Saturday, June 23, 2012

Interesting Facts About Greek Desserts

What makes YaYa's desserts so scrumptious?  It's years of experience and family tradition - coupled with some little-known trivia.

1. Ancient Greeks used Honey instead of sugar because sugar as we know it did not exist in Greece.

2. What sets Greek desserts apart is their eastern influence. Whereas western desserts are more sponge and cream based, the Greek sweets are sugar based. Many include fillo pastry, which is paper thin sheets of pastry, layered upon each other to create a multi-layered effect, as in baklava. With many nuts - such as walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds being in abundance in Greece, it is no surprise to see these nuts used widely in their desserts. Once the dessert is baked, it is drenched in a sweet aromatic honey syrup, as in walnut cake - Karythopita. Apart from the beautiful flavors it infuses, the syrup helps to preserve the dessert.

3. Although Americans call these 'desserts' - Greeks refer to them as sweets - they are generally not eaten after a meal as we would in other western countries. In Greece dessert is rarely eaten after a meal and if so it is most likely to be whichever fruit is in season. Rather, desserts are kept and brought out during the day, along with a Greek coffee and a glass of iced water, especially when there is a visitor. In this way the sweets can be savored and enjoyed completely on their own, away from the fullness of a meal, which is fitting since they are in themselves very filling and a truly sensational taste.

The next time you’re looking to share a coffee and a sweet with a friend, skip the standard drive through your friend to Ziziki’s.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Events Of Tradition: 2012 Summer Olympics

We hope you’re enjoying the events leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics. In the time of the original games the altar of the sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hestia maintained a continuous flame. For the ancient Greeks, fire had divine connotations—it was thought to have been stolen from the gods by Prometheus. Therefore, fire was also present at many of the sanctuaries in Olympia, Greece. During the Olympic Games, which honored Zeus, additional fires were lit at his temple and that of his wife, Hera.

Today the modern Olympic flame is ignited at the site where the temple of Hera used to stand. This sacred day (again!) for the London Olympic torch came Thursday, with the usual ceremony in ancient Olympia, lighting the torch from the eternal Olympic flame. The priestesses were in high form.
The torch relay begins in Olympia for every Olympics and winds through Greece before being flown to Great Britain for a relay that covers 8,000 miles of that country. It culminates in lighting the caldron at London’s Olympic stadium at the Opening Ceremony. Spyros Gianniotis, a Greek world champion swimmer, was the first torch bearer in Olympia.

An average of 115 Torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic Flame during its 8,000 mile journey around the UK before it arrives at the Olympic Stadium on 27 July 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony, signifying the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And we just can’t wait! Have you picked out your favorite athletes yet? Tell us in the comments…

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Father's Day Brunch

“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!” -- Lydia M. Child

Treat Your Dad to Ziziki’s Father’s Day Brunch!

A flavorful selection of your favorite Ziziki’s items and Complimentary Glass of Champagne or Mimosa Plus these signature brunch items…

  • Mediterranean Shrimp
  • House Smoked Salmon with Bagels & Herbed Cream Cheese
  • Buttermilk Pancakes with Cinnamon Syrup
  • Greek Scrambled Eggs with Feta Cheese & Basil
  • Roasted Leg of Lamb with Red Wine Sauce
  • Ya Ya Katina’s Baklava

3 seatings: 11am, 12:30 & 2pm $24.95 / person

Voted Dallas’ best Sunday Brunch By Dallas Observer!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The 2012 Olympics Are Getting Close

As London is preparing for the 2012 Olympics we thought we’d give you a little hint as to who we’ll be rooting for this year! Any guesses?

Everyone knows that the Olympics were invented by Greeks. The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia. Yes, originally the Olympics were basically religious events.

Greeks have been historically good at weightlifting, shooting and wrestling. Weightlifter Pyross Dimas won three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic games (1992, 1996 and 2000) and managed a bronze in 2004.

Taekwondo fighter Alexandros Nikolaidis was a favorite to win gold in Beijing but walked away with silver but he’s back for another shot this year.

Click here to get a look at the long list of qualifying Greek Athletes.