Portsmouth Greek festival combines tradition, celebration
By GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent | July 14. 2013 9:21PM
Matoula Miminous, center, has been preparing traditional Greek dishes for the annual St. Nicholas Greek Festival in Portsmouth for many years. This year, she took the baking to the church kitchen to begin passing on recipes, traditions and tips to the next generation of women. (COURTESY)
Richard Rizza, treasurer of the Greek Orthodox church, said this year it has been interesting to watch as one generation passes on the recipes and traditions of the dishes to another."This year especially one of the older women in our parish has been teaching all the younger women all the recipes for a lot of the things she has done by herself in the past," Rizza said.He said the younger women have been busy taking notes so they can carry the traditions forward, not that "Matoula" as the older woman is known, is going anywhere anytime soon, he said.
Over 1,000 pieces of spanakopita are prepared as well as trays and trays of other dishes, enough for 300 to 400 orders each.
"It's an easy culture to get involved with so we enjoy it. We love our church and it is one of our major fundraisers, so we do it every year and that's how I get involved," Rizza said. "We're tired Sunday night but it's a lot of fun."
The festival also features a traditional "Bacaliko," or Greek market, with Greek cooking ingredients, cookbooks, icons, jewelry and other Greek goodies.
"We are really just part of the community and part of the celebrations that go on in the Portsmouth area in the summer," Rizza said. We are one of those events, if we don't have it … we get a lot of 'you are not having your festival this year?' It is just one of those events that happen in Portsmouth every year and they expect it and we enjoy it."
Voluntary admission is $3. A full schedule, menu (food is available for dine-in and take-out) and more information is available at www.portsmouthgreekfestival.com.