Greek Gastronomy

“Savour the culinary delights of Greece !  Savour every mouthful !”

Greek gastronomy has already won a place at the top of contemporary world gastronomies.
Greek diet is famous worldwide; it isn’t only tasty but also very healthy, recommended by most expert top dietitians.
Greek cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes that can fully meet the gastronomic requirements of vegetarians and meat & fish lovers alike.
Nowadays Greek cuisine, combining tradition with modern concepts, follows four basic rules: good quality and fresh ingredients, correct use of natural flavourings (herbs) and spices, use of the famous Greek olive oil, and simplicity.
Tasting Greece offers a rare experience with distinguishing recipes, representative products, and original preparation techniques.
Travellers to Greece come eager to taste good and healthy food prepared with the best-quality virgin olive oil, try the delicious olives abundantly found in the Greek landscape, savour the particular cheeses of the Greek countryside, and enjoy the wholesome meat and poultry as well as the freshest fish and seafood. Vegetables and fruits are a chapter on their own. They come in a great variety of fresh full flavoured and fragrant produce that make up a significant part of the Greek diet. Visitors will also indulge in the particular taste and aroma of the traditional Greek liquors “ouzo” and “tsipouro” or “raki”, as well as of the famous Greek white, rose and red wines produced according to revered old recipes.


greek-food fishesgreek food- tzatzikigreek-food souvlaki

 

The essential natural ingredients of the healthy Greek diet

 

Greek traditional liquors
Ouzo: It is said that ouzo was first produced in antiquity and was famous and much appreciated in the Byzantine times. After the liberation of Greece, in early 19th century, it was exclusively produced in Lesvos Island. Nowadays it is certainly Greece’s national drink, has a slight anise flavour and can also be drunk either mixed with cold water or on the rocks.
Tsipouro and tsikoudia: Both are the original Greek drinks not produced in any other part of the world. Tsipouro (in mainland Greece) and tsikoudia (in Crete) are similar to ouzo, simple spirits of up to 48% alcohol, distilled from grape-mash residue left over from wine-making, usually in mid-September – mid-October. The best tsipouro is produced in Thessaly, Macedonia and Epirus, while tsikoudia, also called “raki”, is much stronger than tsipouro and is the local drink all over Crete.
Ouzeris, tsipouradika and mezedopolia
Especially in the towns all over Greece, there are drinking establishments called “ouzeri” (same in the Greek plural), “tsipouradika” (plural) and “mezedopolia” (plural) that specialize in ouzo, tsipouro or tsikoudia and a marvellous variety of “mezedes”.
Mezedes: Some of the most interesting “mezedes” (hors d’oeuvres), also called “orektika” (appetizers), are: tyropitakia and spanakopitakia (small cheese and spinach pies); oktapodi (octapus) cooked over a fire; garides (shrimps) cooked with tomato and feta cheese; fried gavros (small sardines) or marides (fry/brown picarel); gigantes (white haricot big beans) in tomato sauce; mavromatika (black-eyed white haricot beans) in vinaigrette; kolokythakia tiganita (courgette/ zucchini slices fried); melitzanes tiganites (aubergine/eggplant slices fried); tzatziki (yogurt, cucumber and garlic dip; melitzanosalata (aubergine/eggplant dip); and many other local delicacies that should definitely be tried at least once !
Desserts: It is also well worth trying the desserts offered in a Greek restaurant or taverna. Fruit is always available in season: in summer, melon (peponi) and watermelon (karpouzi), often on the house; in autumn and winter, apple (milo) and pear (ahladi) with honey and cinnamon, as well as baked quince (kydoni psito) with some sort of syrup. Sweet dishes usually offered for dessert (often on the house) are yogurt with quince jam or honey and sweet semolina halvah (simigdalenios halvas).                



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