Lagana: Treats For One Day Only!

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Lagana
photograph by Kaymaria Daskarolis

On Sunday night we found ourselves inside Sitos Bakery in Kalamata (four hours from Athens by car, at 189 Athinon Street, Kalamata, tel: +30-27210-21373), completely enthralled and delighted.

Sitos’ friendly staff was faithfully engaged in preparing Lagana, a soft, flat bread made with olive oil and covered with sesame seeds. After we left, they worked through the night. By early morning the following day, their Lagana was sold out.

Why the rush on Lagana? The bread is only prepared and sold once a year, on the Monday marking the end of “Apokreas” (Carnivale), and the first day of Lent in the Orthodox Church. This day is also known as “Kathara Deftera,” or “Clean Monday.”

Another treat you’ll find at Sitos Bakery is the divine Lalaggi, bread baked in olive oil. Lalaggi is best-known as a product of Messinia. Visitors with sweet tooths, don’t despair! The fruit tarts on offer at Sitos are also ridiculously tasty.

Sitos Bakery is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round.

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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