidiki produces olive oil and table olives among the best in the world, as well as exquisite honey, which is considered one of the best in Europe, especially the rare heather variety. Chalkidiki also produces beef, cheeses and yogurt. Especially noteworthy is Mountovina the strong local spirit from the distillation of water where honeycombs have been dipped.


24

Olive Greek Cuisine Oil ma ga z i n e

Busting the olive oil

myths Does Greece produce the best EVOO in the world? Is bitterness a sign of lesser quality? How long does top-tier olive oil last? Mr Ioannis Karvelas*, helps disprove the most common misconceptions surrounding Greek olive oil.

*

Mr Ioannis Karvelas is General Manager of PARATUS Europe Ltd, certified Pro Olive Oil Expert and keynote speaker for the certified training programs on extra virgin olive oil of PARATUS Europe, as well as the Olive Oil Academy of the Association of Hellenic Industries for the Standardization of Olive Oil (SEVITEL).


26

Olive Oil ma ga z i n e

MYTH #1

MYTH #2

MYTH #3

MYTH #4

Far from being of lower quality, early harvest extra virgin olive oil –produced from unripe olives that need to be painstakingly handpicked right from the tree and called in Greece “Agoureleo” a.k.a. “unripe”– is considered the best of the best due to its high phenolic content! In fact, early harvest olive oil has remarkable organoleptic characteristics and nutritional attributes.

A few extra olive leaves during pressing can give a virgin olive oil a deep green hue that many take as an indication of higher quality. However, the chlorophyll in the leaves can affect the taste of olive oil and make it rancid. Even experienced tasters, connoisseurs and judges must test their samples in a dark blue glass so their decision will not be affected by their color.

Obviously not. If one uses extra virgin olive oil as seasoning, there are many options. Let me give you an example: A plate of bitter chicory and a plate of sweet boiled zucchini cannot and should not be seasoned with the same type of extra virgin olive oil. If one drizzles the chicory with a bitter EVOO, they will be hardly eaten, while the zucchini, on the contrary, will be delicious.

Even the same olive tree variety, when grown in different areas produces different results. For example, Koroneiki, which is the most widespread variety in Greece, has completely different organoleptic characteristics when produced, for example, in Laconia, Peloponnese, in Chania, Crete or in the region of Elis.

EARLY HARVEST IS OF LESSER QUALITY THAN REGULAR EVOO

THE GREEN COLOR SIGNIFIES HIGH QUALITY OLIVE OIL

WHEN IT COMES TO COOKING WITH OLIVE OIL, ONE TYPE “FITS ALL”

ALL OLIVE VARIETIES PRODUCE THE SAME EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL


MYTH #5

MYTH #6

MYTH #7

MYTH #8

The time between harvesting and pressing the olive fruit is extremely important and does, in fact, affect the quality of the oil produced. A short time frame, that of just a few hours, ensures higher quality olive oil, provided it is combined with best practices in the oil mill.

All food has an expiration date. Extra virgin olive oil is one of the safest foodstuff. However, even the best EVOO, after a certain period of time, loses its excellent organoleptic characteristics and its beneficial elements and, right before it presents an organoleptic defect that may make it unfit for consumption, becomes what many would describe as “flat”.

Acidity is just one of the criteria that should be taken into account when it comes to the grading of olive oil into the extra virgin, virgin or lampante categories. Chemical analyses and organoleptic evaluation are also needed to ensure proper grading.

It could. But first, we must determine which olive oil is the best. The one that sells the most? The one that wins the most awards? Greece is the largest producer of EVOO in the world, with approx. 80% of its olive oil production falling under the extra virgin category. Greek EVOO is one of the finest, valued for its perfect balance in flavor, aroma, color, and acidity.

OLIVE OIL QUALITY IS NOT DETERMINED BY HOW SOON THE FRUIT IS PRESSED

GOOD OLIVE OIL DOES NOT HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE

ACIDITY ALONE CAN DETERMINE THE GRADE OF AN EVOO

GREECE IS THE LARGEST PRODUCER OF EVOO IN THE WORLD, WITH APPROX. 80% OF ITS OLIVE OIL PRODUCTION FALLING INTO THIS CATEGORY

GREECE PRODUCES THE BEST OLIVE OIL IN THE WORLD


28

Greek Cuisine Pastry ma ga z i n e


TRUST CRUST

THE

IN

Pies and traditional pastry. A culinary chapter that is both equally demanding and creative. And a chapter that encompasses many childhood memories; happy, nonchalant, unforgettable… Find out why Greek pastry companies are the best in the field.

