How to get a festival-worthy Greek feast to go this weekend

The 60th annual Greek Festival took place over the weekend from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. This year's event had amazing food, devoted volunteers and the support and attendance of the community, despite it raining throughout the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

The 62nd annual Dayton Greek Festival benefitting the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will prepare carryout orders in place of its festival event this weekend.

Before you place your orders, it’s important to be able to flex your brain with family and friends in conversation with what you know about these delightful Mediterranean dishes.

ExploreOPA! Get Dayton Greek Festival eats and treats to go this weekend

Here are a few facts to impress the people around you:

Did you know?

Greek food and cuisine have been traced back to 350 B.C.

According to thespruceeats.com, “Dishes with names like tzatziki (from the Turkish “cacik”), hummus (the Arabic word for chickpea) and dolmades (from the Turkish “dolma”), that can be found in kitchens from Armenia to Egypt, have also found a home in Greek cooking, and been adapted over hundreds of years to local tastes and traditions just like makaronia me kima (which is Greek-style meat sauces for pasta)”

ExploreDayton festival organizers share how they’re making cultural celebrations possible during coronavirus pandemic

A history of culinary influences includes:

  • In 350 B.C., when Alexander the Great extended the Greek Empire’s reach from Europe to India, certain northern and eastern influences were absorbed into the Greek cuisine.
  • In 146 B.C., Greece fell to the Romans, which resulted in a blending of a Roman influence into Greek cooking.
  • In 330 A.D., Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, founding the Byzantine Empire, which in turn fell to the Turks in 1453 and remained part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years. During that time, dishes had to be known by Turkish names, names that remain today for many Greek classics.
  • More than 20 percent of Greece is made up of islands with no portion of the country any more than 90 miles from the sea. The country has more than 600 wineries and 400 indigenous grape varieties used for wine-making.

That’s probably enough — no one loves a know-it-all.

The 60th annual Greek Festival took place over the weekend from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. This year's event had amazing food, devoted volunteers and the support and attendance of the community, despite it raining throughout the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

How to order

All orders must be made online in advance and paid for in advance. Pickup will be at the church at 500 Belmonte Park North (next to the Dayton Art Institute). Please check the festival website and Facebook page for updates throughout the weekend.

The 60th annual Greek Festival at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Items available for carryout orders include:

  • Traditional gyros ($8)
  • Chicken souvlaki gyro ($8)
  • Small and large Greek salads ($4, $8) (add chicken to the large salad for $13)
  • Frozen pastitsio (half pan) ($50) -- SOLD OUT
  • Greek pizzas ($12, $20)
  • Personal pan cheese pizza ($6)
  • Tiropita (cheese pie, quantity four) ($12)
  • Spanakopita (spinach pies, quantity four) ($12)
  • Frozen Tiropita or Spanakopita (serves 6) ($18)
  • Baklava (quantity 2) ($6)
  • Chocolate baklava (quantity 2) ($8)
  • Koulouria (shortbread cookie) (quantity 6) ($3)
  • Kourambiethes (cookies) ($4)
  • Pecan blossoms (quantity 2) ($4)
  • Chocolate almond rolls (quantity 2) ($4)
  • Pastry variety box
  • Tsoureki (sweet bread) ($7)
  • Greek salad dressing

Visit www.daytongreekfestival.com to learn more.

The 60th annual Greek Festival at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Contact this contributing writer at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com.

HOW TO ORDER

What: The Dayton Greek Festival drive-thru event Greek Fest Express

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park N., Dayton

When: Advance online orders only. Pickup times scheduled from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13

More information: www.daytongreekfestival.com

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