Are you one of those persons that drool over pastries and breads? That just loves the smell of freshly baked bread? That has to consciously refrain himself from buying all sorts of pastries when he reaches the counter at the bakery? That has secretly thought of owning a bakery because bread is so miraculously delicious? I am one of those people and Mr. Panayiotis, the baker at the Pyrgos Bakery, has a very special place in my heart…
Whether you are in the neighborhood and feel peckish or want to put together a family pick nick for the boat ride to your next destination from Santorini, look no further. The bakery is on the main road between Fira and Pyrgos and on one’s way to the southern beaches, the Archaeological site of Akrotiri and the port of Athinios. I dare you to drop by even for just a look at what is on display!
Once you’ve made it through the doorstep, the first item to place into your basket is a loaf of “Octasporo” which is a brown bread with eight differentseeds including amongst others sesame, sunflower, linseed, corn flour, and oats. This is a hearty brown bread that is great nibbled on, just dipped into some extra virgin olive oil, along with local olives and Santorinian cherry tomatoes.
Next on the list (which should probably include everything in the bakery) is the “koulouri” – the thin sesame crusted ring which is a perfect snack. Pair it with soft anthotiro or katiki cream cheese and some dried oregano and you’ve got a lovely “side dish” for a glass of chilled Assyrtiko white wine (anothermust during your visit to Santorini).
Along comes the Cheese Pie. Don’t even dream of leaving Santorini or Greece without having had a cheese pie. In the case of Pyrgos Bakery well, as with everything else, Mr. Panayiotis will make your thoughts fill with pleasant images and make you smile instantly when you bite into your freshly baked cheese pie. These are usually filled with feta cheese and the phyllo pastry is literally doused in olive oil making them really rich and crispy and therefore slightly heavy on the calories (but worth every one of them).
Moving down the list one finds the “kritharokoulouro”, my favorite item. Although not very exciting at first sight, this dry barley bagel-shaped rusk is a healthier option to bread. It is also the base for the Cretan “Dakos” – diced tomato and feta cheesed piled onto a rusk and drizzled with olive oil – a perfect start for an energetic day or a light summer lunch.
At the end of the list we’ll find the sweeter items. How about the traditional “meletini”? Pastry dough filled with an anthotiro cream cheese and rose-water mixture which is soft to the palette and not too sweet, these are an Easter favorite but can be bought year round. You must leave space for at least one of these.
Oh, and I forgot… you’ll want to have something left over for the evening or the next day when you are having your coffee – no? You must get the raisin biscuits. These are just delicious dipped in coffee or even tea or milk. Maybe there is space in your suitcase for some of these??? Heck, why not just put them in your hand luggage as your flight might be delayed a bit or you may have too many connections…