A pleasant part of your trip to Greece will be getting acquainted with the national cuisine, which is really worthy of attention. Greek dishes belong to the Mediterranean cuisine and include dishes from vegetables, meat, fish and olive oil. These treats will win the most demanding gourmets.
Features Of Greek Cooking
Almost all recipes contain olive oil, which has been used in cooking for a long time. It is added both for dressing, and during stewing, frying. The oil is often combined with another important component of the national cuisine is lemon, or rather its juice. Among the vegetables in Greece, eggplants, tomatoes, onions, peppers and legumes are popular. If we talk about cereals, the preference is given to barley and wheat. Honey is also often used for cooking. Mainly used nectar from the flowers of citrus and fruit plants. There are many dessert recipes with honey. In Greek cuisine, herbs and spices are often used: thyme; Bay leaf; mint; garlic; oregano; Basil; nutmeg; dill and its seeds. Meat is consumed in different ways, but mainly lamb, pork, and goat. It is seasoned not only with sharp spices, but also with spicy ones, such as cinnamon and cloves.
Greek cuisine also has a lot of seafood dishes, of which there are quite a lot. Oysters, squid, mussels, octopuses, shrimps, and so on. The undoubted pride of the country is the cheeses that the Greeks cook themselves. One of the popular types can be called feta, but not only. Cheeses are prepared according to special unique recipes, mainly from sheep and goat milk.
This is an eggplant meat casserole. For its preparation, lamb is used in the form of minced meat. Also, moussaka requires vegetables, namely onions, tomatoes, and potatoes. The dish is baked with cheese and Bechamel sauce.
This is an analog of cabbage rolls, only young grape leaves are used for twisting. The Greeks prepare dolma with minced meat and rice, seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. The dish is prepared by stewing.
This is a casserole made of macaroni, chopped meat and Bechamel sauce. Pastitsio uses bucatini-spaghetti with a hole inside. The dish has three layers: the first-pasta with egg-cheese mixture, the second-meat with tomatoes, nutmeg and spices, the third-pasta and Bechamel sauce.
We will talk about small dishes that are perfect for snacking between main meals or as treats when drinking alcoholic beverages.
These are small pieces of meat strung on a skewer, the so-called mini kebabs. In Greece, only pork is used for souvlaki. Previously, the meat must be marinated in spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Souvlaki is also served in pita, a flatbread made from unleavened dough. This bread is wrapped, forming a pocket and put there pieces of meat, adding to taste sweet pepper, sauce, ketchup, mustard and even French fries. The finished pita is lightly fried. This is a kind of Greek fast food.
This is a whole set of small snacks. Dishes can be cold or hot, most often well seasoned with salt. As mezze are considered and seafood. Appetizers are usually served with alcoholic beverages.
The snack is popular all over the world. Its peculiarity consists in the fact that the ingredients are not finely cut, and large square pieces. For a Greek salad, you need: sweet peppers (green); cucumbers; feta cheese; shallots; olives; olive oil; spices. A special feature of salad preparation in Greece is that cucumbers are peeled and served without mixing the ingredients, making it just before the meal. During the fasting period, feta is replaced with tofu soy cheese.
The classic recipe of the dish provides a mix of smoked cod caviar, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. Sometimes the recipe is supplemented with boiled potatoes or bread. All components are whipped on a mixer, and bread and potatoes are pre-soaked in milk. Traditionally, taramasalata is served with pita, slices of bread, and sprinkled with greens as a snack.
Greek cuisine belongs to the Mediterranean, so it is quite a variety of culinary masterpieces with the gifts of the sea. Large fish is usually baked on a grill or coals, previously sprinkled with lemon juice and olive oil. A small Mediterranean fish of the mullet, sole and goat – roast. This method is also used to prepare cod, small sharks, and stingrays. It is worth mentioning the ear. Boiled fish is served separately, seasoned with lemon, and broth - as an independent dish. Trout, salmon and other fish that live in lakes are more often prepared in the Central part of Greece.
Recipes with seafood
These are truly gourmet dishes. In Greek cuisine, seafood is prepared as follows: prawns are grilled or stewed in tomato and cheese gravy; octopuses are baked or boiled; mussels are steamed with tomato and cheese marinade; cuttlefish is stewed with spinach; squid rings are fried in breadcrumbs and baked; langoustes are cooked with spaghetti. When preparing seafood dishes, wine is often used. The alcohol evaporates during roasting – only pleasant aromatic notes and aftertaste of the drink remain.
For almost every dish, the Greeks serve various sauces, which are designed to emphasize the taste of the main dish. In the national cuisine, there are many different recipes, but traditionally they are prepared from the following ingredients: natural yogurt; lemon juice; garlic – a special variety grown in Greece; olive oil.
To prepare this cold appetizer sauce, you will need a thick natural yogurt made from sheep or goat's milk, which is added garlic, cucumber, pre-grated on a grater. Spices for zaziki-salt and pepper, sometimes seasoned with lemon juice. Olive oil is also an important component of the sauce, and herbs are added if desired – dill or parsley.
