Yesterday we travelled over to Finikounda to successfully arrange a new venue for our Book Fair, but also to meet up with friends for a bite to eat. At this time of year, it can be a bit tricky finding anywhere open for lunch. We eventually ended up asking if the Omega Taverna was open for business, even though it looked shut. The owner, Anastasia, said that it was, and invited us in.
Good Food Guide To Greece, published in 1967
We ordered a simple lunch, consisting of salads, tzatsiki and chips, washed down with beer and white wine, and very nice it was too. We had completed our meal, when a conversation was struck up with Anastasia, who began to tell us a brief history of the Omega Taverna. There are two separate buildings, one on each side of the main thoroughfare, and Anastasia explained that they had been open for business for 30 years, and back then there was no electricity available! She went on to explain that when they first began, the majority of tourists were from Italy. However, as tourism began to expand, German and Austrian visitors became more numerous. British tourists then discovered the area a few years later.
This old book provided a fascinating insight into Greece back in 1967. Click on the photo if you would like to read the text.
Anastasia then produced an old book, published in 1967, entitled “Good Food Guide To Greece”. Published by Esso, it provided a unique snapshot of what the local area was like all those years ago. At the time this review was written, it appeared that there was only one Taverna open in Finikounda. It was called “Vouliati Brothers”, and here is what they wrote about it:
“Off the beaten track down the dusty Methoni to Koroni road, this taverna nestles beside the beach in a small village. Fresh fish is available all year (we had an excellent fish soup) along with tasty made-up dishes.”
At that time, interestingly, there was only one Taverna in Methoni, one in Pylos and one in Koroni! Anastasia also went on to explain that when she was a child, a lot of her friends, along with their parents, emigrated to other countries, such as Canada and Australia. Her family did not, and so she has lived her life in the area, and has, of course, witnessed a life time of changes. She also alluded to the origins of the people that had originally settled in Finikounda. It appears that these settlers were migrants from Crete. Anastasia admitted that she was not an authority on the subject, and gave us the name of someone who knew a lot about the village and its history.
From the little research I have been able to do, (click here for link, and open in Chrome to translate), it appears that the Cretans fled their island for fear of being massacred by the Turks. It seems there is a lot more to Finikounda than we at first thought. If you have any information regarding the history of Finikounda or other links concerning the influx of migrants from Crete, please contact me.
Our friends Steve and Julie pour over this fascinating book, whilst Pauline and Anastasia converse in Greek with one another