A short while ago i went to the largest exhibition in Greece that combines all things food and wine related, named EXPOTROF. This gives the opportunity to buyers, shop owners, exhibitors, local farmers and anyone else with an interest in Greek food or wine products to come together, exchange ideas and hopefully, do some business. The exhibition is full of products such as honey, herbs, dry rusk bread, marmalade’s, cold cuts, cheeses, and of course wines and other beverages such as tsipouro. Many of the exhibitors are small businesses trying to expand their market, attract more customers and simply put themselves out there.
One of these that caught my eye was a small online shop called ‘BACALEco’. They had various dips provided for people to try as well as extra virgin olive oil- and try we did! What stood out for us were 2 versions of a fantastic ‘hummus’ type dip made from chickpeas. One version had garlic and the other did not, both had oil, lemon, salt and pepper and tahini-very simple recipes and very delicious at the same time. The dip and charming, smiling young woman from the stall intrigued us to find out more about the online shop and what they were about.
Turns out the shop has been around from 1958 but closed after its inability to survive an earlier economic crisis. The grandchildren of the owner have now relaunched the shop online with fresh goods they produce themselves such as honey, pulses, snails, olive oil, tsipouro and other mezedes. You can visit their online store and have any of these things delivered to your door in eco packaging (orders over 20e have free delivery in Athens). They also suggest recipes for their products and are not scared to share cooking tips. The grandchildren who have relaunched the store were polite and friendly and showed a deep understanding of the Greek terrain as well as a love for their products. They were happy to answer any questions, suggest cooking ideas or just talk about all things food.
As a fresh idea grown out of the current crisis, I hope it is a project people strive to support. People tend to do their shopping all together at this day and age where there is a lack of free time and mega supermarkets provide everything at cheaper prices. It should be a time where we become more conscious of where and what we spend our money on and the quality we get for it. Smaller producers or online shops are cropping up all over Greece such as BACALEco, that focus on quality products and support the local economy, so we should support them in return.
View the online store at www.bacal-eco.gr.