P

ies and pastry sweets made from airy, crusty dough are integral parts of Greece, just like its unspoiled beaches. And there’s no one more knowledgeable or more capable of creating the best, crunchiest and tastiest crust pastry than Greek dough makers. “Greece is perceived by many as the epitome of the Mediterranean diet, which is one of the healthiest nutritional systems in the world. Greek gastronomy has a very long tradition, in which pies play an important role, either as hors d’oeuvres and desserts or as main dishes,” explains Mr Mimis Badawy, International Business Director at Alfa Pastry (www.alfapastry.com), one of the leading pie and dough-producing businesses in Greece, established in 1965 in Kozani. “Given the fact that consumer preferences are shifting to more and more traditional products, the famous rustic handmade Greek pies, filled with fresh, naturally grown ingredients from all over the country and with globally renowned PDO products, like Feta

cheese, put this exceptional specialty high on their list,” he insists.  And, indeed, it is the exceptional ingredients, such as organic extra virgin olive oil or excellent, non-GMO flours, that make Greek pastry stand out on a global level. Not to mention that Greeks have a centuries-long know how, handed down from generation to generation, from grandmother to mother to daughter, which is still being used to create mouth-watering crusts and pies. “The secret that makes ‘Made in Greece’ pastry stand out is the top-tier flour combined with the traditional recipes used for each and every dough product. We could certainly say that what makes the real difference is the know how,” discloses Mr Charalampos Konstantakis, CEO of Evoiki Zimi SA (www. evoiki-zimi.gr), which was created 36 years ago in the island of Evia and is active in the production of traditional pastry, faithfully following age-old recipes and using only the finest ingredients. “We are relying on traditional recipes, but at the same time we have significant know how to upgrade and differentiate in order to offer even better products,” agrees Mr Nikos


30

Greek Pastry ma ga z i n e

1 Tsiftsoglou, International Business Manager at Ioniki (www.ioniki.com), established approximately 30 years ago in Thessaloniki with the aim to provide consumers with delicious pastry products. As Sakis Ignatidis, Export Manager at Hellenic Dough – Arabatzis (www.elzymi.gr), which operates in the sector of frozen pastry products, supporting the foodservice as well as the retail market, points out “Greek pastry such as bougatsa or traditional country style are characterized by some international buyers as pioneering products –innovative offerings that help them expand their product portfolio. Until recently, all they could offer their clientele was puff pastry, but now, thanks to Greek brands, they have more op-

2

tions, they can offer with different types of pastry, with fillings and flavors inspired by the Mediterranean diet, which is already a global trend! Greek pastries are different and stand out because of their flavor, while, at the same time, they offer a ‘healthier’ dimension due to their top quality ingredients compared to products sold by producers in other countries.”

Innovation through tradition 3

The production of frozen dough has undergone a great increase in the last decades. Frozen dough is obtained with the use of highly mechanized processes by companies that can ensure a product of uniform, high quality at any time, while guaranteeing that all health protocols are observed. And as the bakery market has been growing due to the development of new technologies related to freezing temperatures, and the preservation of natural ingredients, Greek pastry makers have already started to step up their game to build customer trust and cater to the expanding needs of international markets, thus pushing sales as well as innovation. “Global trends and conditions are changing rapidly. Traits that a few years ago were


All around the world

thanks to Greek brands, int'l food traders can offer consumers more pastry options

1 Puff pastry remains one of the most popular pastry options.

2 Greek pastry brands combine tradition with technology to create top tier products.

3 Greek pastries stand out because of their top quality ingredients.

ignored by the consumer have now become a key criterion for food selection. Mixing tradition with innovation is the key to success,” underlines Mr Tsiftsoglou. “A typical example in recent months –due to the rise of COVID-19– is that consumers want ‘contactless’ foods where there is zero human contact with the product, both during the baking as well as the serving stages.” “Of course,” like Mr Konstantakis of Evoiki Zimi SA reveals, “it is our priority to innovate in our products in order to meet consumer demands, even before consumers express this demand.” As pastry gradually becomes mainstream in many supermarkets in England, Australia, Germany, and the US, where the demand is mainly concentrated, modern frozen pastry brands are mixing science with tradition in an effort to offer even more delicious and high quality products. Or as Mr Badawy states “Inspired by traditional pies, we use our imagination and innovative spirit to enrich and improve old recipies and transform them into award winning delicacies.”

