Greek cuisine is based on simplicity, seasonality and health benefits. The excellence of certain Greek foodstuffs grown in perfect Mediterranean climate is manifested in increasing respect for the tastes of traditional Greek cuisine.
The roots of Greek cuisine recipes go back to antiquity. Greek olive oil, Greek olives (which production and cultivation largely remains the same for centuries), Greek honey, meat get with the help of hunting (mainly game, rabbits and hares), greens, vegetables, countless black crop, fish and seafood, nuts, snails, whole grains, sesame seeds, goat and sheep’s cheese are the main foodstuffs on the Greek table. Don’t miss a chance to try healthy Greek cuisine in the best eateries in Greece. Reaching each of them will not be a problem with the car rental in Athens Airport.
The habit of cooking of the main dishes obligatory from vegetables came from the Greek traditions of fasting, when people should not eat all products of animal origin for about half a year. Today, meat dishes are very popular in Greece, despite the fact that traditionally, the meat was limited and prepared as a festive dinner or only in combination with vegetable dishes, cooked in a saucepan or stove.
Greek cuisine is simple and healthy. Although, there are certain dishes that require time, such as, mousaka and pastisio, there are very few complex sauces and durable culinary preparations in Greek cuisine.
Combination of such ingredients as garlic with lemon juice and oregano; tomato sauce seasoned with spices and cinnamon; Greek honey with nuts, and much more, gives each food ingestion the necessary amount of minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients.
Virtually no Greek dish can do without olive oil. Depending on the place of growth of olive trees, oil is distinguished to taste. One of the best oils is squeezed out in the Peloponnese, in the Kalamata area. In the same place, the famous olives of the Kalamata variety are grown. Extra Virgin (exclusively virgin) Greek olive oil enriches most Greek dishes, and the Greeks use it very often (per person is used about 20 liters of oil a year). Extra Virgin Greek olive oil is the basis for cooking in Greece, and the main sauce, which is added to all kinds of salads and other dishes.
In traditional Greek cuisine, which, in essence, is a traditional Mediterranean diet, vegetables and black crop appear in numerous dishes. In combination with whole wheat bread and proteins, which are received from cheese, Greek dishes are nutritious and tasty.
Greek foodstuffs are of high quality, first of all, because in Greece, there are no such production lines as in other countries, and the foodstuffs are produced primarily for the Greeks, determining very high quality requirements. For example, Greek yogurt bears no resemblance to others. It is fermented from the almost half-full-bodied boiled sheep or goat milk, (in other words- from dense milk with a fat content of about 7%) with a pure culture of lactobacillus bulgaricus bacteria. Of course, the preservatives are not added, comparing to surrogate “yogurt”, sold in stores. Thick, extraordinarily nutritious and healthy, Greek yogurt is used both as a treat with honey and nuts, and as a dressing for salads.
The mealtime in the life of the Greeks has long been very important. For them, this is time for rest and communication. Lunch is the time when, as far as possible, the whole family gathers. The current affairs and politics (the favorite topic of the Greeks), are discussed.
Greece is a paradise for good food fans. Numerous taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, as well as snack bars will open up to you an amazing world of Greek cuisine. The main thing is to determine for yourself what you need. If you want to taste real Greek food, choose the eatery that the Greeks visit. If you want inexpensive and delicious food, choose a tavern where you will be offered a wide choice of dishes from meat, fish and vegetables. The examples of such dishes are the famous mousaka (eggplants, potatoes and minced meat, layered with bechamel sauce); pastisio (macaroni with minced meat and béchamel sauce); numerous snacks and salads: melijanosalata – salad from baked aubergine, tzatziki – a very special thick Greek yogurt with cucumbers and garlic.
We recommend you to try feta sheep cheese; it is usually served with a horiatiki salad (which is known as a Greek salad), adding freshly cut tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, onions and olives.
In many taverns, you will be offered so-called specialties – dishes with the Greek islands’ cuisine, Asian cuisine and even Ancient Greek cuisine.
In fish taverns, which are called ‘psarotavernas’, you can choose fish to taste, and it would be roasted on coals. True gourmets can try other types of seafood – oysters, mussels, octopuses, although this is not always cheap. Fish taverns, as a rule, are located near the coast or harbor. Lunch for two would cost approximately 30-50 euros.
Today, in search for quality products and in return to natural tastes, which is the main direction of gastronomy around the world, useful Greek cuisine is one of the main assets of Greece, developing incredibly quickly, and becoming one of the reasons for people to visit this wonderful country.