How a bakery in Zitsa made Greek bread an attraction for tourists

Fourno tou Xoriou

An original bread-themed travel experience

It all started twelve years ago when Anna decided to travel to Greece for her summer holidays. At the time, she never imagined that several years later, she would offer, together with her husband, Kostas, the baker of Zitsa, an original travel experience with the theme of traditional Greek bread.

It is a fact that Anna and Kostas have managed to turn the common bread into the highlight of an extremely original travel experience that allows visitors to get to know and make their own bread with ingredients from Greece.

The concept is very simple. Every visitor to Zitsa in Epirus can visit the village bakery, Fourno tou Xoriou, and try making their own bread, always under the guidance and help of Kostas.

Fourno tou Xoriou

The idea started when Kostas and Anna, wanting to stay in Zitsa and not leave the quiet rural life for the big city, were looking for an original idea to include the border village - even if to a small extent - in the developing tourist map of Greece. And the idea came, of course, from Kostas' own work.

Kostas maintains the traditional bakery at Zitsa, the family bakery opened by his father back in 1992, and thinking that most foreign tourists are not familiar with the ingredients and preparation of Greek bread, he decided to show foreigners passing through the village the very simple and basic way to make their own bread.

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From kneading by hand to baking in the wood-fired oven, Kostas has offered Greek bread-themed experiences in Fourno tou Xoriou for over twelve years. The type of lesson  varies according to each visitor's experience and includes exercises of many kinds.

From how to prepare the dough to how to mould the bread, creativity and, above all, imagination does not stop at all.

As Anna and Kostas say, the interesting thing is that in recent years, not only foreigners have participated in the bread workshops, but also several Greek tourists who, together with their families, visit the bakery and try to leaven the traditional family bread.

This obviously says a lot about the kind of travel experience the average traveller is looking for from Greece and abroad.

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Foreigners and Greeks participate in the bread workshops/Photo: Yiannis Koutroudis.

However, the originality of the couple's venture continues beyond there. Since spinach pie and cheese pie almost always figure in the culinary choices of every tourist, Kostas and Anna thought of gradually upgrading the flour-filled tasting experience of the bakery by offering small pie courses.

You read well. If you are not a fan of bread, you can try to make your own spinach pie, cheese pie or apple pie step by step and, of course, in the end, get a taste - literally - of your creations.

As Anna explains, this became a reality with a group of English tourists who visited Zitsa for two days and ended up rolling out pies in Kostas' workshop, which resulted in a huge fun table with well-baked pies, fresh salads and local wine.

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READ MORE: Mamy Blue, the new hot spot for Napoletana pizza in Athens.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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