Countries such as Germany, the UK and Saudi Arabia are currently importing frozen dough novelties from Greece. Most Greek exports, however, are headed towards the US, Canada, and Australia, where there is a large Greek community. “Regions where pies are part of the local culinary culture, like the UK and the Middle East, remain important markets for exports, as consumers can appreciate the wide variety, mouthwatering taste, and top quality of the Greek recipes. In addition to this, lately we are witnessing a penetration in other major markets like the USA, Germany, Canada and Australia, where consumers show a great interest in including pies in their nutrition, not just as an ‘ethnic’ food but as a preferred dietary option,” says Mr Badawy of Alfa Pastry. "Demand is directly related to the culture of each country and of course to the influence of the Greek, Oriental or Mediterranean element. Frozen pastries according to data are the next big thing in the field of nutrition, as they gradually become mainstream in many supermarkets in England, Australia, Germany, and the US, where the demand is mainly concentrated,” concurs Nikos Tsiftsoglou from Ioniki. Mr Ignatidis adds that “In the past 5 years, there was a significant increase in sales internationally. The countries that stand out are Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. As for the most popular pastry dough types exported, it depends on the country of export. In some it is traditional pastries and in some others puff pastry.”


32

Greek Pastry ma ga z i n e

MAIN TYPES OF PASTRY Greece produces a plethora of delicate and delicious pastries. Here are the most common ones. Filo pastry Filo is a very thin dough used for making pastries such as baklava or pies such as cheese pie or spanakopita (spinach pie). Filo-based pastries are made by layering many sheets of filo brushed with oil or butter; the pastry is then baked.

Puff pastry Puff pastry is a flaky light pastry made from many thin layers of dough separated by butter and produced by repeated folding and rolling. The gaps that form between the layers left by the fat melting are pushed (leavened) by the water turning into steam during the baking process.

Kataifi (angel hair) pastry Kataifi is a versatile “string’” pastry used in both sweet and savoury dishes and named after the famous “kataifi” dessert. Its fine strands provide a unique texture, and its vermicelli-style nature makes it pliable into unlimited shapes.

Country style (Kihi) pastry “Kihi” is a kind of country style pastry, the basic recipe of which comes –mainly– from Kozani in Northern Greece. It is particularly widespread throughout the region of Western Macedonia. This pastry, like most country style pastries, is made with few, simple ingredients: flour, olive oil, water and salt. It is thicker than filo pastry.


The ultimate b2b platform for Greek specialty food www.greekfoodnews.com

GF N GREEK FOOD

News


34

Special Feature ma ga z i n e

HOTOS

IN THE NAME

of Cheese At Hotos, everyone is serious about cheese. And how could they not, since the company counts over a century of traditional cheese-making and a wide variety of styles and flavors.

P

roducing the tastiest cheeses is an art and Hotos, a family-owned dairy company in Larissa, Greece, knows fully well that success depends on mastering complex biochemical processes together with following millennia-old traditional Greek recipes.

The company The gastronomic miracle that is cheese-making has been present in Greece for thousands of years, while Feta is also mentioned in the epic poems of Homer himself. Greek cheeses combine their historical origin with the freshness and flavors of the Mediterranean, while the peculiarities of the Greek microclimate bestow them with exceptional quality and taste characteristics that make them sought-after on an international scale. The Hotos family has been exclusively engaged in cheese-making for three generations. This

tradition started with grandfather George Hotos who perfected the secrets of Feta and Manouri making, drawing from the accumulated knowledge of the tradition of the people of the mountainous region of Samarina, in Northern Greece. These family secrets were passed on from generation to generation, and to the present day. With respect to the traditional way of production and to quality ingredients, Hotos cheeses stand out for their rich, fullrounded flavor, and have become a favorite among Greeks. Furthermore, exports are a very big part for Hotos, as they amount to 90% of the company's turnover. In fact, Hotos is currently looking to expand towards Asia, the Middle east and Latin America. The Greek market, however, remains a major challenge for the company, with the intention to expand even further within the next three years.


