What began 59 years ago as a church bake sale has blossomed into the much loved Dayton Greek Festival.
The members of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church put much preparation and love into sharing their traditions and culture with us. From preparing baked goods at home for the first bake sale in 1958 to becoming the smooth operation that exists today, the most important ingredient is love and their desire to share it with all of us.
I had the pleasure of observing twice this year as they prepared and baked thousands of Kourambiedies and Koullouria cookies for Dayton Greek Festival, including samples of course. The recipes are well guarded secrets, though I can report that butter is a staple of Greek pastries.
There are teams at each step in the process, dough making, scooping, rolling, twisting, baking, cooling, finishing, storing, etc. The teams are comprised of wonderful men and women, most of the women are known at Yai Yai (Grandmother) in their families. And nobody makes sweet treats like Yai Yai.
New this year: Saginaki (fried cheese) and Ouzo Slushies. Neither of is these can be prepared in advance, so they’re on my list of must have foods to experience at the festival.
Also, new in 2017, pay once and come multiple times, just ask for a return ticket on your way out. See you there!