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Jan 23, 2018







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Courtesy photo.




Greekfest 

When: Saturday, Aug. 26, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 27, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Assumption Greek Orthodox Church, 111 Island Pond Road, Manchester
Cost: Free admission and parking; food and crafts are priced per item
Visit: assumptionnh.org




Greek out
Greekfest returns to Assumption Church in Manchester

08/24/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 Taste authentic Greek coffee prepared over a fire, gyros straight out of the rotisserie oven and loukoumades — fried dough balls — deep fried to order with cinnamon and homemade honey, all under one tent at Greekfest.

The festival is returning to Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Manchester for the 26th year on Saturday, Aug. 26, and Sunday, Aug. 27.
“The festival started off as a cultural event … for people in Manchester and the surrounding areas to celebrate Greek traditions,” said Costas Georgopoulos, Greekfest chairman. “In the beginning, we had just a traditional barbecue lamb and a Greek rotisserie chicken, but over the years, the menu has grown and expanded, and now [the festival] is kind of a staple in the community.”
The menu at Greekfest today is much more extensive, Georgopoulos said, with dozens of Greek recipes prepared by church and festival committee members. 
There’s still the barbecue lamb and rotisserie chicken, but other features now include loukaniko, which is a Greek pork sausage, and pastitsio, a Greek lasagna made with ground beef and bechamel, a white cream sauce.
Also available now are traditional Greek salads, Greek rice, stuffed grape leaves, stuffed peppers, pork souvlaki, Greek meatballs, a spinach pie dish called spanakopita, and gyros cooked on site, an item Georgopoulos said was introduced to the festival only a few years ago.
For dessert, there’s a wide variety of Greek pastries, like baklava, butter cookies, loukoumades, and a custard pie called galaktoboureko that is made with phyllo dough and homemade honey syrup.
Assorted soda, water, beer, wine and coffee will be available for purchase as well, Georgopoulos said, including traditional Greek coffee.
“Greek coffee is not brewed through a coffee machine,” he said. “The coffee grounds are actually cooked over a fire. It’s very strong, almost like an espresso. It’s always a very popular item.”
Georgopoulos said a unique aspect of Greekfest has to do with the timing of the food’s preparation. Unlike other community food festivals organized by church members, almost all of the food is not made until the week before the festival so that none of it is frozen weeks or months ahead of time.
“Our committee members … want to make the food nice and fresh,” he said. “Over the years, they’ve kind of put their own fingerprints on [the recipes]. They’ve been making so much for so long that they’re kind of their own recipes now.”
Also under the tent will be live performances by the Boston-based Greek Matoula Music, a kids corner under the tent with popcorn, ice cream, games and more, and a few Greek vendors selling various items.
“This year we’ll have Greek coffee, jewelry, flags, T-shirts and other knick knacks for sale,” Georgopoulos said. “We’ve actually got someone coming back who came for the first time last year who sells authentic olive oil made and shipped from Greece.”
Visitors — between 5,000 and 8,000 are expected over the course of the weekend — can come to the festival and explore all that is offered without any obligation to buy anything, Georgopoulos.
“It’s really all about sharing our traditions and culture to the community,” he said. “People love the food especially, and our focus is in showcasing the food.”





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