Food & Drink

Five good reasons to check out this year’s International Christmas Festival

Eleni Vgantes, left, Sheila Hemenway-Yurchak, center and Natalie Petrovska helped create many of the home-cooked pastries that will be served at the International Christmas Festival and Pastry Sale at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The festival will be held Dec. 10.
Eleni Vgantes, left, Sheila Hemenway-Yurchak, center and Natalie Petrovska helped create many of the home-cooked pastries that will be served at the International Christmas Festival and Pastry Sale at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. The festival will be held Dec. 10. amccoy@sunherald.com

Been craving baklava? How about kolachy cookies, borsch or plov?

You’re in luck.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church has been having their annual International Christmas Festival and Pastry Sale for more than 30 years, but this year expect more food, more activities and more cultures represented.

Last year, four counties were represented. This year, there will be 12.

The event is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the church at 255 Beauvoir Road. Here are five good reasons to check out this year’s event:

1. Kataiffi, or shredded filo dough with walnuts and honey, is a new offering this year, along with Greek cannoli. And kolachy cookies and Russian and Ukrainian pastries with plum filling are always favorites on the Coast.

“Even the sugar is good for you,” said Natalie Petrovska, one of the people responsible for the baking.

The long list of pastries includes baklava; tyropita, or Greek cheeses wrapped in filo; Cognac cake; poppyseed rolls; and walnut rolls. The bakery items could be ordered in advance and run out quickly, but there are usually still some available if you go early enough.

2. There is also an extensive lunch and dinner menu. It features Greek lamb and goat burger; plov, an Uzbek or Kazakh rice pilaf with beef and spices; Ukranian borsch, or beet soup, often eaten with sour cream and bread; vareniki, or perogi, stuffed with potato and cheese; various types of cabbage rolls from different cultures; and mititei, a type of Romanian sausage. Twelve countries will have prepared food featured: Greece, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Germany, Hungary, Georgia and the U.S.

3. The church will offer discounts to all police, active military personnel and military veterans throughout the day.

4. Enjoy traditional German, Ukrainian, Russian and Greek dancing and live entertainment.

5. Shop the agora, or outdoor marketplace, where you’ll find packaged food from many countries, including olive oil, olives, Russian soda and cheeses.

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