Undoubtedly when it comes to picturesque Greek cities, with rich history, traditional architecture, and interesting sights, beautiful squares and alleys to walk around, monuments to admire and unique museums to visit, Nafplio ranks among the top choices. The first capital of the free Greek state has all of the above and no less that three fortresses to surround it, as well as some of Greece’s most famous archaeological sites in a close vicinity. Adding an arrow of beautiful shops with handcraft objects and souvenirs and well attended places to stay, housed in traditional buildings, you have even more reasons to plan a journey to Nafplio. And there’s no shortage of tempting culinary options, by lots of taverns, cafes, restaurants and patisseries, that will add a tasty and memorable touch to your trip. One stop you should definitely make is to the lovely Retro Latteria, one of the best places in Nafplio for both its creamy sweets and its impressively big variety of light desserts and ice creams.
You will find the spacious patisserie just behind the central Syntagma Square and will recognise it by its bright purple colour. Its name refers to the retro feeling it emits and to the fact that recipes are traditional and its delicious, homemade creams taste like the ones a Greek grandmother would serve. In fact in Retro Latteria you will be spoiled with choice by its fresh creams and you will be surprised by the successful combination of classic flavours and modern trends, that take into account dietary needs for sugarfree and vegan desserts.
It seems that the family business that Mr Petros Fytilas started in Piraeus in 1992, when he opened “Stolidi”, his first dairy shop with fresh creams and handmade ice cream – still found in the same place today – hasn’t stopped evolving. Two more shops opened in nearby areas of Nikaia and Keratsini and Retro following in 2015 in Nafplio, not a surprising location choice as Mr Fytilas origins’ come from Peloponnese. Noways, his two daughters, Alexandra and Irene, awarded pastry chefs who follow the trends of modern confectionery, play a key role in the creation of light, flavoursome desserts that will enjoy with no guilt.
The star of them all is unarguably “Muhallebi“, a milk pudding originating in the Middle East, but also popular in Rhodes island, Cyprus, Turkey and Israel, whose recipe dates in the 7th century A.D. Customised in order to match the Greek tastes and have a lighter flavour, it can be enjoyed as a fresh cream, a cool dessert perfect for all seasons. Either plain in a bowl, or topping traditional desserts like Kantaifi, Ravani, Walnut pie, Orange pie of Chocolate pie, it’s a total must you shouldn’t miss. Another hit is the Mastic flavour milk pudding, served with sour cherry sweet of the spoon, but the variety doesn’t end here: worth trying are also Panna cotta, Biscuit, Tiramisu, Chocolate and the Duo vanilla-chocolate. They are all made by just 4 ingredients: Fresh milk by Greek farms Koukaki, corn flour, a special mixture of 7 types of rise flour and sugar.
Retro latteria proves to be the place to go for a delicious, light and guiltfree sweet indulgence
But if sugar is out of your vocabulary, then give into the equally extensive variety of sugarfree creams, which contain natural sweetener from stevia plant. There is a vegan range too, made with almond milk, without gelatin, in wonderful fruity and refreshing flavours like Rose, Lemon, Banana, Mango, Strawberry and even Calocasia, an eatable, tropical bulb similar to a potato.
The unusual Calocasia or Kalokasi, with the intense purple colour, comes also as an ice cream, the other type of cooling desserts that you have to try in Retro Latteria. Once again, Muhallebi is the must try, generously dusted with cinnamon that makes it even more delicious, but why not add an extra scoop to your ice cream cone or cup, like Rose, Ekmek and Mastic. And the wonderful surprise is that Retro Latteria is literally a heaven for those who are careful with their figure or simply avoid sugar, offering sugar free ice cream in flavours who won’t easily find anywhere else – certainly not in Nafplio. Hazelnut, Yogurt, Tiramisu, Oreo biscuit, Lemon pie, Mascarpone with orange, Cheesecake, Pistachio, Vanilla, Chocolate and of course, Mouhalebi. They all contain stevia and less fat, changing the dilemma “Should i give in or not?” to “Which flavour shall I choose today?”
Retro Latteria: 9 Farmakopoulon St., Nafplio – tel.: 2752 – 500455