The Greeks love their food, and they love to feed others – maybe too much sometimes, though the main intention is that visitors will not leave hungry from the table.
The Greek cuisine is deeply connected to the Mediterranean diet, offers a rich selection of dishes and drinks and its gastronomy can be seen as cultural heritage of the centuries, influenced by both the East and the West.
One of the main basic ingredients of the Greek cuisine is olive oil – it is not left out of any Greek dish, and it is used in abundance, especially when preparing food at home or in traditional taverns. Greek cuisine is rich in authentic flavours and aromas based on pure and unique quality products of the Greek land. Apart from the widely known moussaka, pastitsio, tzatziki and gyros, some of the typical Greek dishes are:
- Zucchini balls (kolokithokeftedes): veggie balls with zucchini, feta cheese and herbs with crispy texture on the outside and creamy on the inside.
- Feta cheese with honey: feta wrapped in filo pastry with honey and sesame topping
- Pies: a traditional dish that is eaten all day long, as snack, starter, or dinner. There are lots of variations of Greek pies – cheese-filled, spinach-filled, chicken & vegetables -filled etc.
- Yemista: stuffed vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, aubergine) with rice (and minced meat as optional).
- Fresh fish and seafood: a variety of delicacies of the Mediterranean Sea can be found in Greece. Try barbouni, octopus, mussels, tsipoura, atherina (tiny one-bite fish)
- Stifado: a traditional Greek beef-stew cooked with tomatoes, onions, cinnamon, vinegar or red wine, and a variety of spices and herbs – a winter dish
- Kleftiko: slow oven cooked lamb infused with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic (as basic recipe)
- Gigantes: giant beans baked in tomato sauce and fresh herbs (a version with sausage is also popular).
- The traditional Greek spoon dessert: sugary fruits of any season, which must be of excellent quality such as quince, fig, orange, chestnut, apricot, cherry, sour cherry.
- Lastly, an important aspect of Greek cuisine is the appetizers, also known as “mezedes, a traditional selection of side dishes usually served in taverns and restaurants with wine, ouzo or tsipouro to share.
Archestratos, an ancient Greek based in Sicily, wrote the first cookbook in history (330 B.C.).
Find more info here: https://www.greekgastronomyguide.gr/en