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An authentic experience: Traditional favorites served up at annual Greek fest

Going hungry is not an option at the 33rd annual Greek Festival in Schenectady this weekend.

With dishes sure to please every palate -- from tsourEki, homemade loaves of sweet bread, to dolmades, stuffed grape leaves -- the Greek Festival is sure to offer something special in the way of food.

More than 4,100 stuffed grape leaves will be prepared for the three- day festival, which begins Friday, Sept. 5, at 11 a.m.

Several other traditional Greek dishes and pastries, including moussaka, Olympian kotta and baklava, will be prepared for the event, which will be held at the Hellenic Center at 510 Liberty St. in Schenectady.

Each dish has its own distinct flavor. Thirty trays of moussaka, layers of eggplant, potatoes and sautEed ground beef topped with a cream cheese, will be available throughout the event.

If moussaka does not agree with the palate, maybe Olympian kotta, chicken with Greek spices and lemon would be a more appealing choice.

However, if a traditional dish is not appealing, a tasty traditional pastry may hit the spot.

Baklava, chopped walnuts baked inlayers of filo dough and honey syrup, might be a good dessert.

Outside the Hellenic Center, more common offerings including Gyros and souvlaki will be available from the grill.

There are no amateurs in the kitchen according to parishioner Olga Delorey, co-chair of publicity and advertising for the church. She said most of the people preparing the food own Greek restaurants or are professional chefs.

The festival began as a churchwide food festival.

Delorey said, People were lining up for all the food.

She said the festival has grown to include performances by a professional Greek dance troupe and a traditional Greek choir, as well as arts and crafts, raffles, carnival rides and games for kids.

The 33rd annual Greek Festival is rich in tradition and recognition of the Greek culture.

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