The philosophy

The products

Today, Hotos SA successfully remains familymanaged despite its steady growth and substantial number of business operations. It also stays true to the family’s dairy tradition, while it combines almost a century’s worth of knowhow with a state-of-the-art dairy unit, in order to ensure the superior quality of its products. The Hotos privately-owned dairy is situated at the very center of the milk production region, thus enabling the company to apply proper quality control at all production stages. Building on its love for flavorful and healthy Greek cheese, and with the utmost respect towards its customers, the company exports its products to many European countries, to the US, Dubai, Kazakhstan and Singapore. In addition, Hotos applies the ISO 22000, BRC, IFS, REG.(EU) and HALAL standards at all stages of production.

Hotos produces Feta PDO and Organic Feta PDO, which are the company’s strongest export products, sent to over 40 countries worldwide, Manouri PDO, Organic Manouri PDO, goat cheese and Anthotyro. The traditional recipes of the Samarina region, which the company has been using to make cheese for over a century now and have been in the hands of the Hotos family for much longer, the excellent milk collected from strictly selected free-range herds and the state-of-theart production unit make the products stand out from the competition. Even so, Hotos does not rest on its laurels, but is constantly trying to innovate with new offerings that will boost production.

FACTS AND FIGURES

90%

OF TURNOVER IS EXPORTED

40+

EXPORT DESTINATIONS

8,000m2

COMPANY-OWNED FACILITIES

For more information: www.hotos.gr


36

Success Story m agaz i ne

DOING IT THE MODERN

GREEK

WAY

Adrien Carre and Christina Mouratoglou, owners of Mazi and Suzi Tros, two of the most exciting and successful Greek restaurants in London, are proving to people that Greek cuisine is much more than just tzatziki, souvlaki and moussaka. Interview: Vana Antonopoulou


38

Success Story ma ga z i n e

I

t took quite a long time for the British food and foodie scene to get excited about Greek cuisine, but one of the restaurants that has helped along the way is Notting Hill’s Mazi –“Probably the best Greek restaurant in England, Mazi is pure alchemy and poetry”, according to renowned triple Michelin-starred French chef Alain Ducasse. In fact, before the opening of Mazi, the only places Londoners could find Greek cuisine were restaurants that served the old touristy clichés. Now, Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carre, the Greco-French duo behind the successful restaurant, are on their second venture, Suzi Tros, a bistro and cocktail bar, just two doors down from Mazi, showcasing the food of northern Greece with the help of Mazi’s head chef, John Skotidas. The name itself is an iconic line from an iconic 1960’s Greek film –Suzi Tros literally means “Suzi, you eat”– while the inspiration for the dishes comes from Christina’s hometown of Thessaloniki. We caught up with both Carre and Mouratoglou to talk about food, Greek products and thinking outside of the proverbial box. What is the story behind Mazi and Suzi Tros? Mazi opened in 2012 on a mission to change people’s perception on Greek food. We were the first modern Greek restaurant in the UK

4

1 and had a fully Greek wine list. Suzi Tros is a modern Greek inspired bistro, following Mazi’s footsteps on changing outdated misconceptions on Greek food. How did you get from one restaurant to two? It took a lot of hard work, but this was always the dream. There was a cookbook in between (published in 2018). I believe that people love this new take on Greek food and fresh ideas. What’s the concept behind the restaurants? We take our inspiration from the traditional Greek table and childhood memories and we give it a modern twist. What about the menu on both restaurants? How would you describe it? The core concept is sharing plates –like we do in Greece. We use only fresh and seasonal ingredients from sustainable sources. Which is the most popular dish? They all are. So hard to choose, but I would say anything that has the word “feta” in it. People just love feta so much. One of our best-selling dishes of all time would be the Feta tempura with caper meringue and lemon marmalade.

1 Suzi Tros is a laidback bistro just two doors down from Mazi.

2 Head chef John Skotidas and his team subvert the old touristy clichés in Greek food.

3 The menu at Suzi Tros features a fresh take on northern Greek cuisine.

4 Mazi, which means “together” is considered the best Greek in the UK.


2 3

People are now more “educated” on what Greek food really is. And Greek food is progressing like Italian and Spanish cuisines did 15 years ago. Greek cuisine is gaining momentum. Why is that, in your opinion? I believe that Greece is having its moment. People now prefer the Greek islands more than any other summer destination in Europe. I don’t think it has anything to do with other metropolises. They have their own stories and London has its own. Social media have played a major role into this too. London has become a foodie capital of the world. People are very open and love trying new food. What image does the British clientele have of Greek products? People are now more “educated” on what Greek food really is than when we opened back in 2012. At the time they only mentioned “hummus and pitta bread, moussaka and kleftiko” and that’s about it. Now they have a very good opinion on Greek wine, as well as mastiha, feta, olives and olive oil, mountain tea.

