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Baklava and other goodies that will be available at the St. Philip Greek Food Festival. Courtesy photos.




St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church Greek Food Festival

When: Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: 500 W. Hollis St., Nashua
Cost: Free admission and parking; food is priced per item; cash and cards accepted
Visit: stphilipnh.org/events/festival




Eating Greek
Greek food festival returns to Nashua

05/18/17
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Seventeen hundred pounds of lamb, 5,500 stuffed grape leaves and 90 pans of baklava will be prepared for the annual Greek Food Festival hosted by Saint Philip Greek Orthodox Church in Nashua. 

This year’s festival takes place Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, and will feature a full menu of authentic Greek entrees and pastries, as well as Greek music, dancing and vendors. 
“We usually serve anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 people over the two days,” Jamie Pappas, festival co-chair, said. “Some people even come to both days.” 
Entrees will be offered a la carte or as dinner plates with rice, green beans and salad. The selection will include chicken, lamb, pastichio (Greek version of lasagna), dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), spanakopita (savory spinach pie) and meatballs. 
Additionally, the menu will have gyros and a number of Greek pastries, such as baklava, galaktoboureko (custard pastry), finikia (cookie with nuts, cinnamon and honey), kourabiedes (shortbread cookie), kataifi (cheese pastry), koulourakia (sweet butter-based pastry), pumpkin pita (a Greek version of pumpkin pie made with phyllo dough) and tiropita (layered pastry with cheese and egg filling). 
Top sellers are typically the pastries, especially baklava, and the spanakopita. 
“The spanakopita always goes the quickest,” Pappas said. “That’s the one that we have to increase [production for] every year or we run out.” 
Cooking operations began in January and will continue until the day of the festival. Most of the entree items are made in advance and frozen, while the pastries are made during the two to three weeks leading up to the festival. 
While there are recipe standards for Greek food, there are also many variations that originate from different regions of Greece. Most of the recipes featured at the festival are tried-and-true family recipes from church members. Pappas said the same recipes have been used for years, and there are no plans to change them. 
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. We don’t like to fuss around once we have a good thing,” she said. “People like the way we’re cooking things and the amount of spices we use, and we don’t want to change that on them.” 
While there are restaurants that serve some Greek specialties, there are no restaurants in Nashua dedicated solely to Greek cuisine, Pappas said, so the festival provides a unique opportunity for people to order from a full menu of authentic Greek cuisine. 
“People who like Greek food really look forward to this all year,” she said. “And so do the people who love ethnic food [in general] and want to try new things that they’ve never had.” 
At the end of the day, Pappas said, it may not be the food itself that’s so appealing, but rather the culture and spirit in which the food is prepared. 
“We take the time and the effort to make everything we sell, and there aren’t a lot of places anymore that make everything themselves,” she said. “We put a lot of love into it, and I think people recognize and appreciate that.” 





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