As anyone who has grown up near a beach can tell you, Prague is about as far from the sea and the sun as any capital in Europe. Difficult to find are the wonderful delights that coastal people can enjoy such as fresh seafood, vibrant vegetables, olive oil-infused dishes, and a general sense of light and healthy cuisine.
Greek Corner helps bring the joys of life on the Mediterranean a little bit closer to the Czech Republic with its wonderful gourmet food store in Vinohrady. Specializing in offerings such as fresh shrimp, octopus, stuffed peppers, olives, hummus, and some of the most delightfully flaky, honey-covered Baklava one can imagine, Greek Corner delivers its clients the classic flavors of Greece.
Started as a complement to one of Prague´s favorite Greek restaurants, Taverna Olympos, the store has been providing locals with some of most delicious Greek food products since 2007. Just like the restaurant, it is owned and operated by the Nedelkos family, who take pride in offering the best tastes of Greece to its customers.
“Our family wanted to have a store which offered the freshest ingredients, a place to find real feta cheese, olives, and olive oil”, says store Manager Akis Nedelkos. Upon visiting the store its clear to see the extent to which they offer this abundance of Greek specialties.
Located on Francouzská street just across from the Jana Masaryka tram stop in Prague 2, Greek Corner lures in people street side with an open view of its many fresh, ready to eat delicacies available. Over ten different kinds of olives glisten brightly, each with its own unique characteristic from spicy, to pitless, in green or black, with different stuffings such as garlic, feta cheese, or almonds. One never fully realized exactly how much they had been missing out on the wide world of olives until seeing such a diverse variety laid out in front of them.
The range in price goes from 73 CZK per 100 grams for the spicy green olives, to 20 CZK per 100grams for the green pitless olives, making it an affordable, tasty, and unique snack.
Residing next to the olives in the display case one can find the dairy products and spreads that Greece is so famous for. Enormous, crumbly slabs of perfectly white Feta Cheese, brought in fresh from Greece, sit in cloudy water. As Nedelkos tells me, “You can eat Feta every day and never get tired of it!” This explains the large quantity of cheese stuffed peppers, cheese stuffed artichoke hearts, and cheese and eggplant spread.
A huge bowl of homemade tzatziki (32kc/100g) — the light yogurt based dip mixed with lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil, and an assorted mix of greek spices — entices one to purchase some freshly baked Lagana bread and start snacking right there in the store.
An absolute must-purchase item at Greek Corner is the fresh hummus (32kc/100g). As someone that has tried this delicious chickpea and tahini spread at nearly every shop where it is sold in Prague, I can say without hesitation that Greek Corner makes the absolute best version around. The very subtle flavor, which requires just the right amount of savory ingredients mixed with olive oil and a bit of lemon juice is unparalleled.
Next, one sets their eyes on the tantalizing trays containing a variety of seafood from calamari with shrimp (75kc/100g), baby octopus (98kc/100g), and anchovy fillet, which all dazzle the eye as they soak in golden olive oil.
Necessary to round out your selection of savory foods is a nice bottle of wine. Greek Corner offers a variety of wines from Greece, which Nedelkos describes as some of the most overlooked in Europe. He recommends the 2008 white Chardonnay Gerovasiliou (498kc) and the red Rapsani Reserve (399kc) which is produced in Olympos. Also available is the very special traditional drink Retsina, an inexpensive white wine that contains the flavor of pine resin. Well worth a tast for those looking for something a little bit different.
For fans of desserts, the Baklava simply cannot be overlooked. This flaky layered dessert with a filling of chopped nuts, cinnamon, and dripping with amazing Greek honey, is absolutely to die for. At 38kc per piece, it is a necessary purchase any time you visit the store.
Greek Corner succeeds in providing the deliciously light and unique flavors of Greece. For those in Prague looking for a bit of Mediterranean at their table, this is your place.
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