Introducing Daphnis and Chloe

An incredible sustainable herb purveyor in the heart of Athens 


Daphnis and Chloe, named for the hero and heroine of the eponymous ancient Greek novel by Longusl, is an incredible small-batch culinary herbs and spice shop located under the Acropolis Hill of Athens. All of their products are indigenous to Greece, a country full of micro-ecosystems that allow for a wide variety of herbs and spices. 

Evangelia Koutsovoulou, founder of Daphnis and Chloe, says, “Our dream was to see the limited bath terroir herbs of Greece in the kitchens of home cooks worldwide.” She remembered certain herbs so fondly from her childhood and they were not the same as what she was finding available to her in stores, so she set out to do better! Founded in 2013, Evangelia’s mission with Daphnis and Chloe is to bring the flavors she grew up with into kitchens across the globe for everyone to enjoy. Because these herbs are being grown in their ideal climate, handpicked and delicately dried, and left whole when packaged, their flavors and aromas are unmatched to what you would find in any commercially produced herb you might find in a grocery store. 

Daphnis and Chloe sources from small organic farms throughout Greece and is on a first-name basis with their growers. This close connection with the producers of their herbs ensures their unmatched flavor is maintained for its entire journey, from the fields to our shelves and then to your kitchen. They have a brick-and-mortar studio in Neos Kosmos in central Athens that they built in 2018, where you can taste your way through their selection of herbs. But if a trip to Greece isn’t in your future, you can find them on our shelves at the Deli! If you’re looking for recipe inspiration, we’ve shared our favorites below that were provided to us by Evangelia, or check out the Daphnis & Chloe blog.

It’s All Greek to Me!

Greek Oregano


A potent, slightly peppery, all-purpose oregano from the Taygetus mountains in Greece. Handpicked from an organic farm on a little known, mountainous village of the Peloponnese, this mountainous oregano grows surrounded by walnut and chestnut trees. In Greece, oregano and marjoram are terms often used interchangeably, especially along the Ionian coast where folks will say oregano when they’re really using marjoram! Marjoram is oregano’s slightly more floral, bitter cousin, while oregano has more pungent and spicy notes. Store your bouquet in a pasta jar (or any airtight container), and crumble some florets on your salad right before serving. 

Bay Leaves

Fresh, crisp and bright green, these Greek bay leaves arrive from an organic farm on the Ionian coast. Bay trees are native to the southern Mediterranean and have been a culinary staple since antiquity. Daphnis and Chloe harvests these leaves by hand at peak potency, then uses a natural drying process to maintain the subtle notes of cinnamon and nutmeg. They add a balsamic, slightly spicy flavor to soups, stews, and marinades. They also aid in digestion of legumes, which is why you often see them paired with chickpeas and lentils! D&C bay leaves are robust in flavor and aroma, so you only need one for a dish serving 4-6 people (remember to remove the leaves before serving–contrary to popular belief, these leaves are not poisonous, but have a tough texture and sharp edges that make them unpleasant for consumption). If you ever thought bay is flavorless, it’s time to reconsider!

Wild Thyme

Is everyone having a good thyme? Purple thyme flowers are collected one by one across the Cyclades and the Ionian coast of Epirus in Greece, harvested while the thyme is blooming so you get the combination of the flowers and the buds of the herbs! This is the same thyme that the ancient Greeks used. It’s also one of Deli Managing Partner Grace Singleton‘s favorites. “Thyme is one of my favorite herbs to use in the kitchen at any time, but these are especially fragrant and flavorful,” says Grace. The buds are dried fully formed, not broken into little pieces of thyme, which is what we’re all used to seeing. These buds are carefully cut with scissors to preserve all the essential oils that impart flavor and aroma — even the most skilled professional will only cut a few kilos of this thyme in a day’s work! 

To use in your cooking, roll your fingers over the exterior; the buds will flake away and leave you with just the stem. If the stem does end up in the dish, it’s not overly thick so it won’t do anything but add some extra flavor. In an Ari Top 5, Ari says that the smell of the thyme flowers “transports me back to the Greek countryside (if you haven’t been, it may make you want to go)”.

Fennel Seeds


It was a stalk of fennel that Prometheus picked to steal fire from the gods. Could this be that fennel? We aren’t allowed to say, but it is handpicked in Greece and has been cultivated for over 8000 years! This fennel comes from the island of Avia, where they produce a popular spirit called Ouzo. Rather than anise, they use fennel to capture the notes of licorice! This is a delicious addition to fish, pork and salads. It works well in combination with the smoked chili flakes in many Greek dishes, and it’s very strong, so only use a little bit! It’s also delicious in sweet recipes with citrus. We love it in this Fennel Seed and Orange Cake recipe from Evangelia!

