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There is dancing and general revelry, but eating is the core activity. The parade of meats roasting over open flames is impressive: a whole lamb on a spit, kondosouvli, lamb chops, and lamb fricassee. Greek dishes like spanakopita and dolmathes, plus an entire room of desserts, round out the feast.
The first time Andrea Koulouris invited me to join her family’s Greek Orthodox Easter celebration, she opened the door at 11:30 a.m. with a glass of white wine in her hand. “Kalo Pascha!” she said. “Happy Easter!” She led me to the backyard. Her husband, Pano, was manning a large spit, seasoning a lamb with olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano as it slowly spun over ashy coals. Men in T-shirts and shorts stood in circles, drinking beer and laughing as they told stories. Pano’s father, Nick Koulouris, who started the local Grecian Gyro chain in 1982, asked me what I’d like to drink and motioned for me to dig into a platter of pita, hummus, and tzatziki, the garlicky yogurt sauce.