Opa! Yes, I said it! That means it’s September, the time of year when the wonderful Greek people of Tulsa share with us their incredible food, dance, and culture. With a different festival happening every weekend in the Tulsa area during the month of September, it’s important that you plan ahead so you don’t miss out on any of the fun. And the Greek Festival on Sept. 15-17 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is definitely one you will not want to miss!
Let me preface my post by saying I used to HATE Greek food. I know, I know, shame on me! But really, to this day, I’m not the biggest fan of olives or various concoctions wrapped in grape leaves. On top of that, I had attended some pretty shabby Greek festivals in other cities that shall remain nameless, and somewhere circa 2008 I came to the resolution that I would never again attend a Greek festival due to one let-down after another.
Well, thankfully, in 2009, my husband and I started dating, and he forced me to come with him to Tulsa’s Greek Festival. By the end of the night, I was on a sugar high from eating a few too many loukoumades (puffs covered with honey and cinnamon) and dancing all over the tent joyously, shouting, “Opa!” at every opportune moment.
When you first enter the festival, you will likely end up in a line to get to all of the glorious food. Just expect a wait, because everyone else in Tulsa in their right mind wants some of the Greek yummy goodness too. But while you’re waiting in line, you’ll have an opportunity to watch some impressive cultural dances. My favorite dances are performed by the mikroulia — kindergarten and first graders. They come decked out in their traditional costumes. It’s cuter than watching puppies at the park, I promise!
OK, on to the food. A few of my favorites are the souvlaki, skewered pork or chicken marinated in a special seasoning, and gyros, marinated meat, sliced and served on a pita with sliced onions, tomatoes, and topped with tsatziki sauce. Yum! While all of the main courses are delicious, the most important rule when attending the Greek Festival is that you save room for dessert!
Since it’s a Greek Festival and all, baklava is a given. But please, please, for the love of honey puffs, try the loukoumades accompanied by some Greek coffee. That right there is a match made in heaven. That right there is going to make you want to travel to Greece and give their economy a boost! Now, just a little warning: Greek coffee is not equivalent to Starbucks. It’s very thick, and therefore served in very small cups. But don’t worry, it will give you the jolt of energy and yummy coffee/sweet flavor you’re looking for!
I hope to see you chowing down on baklava and gyros this weekend with me and my Greek friends! Opa!