Evros Sesame Seeds

These golden sesame of Evros have a nutty, earthy taste which becomes more prominent when freshly roasted. These golden Sesame Seeds from Evros belong to an heirloom variety cultivated in the area since ancient times, the seeds passing from one generation to the next. The beginning of the harvest in late September was, for centuries, a social event for the local community, and families would help each other with their produce. The fleshy, oval-shaped sesame seed pods split abruptly open when ripe. This sesame is grown in the village of Didymoteicho, in the far northeast of Greece near the Bulgarian and Turkish borders. Hundreds of years later, it’s still a very important cultivation on a social level, as Didymoteicho is an isolated corner of the country with few job opportunities. The farmer, Thanasis, inspires a new generation of Greek farmers with his mission to produce this incredible local crop. 

The hand-picking of these seeds ensures that the seeds will be handled gently and not bruised, a detail that plays an essential role in the overall quality of the spice. These seeds are raw, meaning you should toast them before use (unless you’re baking it onto bread) to maximize aroma. Toast in a saute pan over medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring continuously. Scatter over bread, compact into sweets, roast in a pan before sprinkling over rice and salads.

Smoked Chili Flakes


Traditionally slow smoked for three weeks, these flakes are full of great flavor, but low on heat. Great for cooking with or as a seasoning. These smoked chili flakes originate from Almopia, a region in Northern Greece where peppers play an important culinary role. The most notable of which is the Karatzova pepper, a sweet and hot red pepper that has thrived in this region since the reign of the Ottoman Empire! Karatova peppers were forgotten in the 80s as farmers turned to more profitable crops, but Daphnis and Chloe are bringing them back. The peppers are slow-smoked, the traditional method of preservation in this region — they’re turned regularly all day (and all night!) to ensure nothing burns. The flakes are smoky, sweet, mellow, with a flavor that lingers in your mouth and works very well in stews, soups, and sauces. Incredible with baked Feta cheese or a soft boiled egg. It really shines in Evangelia’s Fennel and Chili Cauliflower Salad!

Greek Mountain Tea

This is Greece’s national tea (who knew you could have a national tea?!) and has been a staple in Greek pantries for millenia with many varieties depending on region. Such a beloved part of Greek culture takes time to perfect, which is why Daphnis and Chloe took over 2 years to find the right source with the level of quality that matches their standards. Originally harvested from wild plants growing on rocky, mountainous slopes, most selections today are cultivated — but it is not to be confused with Wild Mountain Tea, which is a plant at risk of going extinct due to overharvesting. Evangelia at Daphnis and Chloe works with an organic farm in Grevena to source this rare, slightly purple varietal. It’s minty, citrusy, floral, spicy, and above all, delicious! Rich in antioxidants, it’s used as a cure-all throughout Greece for stomach aches, headaches, and more. It never gets bitter with long infusions, just more intense; you can typically steep each serving 3-4 times before it has given up all its aromatic goodness. And because it’s naturally caffeine-free, Mountain Tea is perfect for any time of day. It’s a favorite of our tea buyer, Jackson, who says, “you can taste history when you drink this tea!” Try it once and it will quickly become a staple in your pantry, too. We recommend steeping in a glass teapot to see how pretty it is!

Dittany From Crete

A truly unique herbal tea endemic to the rugged island of Crete. In ancient times it was picked from wild shrubs with craggly roots, clinging to rocky mountain sides. Legend had it that to climb the mountains and pick the tender shoots one must be truly in love. While we can’t officially make any claims about the emotional state of the nice people who grow and pick this wonderous traditional tisane, we’re pretty sure it takes a lot of love to produce something of this quality. The fuzzy, cushioned leaves and little flowers deliver an aromatic and slightly astringent, almost spicy infusion that is reminiscent of thyme. But it’s not thyme, or really anything else you’ve ever had. Not just for drinking, try it with beans or meat marinades. Or if you want to really take your tastebuds on a journey, make a long-steep simple syrup sweetened with Greek honey that you can drizzle on everything, stir into sparkling water, or sneak into cocktails like sweet bitters.

If you’ve been looking for something to add a unique burst of flavor to round out your cooking at home, we cannot recommend Daphnis and Chloe enough. Take your tastebuds on a trip overseas!