An unusual thick sauce is an appetizer made from potatoes, stale bread, seasonings, nuts, olive oil and garlic. According to some recipes, skordalia is seasoned with wine sauce. This snack is traditionally served with fried cod. Skordalia is prepared during the religious fast on the Annunciation, when it is allowed to eat fish dishes. The sauce has a puree-like consistency.
This sauce is often served with salads and main dishes, such as meatballs, baked pork, dolma, and is also added to soups. It is easy to prepare, because you will need lemon juice and eggs, which are diluted with broth.
A unique dish of pork blood and legs, as well as lentils and spices. The second name of the dish is black blood soup. The original soup recipe has not been preserved, but similar chowders are prepared in other countries, such as Korea, Spain, Germany, Lithuania and Poland.
On the basis of the sauce of the same name, a soup is prepared with chicken broth. An important component of the dish is a small paste (the size of rice grains), the so-called Orzo. Rice is used less often. The soup is made from whole eggs with the addition of lemon juice. The consistency of avgolemono is different-from the density of the broth to the soup-puree.
This product can be called the pride of the Greek national cuisine. The country produces more than 50 varieties of cheese, and each region has its own unique product. Greeks consume more than 25 kg of product per year per person, which is an absolute record in the world. Popular feta cheese in Greece is called rustic. He is the most loved person in the country. Feta is made from sheep's milk. It has a white color, a dense consistency and a salty taste. It is used as an ingredient for"Greek salad".
This is a salty cheese made from goat's or sheep's milk. The color varies from white to yellow. It is served with ouzo, meat dishes, spaghetti, vegetables. It is traditionally used in the preparation of the national dish saganaki.
Hard cheese made from sheep's milk, which has a sweet taste. This is the second most popular cheese among the Greeks after feta
Cheese made from sheep's milk with an admixture of goat's milk. It's a bit like Parmesan. The color is pale yellow. Matures for at least four months.
Pastries and sweet dishes in Greece are borrowed from Turkish cuisine. Quite often, honey, various nuts and dried fruits are used in desserts.
This is a layer cake with a filling of finely chopped nuts and fruit syrup. To prepare baklava, either walnuts or almonds are used.
Dessert, the basic ingredient of which was semolina. Halvas – the most delicate dessert with nuts and honey, while the taste of semolina is absolutely not felt. When serving, sprinkle with cinnamon. In Greece, halvas are often presented as a gift from the institution along with the invoice for the order.
From the dough mixed with yeast, doughnuts are formed, which are fried in oil. After that, the balls are poured with honey, dipped in sugar syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. Eat pastries with the help of Cutlery, except those cases when the donuts are served on skewers.
This is a sweet cookie that is traditionally prepared for Christmas. These oval cakes can be lean-cooked in olive oil, and also modest, that is, the recipe uses butter and milk.
This crumbly and crunchy cookie is also prepared for the Christmas holiday. An important component is almonds, which are crushed before being added to the pastry. Before serving, the cookies are sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Greece is also unique for its alcoholic beverages, which are produced using special technologies and recipes.
This drink is a mixture of brandy and wine, which is produced from previously sun-dried grapes of certain varieties. Initially, Metaxa is aged in oak barrels for 12 months and then enriched with Mediterranean herbs, tea rose petals and other plant extracts. Then again, there is holding a drink. Metaxa has a fairly mild taste, due to the content of Muscat wine. Serve a drink with beer or tonic. It is often used as an ingredient for cocktails.
The most popular in Greece is Ouzo, which tastes like brandy. The bouquet of this strong alcoholic drink is enriched with spices-nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. Ouzo is often used as an aperitif. It is served with seafood, fish, salads, and sometimes with baked goods. The peculiarity of the drink is its serving. In Greece, it is customary to pour Ouzo in tall, narrow glasses of 50 or 100 ml. The drink is traditionally served with ice, diluted with water. Tsipuro is a stronger drink, with an alcohol content of 37% to 47 %. Serve it chilled in a narrow-necked decanter. Drink in one gulp with a small glass. This drink is preferred by older Greeks.
Raki and Rakomelo
Similar to Tsipuro can be called Raki. This is a type of moonshine, only without the presence of anise spice. On the basis of Raki, another drink is made-Rakomelo, the taste of which is enriched with honey. Drink it hot and often used as a remedy for colds.
In Greece, coffee is loved by all. It is used everywhere and in any form-strong, with cream, and so on. Coffee with cream is called a frappe. It is drunk cold. Greek coffee is traditionally brewed in Turkey – a tradition borrowed from Turkey. But the Greeks do not drink tea, it is considered a medicine.
Traditionally, waiters serve a bottle of water to any order in the restaurant. But children should order freshly squeezed juice from Greek oranges, which are very juicy and sweet.