By Catherine Tsounis
Browsing through the food exhibits at 2011 Hermes Expo International on April 2nd, two unusual exhibits caught my eye: Amorgos wines and Ouzon Soda. The booth exhibitors’ positive personalities helped project the salesmanship of their new products.
Amorgos (Greek: Αμοργός) is the easternmost island of the Greek Cyclades island group, and the nearest island to the neighboring Dodecanese island group. Along with several neighboring islets, the largest of which is Nikouria Island, it comprises the municipality of Amorgos, which has a land area of 126.346 km², and a population of 1,859 (2001 census). Due to Amorgos’ position opposite the ancient beaches of Ionian towns, such as Militos, Alikarnassos and Ephesos, it became one of the first places from which the Ionians passed through to the Cyclades Islands and onto the Greek mainland. The existence of three independent cities, preserved to this day, with autonomous constitution and the same currency, the size and artistic works of the walls surrounding the city of Arkesini, the ancient towers whose remains are scattered all over the island, the ancient tombs, the stone tools, the inscriptions, the vases and other antiquities are all powerful proof of the size of Amorgos’ ancient civilization. Antonis P. Vekris, President of Amorgion who is promoting the Rakomelo wines, with Pantelis A. Vekris and Chris Panos Koutroulis, were giving out samples of wine, newspapers and magazines promoting tourism of Amorgos. It is an island to visit in Greece this summer. For more information, visit, www.vekris.com.gr.
I grew up with having ouzo from the island of Chios in our home. Now, a Greek-American, Phil Broikos, has developed a Greek Ouzo soda with alcohol. According to Broikos and his associates, Stelios Skatharoudis and Leonora Retsas, “Ouzon is a natural soda, without preservatives. It has 120 calories per bottle. It is so refreshing. Our Ouzon soda is made from pure cane sugar and organic flavoring. It incorporates the licorice flavoring of ouzo.” The music of their website evokes past Greek memories.