I ‘ve always liked the idea of Fondue, although I only tried it once many years ago. For some reason, the simple concept of people talking while eating from the same pot is strikingly relaxing and healing for our stress fueled brains. In our version, the benefits are even greater because there are stars above your head and the quietness of the outdoors.
I had this epiphany about Fondue when I and my friend Mitsos developed a similar ritual right before sleep in our bicycle trip in the beautiful mountain of Pillion. While lying down on our mats we had an empty tuna tin can on the floor between us filled with Extra Virgin Greek olive oil, oregano, and salt and we were dipping pieces of bread into it while talking about our experiences during the day. The taste, although simple, is truly exquisite (you have to taste it!), and the relaxing activity of eating in the dark while talking about the day that has just passed, it is something truly unique. I remember myself really looking forward to it when we were tired but happy looking for a nice place to sleep.
If you think about it, Fondue and similar activities (roasting marshmallows etc) can be traced back to the beginnings of humanity when plates where probably nonexistent and people were gathering together around a pot to eat and enjoy each others company.
If you are planning a bicycle trip in Greece, I recommend buying olive oil from small farmers in the villages. If you are cautious, you can find decent olive oil in supermarkets, but I would definitely recommend investing some time to find the good stuff. If you ask for ‘eleolatho’ (Olive oil in Greek) in any village that has olive trees (most villages do), you will probably find a small producer that will agree to sell you some. A normal price would be around 4-5 euros for 500ml.
In Greece, dipping bread in fresh olive oil (usually in the salad) is a common practice during the lunchtime. It is called ‘ Papara’.