What are your plans for the future? Right now we want to focus on making Suzi Tros as successful as Mazi and serve people great food. I guess the next step would be an international expansion of the brand. What in your opinion are the things your clients appreciate most at your restaurants? Food, ambience, originality? All of the above but mostly the food itself. At the end of the day people will come back for the food. You can get everything else right, but if the food is not that great, they won’t return. Which is the aspect Greek restaurants all across the world should focus on to make Greek food more popular? Think outside the safe “crowd pleasing” box. Use great ingredients and simple cooking. Dive into childhood memories and reproduce it.


40

Special Feature ma ga z i n e

Grape to see you! Table grapes are among the most popular as well as the most traded fruit in Europe. The market for table grapes is mature, with large volumes and a relatively stable demand all year round. And Greece is getting its share.

GREEK TABLE GRAPES IN NUMBERS

290,000

TONS OF TABLE GRAPES PRODUCED IN 2019-2020

€81.87

MILLION IN TABLE GRAPE EXPORTS IN 2019

€79.74

MILLION IN TABLE GRAPE NET EXPORTS IN 2019

NO1

EXPORT DESTINATION FOR TABLE GRAPES IS THE UK


W

ithin the EU, table grape production is mainly located in the Mediterranean basin. The largest producer country is Italy, which represents about 47% of total EU production. Spain is second with 23%, followed by Greece with 21%. These three countries produce more than 90% of the total EU crop.

The Greek factor In Greece, production is centered in the regions of Macedonia, Thrace, Thessaly, Peloponnese and Crete, while the main cultivated varieties of table grapes are Flame, Superior, Victoria, Cardinal, Alphonse Lavallee, Crimson, Muscat d’Hambourg, Sultanine, Italia, and Red Globe. In recent years there has been a preference for the production of seedless grapes, such as the Thompson, Superior and Crimson varieties. Greek production for 2020, which is currently being harvested, is expected to remain as the previous year at 300,000 tons, its quality is exceptional, while the course so far is positive. The decline in the competitiveness of table grapes produced in Europe compared to imported ones is mainly due to small lots. In Greece, there are mostly small dual-use farms where the grapes are cultivated together with olives. In Spain, as in Greece, farm prices increase excessively due to the development of tourism infrastructure and their proximity to large urban centers that expand at the expense of nearby fields but also due to a) the additional and excessive costs of processing, packaging

regarding eu table grape production, greece is in third place with 21% of total crop and transportation incurred in their competitiveness, b) the high costs of certification, and c) the irregular conditions in the formation of producer prices sometimes on the basis of suspect rumors otherwise incompatible with those currently prevailing in the international markets.

Export opportunities and threats Among the top exporters globally, the fastest-growing exporters of table grapes since 2015 were: India (up 186.2%), Australia (up 116.1%), Brazil (up 32.9%) and the Netherlands (up 31%). Three countries posted declines in international sales of table grapes: Greece (down -31.5%), Chile (down -12.9%) and the United States (down -5.9%). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented Greece with increased export opportunities as far as fruit and vegetables are concerned. As a result, “Table grape exports appear to be up compared to the same period from last year, with prices, however, at low levels due to the reduced consumption of the product in the domestic market,” explains Mr George Polychronakis, Special Adviser to the Greek Association of Export and Distribution of Fruits, Vegetables and Juices, Incofruit Hellas.


