This Sunday will be Valentine’s Day and we will celebrate love. What better way to celebrate than with delicious chocolates! In Poros-town we have the perfect place to find such chocolate: The Vessala pastry shop. This is one of the culinary places you have to visit when you come to Poros, maybe by yourself or with me on one of my historical walks in town. The perfect sweet for Valentine’s Day is their “Chocolate balls with feta”!
Vessala pastry shop
The Vessala pastry shop belongs to my friend Dora Vessala and her daughter Sotiria Aroni. The story behind their fantastic sweets goes back to Sotiria’s grandfather; In 1970 he started his pastry shop in Galatas, making traditional Greek sweets like baklava and samali. My father believed that he was making the best galaktoboureko in the whole region of Galatas and Poros; people would come from far away to taste them.
Pioneer sweets recipes
His daughter Theodora (I can’t help having a soft spot for her, having the same name as my daughter Dora and she is as sweet as her creations) got all her passion for pastry sweets from her father, and opened her own pastry shop in Poros in 1994. There she continued to make her father’s trusted and well-known recipes, but she also followed studies and even courses abroad to create pioneer recipes for sweets, including fantastic ice cream. I have to thank Dora for a couple of kilos that I gained at the time enjoying her masterpieces. It really took great discipline not to try all her fantastic creations and sweets.
As at Odyssey where my daughter Dora is gradually taking over, while bringing a fresh air that every business needs; at the Vessala sweet shop the next generation helps to bring in a young and fresh influence; Since 2011 one of Sotiria’s two daughters has returned to Poros, after she completed her studies at the university of Athens as a chemical engineer, specialising in food and biotechnology. She studied extensively in Italy, France and England about patisserie, specialising in chocolate and ice cream. That is why the Vessala shop is now re-inventing its pioneer tastes, combining the sweet taste with healthy habits. So, although the wonderful and unique tastes are still there, nowadays they make me feel much less guilty when trying and enjoying an extra bite or two.
Chocolate balls with feta
Sotiria loves making ice cream and all the beautiful sweets with her mother, but I would say that her speciality is chocolate. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to one of the wonderful sweets that she has created: Chocolate balls with feta. While I understand you may be surprised, just think of the cleverness of creating a perfect balance between the saltiness of the feta and the sweetness of the chocolate.
I am sure that more surprising sweets will come from Sotiria in the future, with the help of her mother Dora. I can’t wait to taste them all! Dora, thank you for all the wonderful culinary experiences that you have given me in the past, and Sotiria thank you for all the wonderful new tasteful experiences that you will give me in the future. Thank you both!
These desserts look delicious and are so beautiful.
I remember the pastry shop on Galatas having lived on Poros for many years. I would eat Galaktabouriko from nowhere else. It leaves a memory with you. I will visit your shop when next visiting. Sadly miss Poros with each passing day. x