Know-how

Handmade Cretan phyllo pastry

September 30, 2012

If you ever go to Rethymno in Crete, you need to visit the last traditional phyllo pastry workshop run by the Hatziparaskos family in a small side street of the Old Town.

The head, Yiorgos, has been making phyllo pastry since 1946 when he was 25 and has been running his own workshop since 1958 in that very same place. He has taught his son Paris and now his grandson. But each family member has his own task: when Yiorgos is preparing the dough, cutting and weighing balls that will be stretched into the air to form a bubble (he is a bit of a showman!), his son is helping him to stretch the dough flat, throwing flour on top and cover it with a large piece of jute fabric to let it dry. Then his wife is welcoming clients and selling their baklavas and phyllo by the weight.

Everyone enjoys what they do and I spent long moments just watching them, fascinated by their routine. Not to mention, they share their passion and explain the process if you are willing to spend time with them.

So each time I visit, I get a small box of their delicious baklavas, which are handmade with their own phyllo pastry and mainly layered with pistachios and local honey. And the quality is there: just moist enough to melt in your mouth. Perfect with Greek coffee!

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You can read more here.

 

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