42

Market News ma ga z i n e

news

MORE

InstaShop Greek startup in $360M deal

greek fresh fish exclusive Deal is helping Greek fish reach the north america market

With an emphasis on economic extroversion and the strengthening of Greek exports, UTC International Transport SA, active in the field of air transport of all kinds of goods and especially

fresh fish, has signed an exclusive agreement with Air Canada to charter an aircraft in order to transport fish from Greek fish farms to Montreal and then to buyers in Canada and the US. Travels car-

rying the precious cargo took place during quarantine and the company is currently considering extending the charter for the entire 2021 winter season. www.tndforward.gr

Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based restaurant delivery company that operates mainly in emerging markets, has acquired InstaShop, a Greek-owned and Dubai-based grocery delivery platform with 500,000 users in five markets. Delivery Hero said the acquisition values the company at $360 million, $270 million upfront plus an additional $90 million based on InstaShop meeting certain growth targets. This is the largest take over for a Greek startupt. www.instashop.com

289 greek fruit pandemic boosts to new export records! Greek fruit exports are up more than 15% in volume and more than 25% in value. Exports of Greek oranges, lemons, kiwifruit, cherries, watermelons and strawberries have all seen a rise in the past months –up between 3% and 85% compared to last year’s volumes. Namely, a large increase was recorded in Greek cherry exports for the first seven months of 2020. An increase which –at least compared to last year– adds up to 44.7%, with the volume of cherries exported amounting to 37,668 tons. Furthermore, Greek watermelon exports amounted to 185,772 tons in 2020, which equals a boost of 13.2%.

THOUSAND TONS OF APPLES ARE EXPECTED TO BE PRODUCED IN GREECE FOR 2020, A SIGNIFICANT RISE IN A YEAR PLAGUED BY STORMS, HAIL AND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.


MELISSA collaboration with greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas on new campaign

MINOA water 3 Platinum international awards

Melissa, one of the oldest pasta companies in Greece, is joining forces with Greek tennis phenomenon and No5 in the world ranking, Stefanos Tsitsipas in a new ad campaign named “The

11.2%

Road to the Top”. As per the company’s press release, “Stefanos and Melissa share the same ideals and values. This collaboration gives Melissa the opportunity to talk about the

elements that compose the company’s ethos, with the help of an athlete who made the whole of Greece love tennis. Almost as much as he himself loves pasta.” www.melissa.gr

WAS THE INCREASE ΙΝ GREEK FOOD EXPORTS WITHIN THE MONTH OF AUGUST 2020 , WHICH TRANSLATES TO APPROXIMATELY €352.4 MILLION. BEVERAGE EXPORTS WERE UP 6.6%.

ΜΙΝΟΑ bottled water, in the new Tetra Pak packaging and the very first month of its release, won 3 Platinum awards at an international competition, thus validating its high standards and superior taste. Namely, MINOA water won 3 superior awards for Taste, Packaging and Innovation at the MTA Awards 2020. The Mediterranean Taste Awards aim to create an unbiased and objective quality recognition benchmark of the Mediterranean products through the introduction of a transparent and rigorous assessment process by distinguished judges, contributing to the promotion of products that fit into the Mediterranean diet culture. This new distinction for MINOA water is a reward for the dedication and the continuous effort of the people of the company to offer consumers bottled water of superior quality and excellent taste in an ecological packaging. www.waterfresh.gr

BIOCOS novel algorithm identifies olive varieties BioCoS, a Bioinformatics and Biotechnology company based in Chania, Crete, uses genetic information (DNA) to identify the raw materials used in production. Namely, the company's platform produces an innovative algorithm (True-Plant BioCoS), capable of exporting biomarkers, in order to distinguish the olive varieties present in an olive oil bottle and to ensure its authenticity throughout the supply chain. The BioCoS platform was ranked 5th among the top companies selected at the 10th Innovation & Technology Competition organized by the National Bank of Greece. www.biocos.gr


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Market News ma ga z i n e

greek evoo

news

Millennia old Makri olive oil receives PDO status Makri, a Greek extra virgin olive oil extracted from olive trees aged between 2,000 and 3,000 years, has received PDO status from the European Union. “Elaiolado Makris” from the Makri variety, which is indigenous to the re-

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Ecotrophelia 2020 the young generation continues to innovate

gion of Makri near Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece, was inserted in the EU‘s official PDO register on August 10. The Makri PDO variety or Elaiolado Makris as it is officially registered, which consists of about 220,000 olive trees with

an annual production of 1,000 to 3,000 tons of olive oil, yields an EVOO described as sweet, with flavors of fresh herbs, flowers and exotic fruits. Makri extra virgin olive oil also received a PGI nod, to signify its place of origin.

The innovative ideas and creativity of young Greek students were demonstrated through the ECOTROPHELIA 2020 National Competition of eco-innovative food products, organized by SEVT and celebrating 10 years of successful presence in Greece. The winner of this year’s competition was “O-live”, an organic type of breadsticks with five different filling flavors from 100% Greek fruit and vegetables, created by the University of the Aegean.

