Greece is well known for its many culinary and gustatory delights, but perhaps none more so than figs and olives —two native staples that have sustained locals for thousands of years, and which are now beloved the world over. Our Greek getaway-in-a-box wouldn’t be complete without figs or olives, and we’ve gone and found some incredible examples of both.
Hellenic Farms was founded by ViviannaKaramanis, a New Yorker of Greek heritage who couldn’t find the same quality Greek food she’d had on the island of Chios, where her maternal grandparents still harvest mastic (the resin that’s used in Skinos mastiha liqueur). In 2013, she decided to do something about it. Today, she’s bringing the finest Greek products to a wider audience, as well as educating them on the health benefits of traditional Greek foods.
A terrific example of a healthy snack that feels “naughty” is Hellenic Farms’ Fig Salami with orange zest and Aleppo pepper. It slices like a salami, it eats like a salami, but it’s a 100% vegan, all-natural treat made from dried figs. This savory-sweet delicacy is a perfect fit for any charcuterie board. It pairs well with cheeses (both regular and vegan) from bleu to mozzarella, or it can be served in salads, on bread or with crackers. Eat it alongside beverages ranging from wine to coffee to tea. It’s as versatile as it is tasty.
No well-dressed charcuterie would be without olives, and Hellenic Farms’ Kalamata olives —named after the Greek city of Kalamata —are among the world’s best. The dark purple, meaty olives aren’t just delicious, they’re healthy as well, containing monounsaturated fats that can help fight heart disease and cancer, as well as high amounts of iron, calcium, and Vitamins A and E. But you won’t eat them for the health benefits, you’ll eat them because they taste so good. Harvested by hand, naturally cured in vinegar brine, they’re delectable on their own, sliced into a salad, or chopped and served on bread or crackers. Serve them alongside the fig salami and your favorite cheeses and you’ve got a Greek-inspired spread that’s easy to prepare, and hard to forget.