First trip to Greece? Here’s our introduction to Greek cuisine..
As far as summer destinations go, few places in the world can capture the imagination of real foodies more than Greece. Holidays to Greece are in fact much more than pure and simple beach getaways, and seamlessly turn into a deeply sensorial experience which goes back through the centuries. Between historical monuments and villages that time forgot, the unique aromas of the Mediterranean forests and the salty winds coming from the blue Aegean Sea, it couldn’t be easier to embrace what this land has to offer in terms of culinary delights.
Because of the unique features of the territory, Greek cuisine relies heavily on the quality of primary ingredients, which are often locally sourced. Sheep represents a key element to the Greek diet, with lamb meat and feta cheese being essential for some of the most exquisite dishes. Fish is widely available in coastal areas: stuffed squid is a proper delicacy, and octopuses are commonly sun-dried in the streets and then grilled. Essential for every traditional dish, local olive oil is the ideal condiment for everything from salad to casseroles. Finally, a glass of retzina wine will help you digest even the biggest and fattest of your Greek dinners.
But what really makes the Greek cuisine so unique and inspiring? Let’s find it out together. We have listed here our top three dishes which you can’t miss on your first trip to the country.
Marinated or grilled, Greek octopus remains unmatched in terms of quality and availability. Octopus is unique among seafood because it has a texture of its own, is more filling than fish yet it is a light choice for a salad. Once cooked and paired up with oregano, fennel, lemon, capers and a light olive oil dressing, you will want to have some before most of your Greek dinners by the sea.
Either tasted on their own or as part of a pita souvlaki (the one and only “kebab” this side of the Aegean), this is the perfect plate for your lunch break in Athens. Be it chicken or pork, these meat skewers shine with the unmissable touch of mint, tzatziki, a fresh pepper salad and warm and fragrant pitta bread on the side. A plate of souvlaki will sure bring you back to life even after that tiresome morning walk up to the Acropolis.
Crispy, saucy and tasty altogether, moussaka is Greece’s most symbolic meal with a history dating all the way back to the 13th century, and no trip to the country is complete without having tried one out in a rustic taverna. Although you might have had this aubergine based dish before, you will soon notice the difference as you try it in its homeland. If you happen to visit the island of Ios, Sousana’s very own have earned a reputation among connoisseurs for being the country’s finest.
Photo credit : greektastes.com
About today’s Guest Writer:
Jane Shelley is an Australian travel writer. She has visited countries in Asia, Europe, Britain and even taken an unforgettable road trip across the Midwest of the United States. One of her passions is writing about wine and wine tasting, and one day she plans to build a wine cellar underneath the stairs in her apartment.