42% greek GYROS on its way to become a PGI product An important step for the Greek food industry, as well as the country’s livestock farming and exports, is according to Ms Fotini Arambatzi, Deputy Minister of Rural Development & Food, the beginning of the certification process of gyros as a PGI product. Gyros, a dish made from meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, is a traditional Greek product and there have been discussions regarding its certification for years now. Finally, the time has come to make the “dream” come true.” As far as gyros with Greek ingredients (meat) is concerned, there will additionally be special labeling.

OF GREEK YOGURT EXPORTS GO TO ITALY, WHILE 22% GO TO THE UNITED KINGDOM. GREECE HOLDS 4TH PLACE IN THE WORLD REGARDING YOGURT EXPORTS.


Boutari Among the 6 best wineries in the world!

Mevgal Expansion of its sheep and goat milk delivery network

Boutari was once again honored with one of the most coveted awards, which places it among the 6 best wineries in the world according to the prestigious US “Wine & Spirits” magazine. The magazine recently announced

10%

the “Winery of the Year” winners for 2020 and Boutari is one of them, for the 19th time in the last 33 years. In fact, Boutari is the only Greek winery named “Winery of the Year” for the 19th time. Following this award, the

brand remains the only winery representing the country in the world’s Top 6. The award is the result of a series of blind tastings of wines found in the US market by the magazine’s journalists and reviewers. www.boutari.gr

INCREASE IN GREEK OLIVE OIL EXPORTS AND A 6% IN CONSUMPTION IN THE EUROPEAN MARKET CAN BE EXPECTED FOR THE YEAR 2020, DESPITE THE ADVERSE COVID-19 SITUATION.

Mevgal has implemented a plan to expand its sheep and goat milk zone in Northern Greece, through the strengthening of its position in areas where it already has a presence, but also by expanding the delivery network to new territories. With regard to the actions undertaken by the dairy company to increase the quantities of delivered sheep and goat milk, the planning for the new milk season is expected to increase approx.. 30%, compared to last year's volumes. “About 80-90% of the volume that the company will need for the new year is already under contract”, stressed Mr Giannis Kaimakamis, Director of the Mevgal milk zone, while adding that this year the dairy brand also expanded its network in Chalkidiki, apart from Pieria, Serres, Kilkis, Thessaloniki, Pella and Florina, where it has been active for years in sheep and goat milk. www.mevgal.gr

Athenian Brewery signing of the Diversity Charter The Athenian Brewery has recently proceeded to sign the Diversity Charter, an initiative of the European Commission, which is promoted in each EU member state since 2004 and supports all efforts that advocate for diversity within Greek companies. The Athenian Brewery, as a company, recognizes that diversity in the workplace brings significant benefits on multiple levels, many of which benefit the company itself, such as boosting productivity, increasing efficiency, attracting and retaining talented professionals or encouraging innovation and creativity. www.athenianbrewery.gr


46

Business ma ga z i n e

B2B Platfo Platform rm FORUM SA INTRODUCES

AN INNOVATIVE

B2B PLATFORM Explore the opportunity to contact directly the FOOD EXPO Greece key exhibitors, discover a plethora of Mediterranean specialty food and initiate profitable business deals. All thanks to a novel online platform designed specifically for the needs of the F&B industry in the COVID-19 era.

F

OOD EXPO Greece, the leading Food & Beverage trade show in Southeast Europe, always striving to provide its exhibitors with state-of-the-art means to further develop their export orientation and expand their network of commercial activity at international level, has just launched the FOOD

EXPO B2B Platform. The Platform is a new, digital destination, which intends to bring exhibitors together with the trade show’s Hosted Buyers (which were supposed to participate to the fair’s Hosted Buyer Program last March), but also with thousands of key F&B traders from all across the world, throughout the year.


A NEW WAY TO DO BUSINESS FORUM SA, the organizers of FOOD EXPO Greece, one of the largest trade show developers in the Balkans and a member of the NürnbergMesse Group, has a substantial database of important international Food & Beverage buyers, which have already been informed about the FOOD EXPO B2B Platform through an email marketing campaign. At the same time, a comprehensive global digital campaign has been launched in order to reach even more targeted buyers from key markets. Through the platform, international food traders will have the opportunity to view the business profile as well as the entire product range of hundreds of F&B businesses and contact them directly to discuss possible collaborations. Until the end of October 2020, the FOOD EXPO Greece B2B Platform has been operating exclusively for exhibitors of the FOOD EXPO 2020 trade show, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After that time, more F&B companies are expected to join the platform. An then, sky is the limit!

