Hi everyone, it’s summertime, so I am going to talk about summertime things. Ready? Summer always reminds me of the beach. And the beach always reminds me of my favorite place to vacation, Greece. And Greece always reminds me of my favorite Greek island, Santorini. And Santorini always reminds me of tomatoes. Wait. What? Yep, I said tomatoes.
This magical island with an honest to goodness active volcano is known for its little tiny tomatoes or domatakia. Apparently the volcanic soil on this island is the perfect place to grow sweet little tomatoes, dry them in the hot sun and store them in olive oil. Forget the sun dried tomatoes you used to know. A jar of Santorini tomatoes is like eating a mouthful of candied sunshine. Yes, I did just say that. I know in my heart that if you could taste the sun it would tastes like a sweet, little tomato.
I have been to Santorini many, many times and I will probably go again and again and never tire of it. The island has to be the most architecturally beautiful and geologically unique place I have ever visited. Red beaches, black beaches, and white beaches.
(By the way, if you ever go to Santorini, go to red beach. And if a little old man pulls up to the shore in an old wooden boat yelling, “White beach, white beach!” Do yourself a favor and get on his boat, survivor style, backpack over your head wading through the water and let him take you to white beach…you won’t regret the adventure.)
Back to our regularly scheduled program…
Every town on Santorini has those traditional white-washed cave homes, perched precariously on the lip of the volcano’s caldera looking like hundreds of little sugar cubes just waiting to slide down into a coffee cup of blue Mediterranean water. Too much? I don’t care! It’s a remarkable place. I can’t possibly do it justice with words. I want heaven to look like this island. Pictures don’t capture the scale of its beauty. You just have to go and see for yourself.
So tell me, what kind of person are you? Do you like to vacation to a different place every time you travel? Or do you love going to the same place over an over again? Me? Sure, I like different places, but I am notoriously loyal and known for going to the same place over and over again and exploring more and more of it. I just want to absorb a place I love. Know it like the back of my hand. Be a regular at the local taverna. I want to go where everyone knows your name. What? Wait, never mind. Anyway, I am like that with Santorini.
Many years ago, when I was still single, I went to Santorini with my then friend and now koubara, Despina. We stayed in Fira town, the capital and did all the crazy things you are supposed to do on this island. We walked up and down hundreds of steps to get to the old port. We took a schooner around the island which stopped at the volcano, which we then walked on. We saw air vents that let out hot steam. We worried about said volcano blowing. We had lunch at Thirasia eating donatokeftedes, tomato fritters. We climbed up more stairs in Oia while avoiding a pack of donkeys who were also climbing the same stairs. We went for a wine tasting and drank ALL the wine. We watched the sunset with a thousand of our closest friends. True story. And then we shopped for what they are known for, vinsanto and capers and domatakia. Oh and really expensive jewelry. By accident. But that’s a story for another time. Eeek! Back to the tomatoes. I couldn’t get enough of those domatakia.
A pint of cherry tomatoes
Slice washed cherry tomatoes in half. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 250 degrees F for 2-4 hours (depends on size of your cherry tomato)
Pop them in your mouth like candy. Or put them in your salads or pasta. Or put on top of your avocado toast, if you’re in to that sort of thing. (There is an avocado shortage by the way…something about too many hipsters photographing avocado toasts on Instagram!!! LOL)