Koulouri in Athens:

Koulouri bread vendor in Athens, Greece

A street vendor selling koulouri bread in Athens, Greece (2012)

Ten years ago when I began this journey, I had a clear purpose in mind. Instead of going to culinary school, I would travel to learn about the cuisines of the world. I started taking photos for documentation, mostly so I could reference them later. My galleries are like a textbook that I made up as I went, allowing me to study things after the fact. I’m still learning from things I saw in the beginning. For this reason, my photos have been more of things rather than people. I do take the occasional photograph of people though, especially when I find someone with undeniable character. The man in this photo is one of those people, a street vendor selling κουλούρι or koulouri, a kind of Greek sesame bread popular at breakfast time. Where in America you might pick up a bagel or a donut in the morning, the streets of Athens are filled with vendors selling koulouri, especially outside train stations and beside newsstands. This guy had a serious operation going, he looked as if he had been selling this bread on the same corner for his entire life. When I passed on my way to the Agora (Central Market), I held up my camera to ask permission and he smiled and held up a piece of bread. I was honored that he allowed me to take his photo, so I walked up and bought this bread from him and had it for my breakfast.

Like so many other people on the street that morning.