NEW YORK – Greek Panorama opened to the public on May 12 in Grand Central Terminal’s East Vanderbilt Hall in the heart of New York City. The exhibition presented the highlights of Greece, promoting tourism and the businesses related to the industry.
Among the destinations exhibiting at the event- Crete, Peloponnesos, the islands of the Aegean- the Cyclades and Dodecanese including Leros, among the many regions offering exciting and innovative ways to enjoy the beauty and landscape of Greece.
Among those present at the opening were His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Permanent Representative of Greece to the United Nations Dr. Catherine Boura, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Consul General of Greece in New York Dr. Konstantinos Koutras, Consul of Greece Manos Koubarakis, Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization in New York Greta Kamaterou, ultramarathon man and bestselling author Dean Karnazes, former New England Patriot Niko Koutouvides, Panathenaikos basketball star Mike Batiste, chef and restauranteur Maria Loi, Nancy Papaioannou- President of Atlantic Bank, Petros Galatoulas- President of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, representatives from Greece and the media.
Director of the Greek National Tourism Organization in New York Greta Kamaterou said the event encourages everyone to “discover Greece 365 days of the year.”
Dean Karnazes, representing the Navarino Challenge a unique sports tourism event which promotes sports and fair play, spoke with The National Herald noting that he feels Greek when he is in Greece, and encouraged everyone to visit the homeland.
Karnazes said that the experience of visiting Greece stays with you in a special way. He is also looking forward to the next Navarino Challenge in October.
Karnazes told TNH the weather in Greece at that time of year is perfect, and mentioned that he would be running 50 miles tomorrow and hoped the weather in New York would cooperate in spite of a rainy forecast. His books including Road to Sparta are available in bookstores and online.
Former NFL player Koutouvides told TNH that this event is a great opportunity to encourage tourism in Greece, noting that his roots are in Kefalonia. Among the exhibitors, the Chios delegation included free samples of sweets made with Chios mastiha- a protected designation of origin (PDO) product.
The free samples of loukoumi flavored with mastiha, almond, and rose, mastiha chewing gum, candy, and halva were very popular among those attending the event. Artemis Kohas of Mastiha Shop spoke with TNH at the exhibition about the wonderful and versatile mastiha. She noted the antibacterial qualities of mastiha and the many recipes that use the unique flavor.
Kohas told TNH they also sell chocolate-covered confections featuring mastiha among their many products. Mastiha Shop’s New York location is nearing its tenth anniversary. It opened in December of 2007 and was the company’s first US location.
Gaea olive oil was also available to sample for free and coupons were available at their table for those who would like to purchase the fresh-tasting olive oil. There were two varieties to try highlighting the extraordinary diversity of flavors Greek extra virgin olive oil has to offer. As the Gaea exhibitor noted, most Greek olive oil is sold to Italy and mixed with other inferior oils, and Greeks need to promote and sell their own olive oil more.
Kellari, the well-known Greek restaurant in New York, sold traditional Greek favorites including spinach pies, cheese pies, octopus, and gigantes at the event. Live Greek music and dancing entertained the crowd.
Greek Panorama continues through May 13. More information is available online www.greekpanorama.com.