WHOM IT CONCERNS The platform is addressed to international buyers interested in high quality and innovative Greek & Mediterranean PDO & PGI Food and Beverages. Those buyers are owners and major executives in: • Supermarket chains and minimarkets • Traditional groceries and delicatessens • Organic product stores • Mass catering venues • Liquor stores & Coffee stores • Restaurants with Greek and Mediterranean Cuisine • Hotels and Hostels

The B2B platform that connects FOOD EXPO od traders exhibitors with int’l fo EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS CONNECT directly with FOOD EXPO exhibitors EVALUATE competing products across every category DISCOVER a wide range of specialty F&B BENEFIT by upgrading your product portfolio

Connect with new suppliers, negotiate & conclude business agreements directly with them, from anywhere in the world


New Products ma ga z i n e

new

WHAT’S

48

THE POTATO BUN SCORED BY SELECT BAKERY

RODOULA INTRODUCES THE VEGAN “CHEESE” CAKE

Meet the Potato Bun Scored, a new product with a special look, that offers a diverse and updated take on a much-loved classic. An authentic bun with a buttery texture that balances out with the addition of potato flakes and gives a gourmet twist to any sandwich! Not to mention that its scored, glazed surface will give premium quality to any menu. www.selectbakery.gr

Following the successful launch of its vegan product range in 2019, Rodoula has introduced the Vegan “Cheese” Cake. Pre-cut for easier use, it is a 100% plant-based dessert with an exceptionally creamy flavor, made from natural ingredients with no additives, preservatives, artificial colorings and free of trans-fat and gluten. Furthermore, it is also dairy and lactose free, made from coconut milk, cashew nuts, with a base from dates and walnuts and a raspberry coating. www.rodoula.gr

BIODEGRADABLE SEMOLINA STRAWS FROM HELIOS PASTA Helios Pasta presents the innovative biodegradable straws “Artesian Pasta Straws®” made entirely of pasta. Produced from semolina, they are totally sustanable and come in a practical eco-friendly paper packaging that can be refastened, thus even the last straw, is protected. www.heliospasta.gr

DELICIOUS BIO HONEYUP ORGANIC BARS

Melissokomiki Dodecanese has created two brandnew and yummy bars containing only a handful of simple, 100% organic ingredients, that are also high in fibre and protein. The ΒΙΟ HoneyUP Organic Bars are available in two delicious flavors: Almond & Raisins and Peanuts & Linseeds and are exclusively sweetened with pure Bio honey! www.mel.gr


13 - 16 NOVEMBER

2021 AT H E N S • G R E E C E

B2B Platform The B2B platform that connects FOOD EXPO od traders fo l t’ in h it w rs o it ib h ex

FOODTECH

F O O D P R O C E S S I N G & PA C K A G I N G E X H I B I T I O N

DISCOVER a wide range of specialty F&B

BENEFIT by upgrading your product portfolio

CONNECT directly with FOOD EXPO exhibitors

Future solutions in the food industry

EVALUATE competing products across every category

A NEW WAY TO DO BUSINESS

ALONGSIDE

ORGANIZED BY FORUM SA, Μember of NÜRNBERGMESSE GROUP 328 Vouliagmenis Ave. | 173 42 Athens, Greece | Τ: +30 210 5242100 | W: www.foodtech.gr | E: sales@forumsa.gr SUPPORTED BY


Îœagazine

#11

Winter 2 0 2 0

Fi ne food and drinks of Greece

TABLE GRAPES Greece No3 producer in the EU

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AMBROSIA #11  

Τα ελληνικά Τρόφιμα & Ποτά είναι και πάλι οι πρωταγωνιστές του 11ου τεύχους του περιοδικού Ambrosia. Μέσα από τις σελίδες του, εξερευνούμε τ...

AMBROSIA #11  

Τα ελληνικά Τρόφιμα & Ποτά είναι και πάλι οι πρωταγωνιστές του 11ου τεύχους του περιοδικού Ambrosia. Μέσα από τις σελίδες του, εξερευνούμε τ...

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