Oregano from Mt Taygetus, Kalamata olives and caper leaves from the Cyclades – all in the 3rd arrondissement or district of Paris, a stone’s throw from the Louvre and the Georges Pompidou Center? You might be surprised to learn that Parisians know more Greek products than olive oil, honey and cheese.
Since October 2014, the two young Athenians partners behind the Greek grocery store Kilikio, Kritonas Poulis and Stavros Seretis, have been teaching the French the culinary language of Greece in fast-moving cooking seminars. Most well-read Parisians know now about dakaki rusks, tahini (even though they pronounce it without the heavy Greek “h”) and galomyzithra, a soft white traditional cheese from Crete.
“This small Greek gastronomic embassy, just a few blocks from the Seine, is succeeding in adding the produce of small Greek producers to the formidable catalog of French cuisine for the first time.”
Direct contact with Greek producers is what differentiates Kilikio, enabling it to offer new culinary experiences to the French palette. The shop is modern, with tasteful mosaic tiles on the wall, wooden floors, metal elements and minimalist shelving.
Here, peanut butter from Serres, jam from Kalamata olives, Cretan carob rusks, peppers from Florina, Laconian smoked trout and manoura cheese from Sifnos are some of the products making their French debut, along with a wide variety of olive oils and an equally impressive selection of honey.
This small Greek gastronomic embassy, just a few blocks from the Seine, is succeeding in adding the produce of small Greek producers to the formidable catalog of French cuisine for the first time.
*Originally published in Gastronomos magazine
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