Greek food and kitchen
Food is almost a philosophy for the Greeks. They always knew that what makes a perfect meal is not only food but also some good company. Food at a friendly dinner is often prepared according to the tastes of the guests in mind, the main dishes are depending on taste, fried, boiled or roasted, light or heavy, and often the wine has been carefully chosen. In Greece, eating at restaurants and taverns is still an ideal treat. Today, in many parts of Greece especially in large urban centers, tables for various celebrations, family celebrations, weddings and christenings are happening more in hotel halls, taverns and restaurants with music and dancing, in contrast to previous years when the festivities were held at houses and lasted for days especially in the Greek province.
Times change, Greeks travel abroad more frequently and therefore the Greek cuisine got enriched with new flavors and varieties from all over the world. The curries, exotic sauces, mushrooms, the gorgonzola, pesto and cream have invaded the kitchens and pans of the younger generation. This does not mean that the traditional Greek cuisine has lost its first place in the preferences of the Greek.
Greece offers a wide variety of healthy foods which in recent years have become accepted worldwide. The value of a healthy diet on Mediterranean food and especially olive oil is very high. Yet, the Greeks in their entirety are not people who take healthy eating very seriously. For many, the day begins with a quick morning coffee and cigarette, followed by a large meal for lunch and a big dinner on the evening. Instead, the modern diet imposes a good breakfast in a modest lunch and a light evening dinner.
Greece is the garden of Europe and the vegetables, fruits and oil are traditionally the biggest exports of Greece. The Greek waters offer plenty of fish which is a good base for a healthy diet. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, dill, pepper, the onion, garlic,carrots and selenium are the basics of herbs and vegetables used in Greek cuisine with herbs spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and vanilla.
Basically the diet and the traditional method of cooking food in Greece has not changed since ancient times, the original flavor and the ingredients are still used alongside the core and vital component of all – the Greek olive oil.
This is especially true in Crete, where the traditional diet is so basic and simple without over-use of spicery in modern foods. It is argued that the Cretan diet has not really changed since the Minoan times – using olive oil, grains, fish and wine. This diet has created healthier people who live longer lives and is the basis of the famous Mediterranean diet. Indeed, research conducted in 1950 by the international scientific community has discovered that the inhabitants of Crete were so healthy because of their diet. Even today, it is generally accepted that the traditional Cretan diet are less likely for heart disease compared with other Mediterranean countries. The main reason seems to be due to the fact that Cretans eat twice as much fruit, one quarter less meat and more pulses than other Europeans. But it could also be argued that this is the traditional diet for many Greeks.
The Greek food is tasty and when we say Greek food we do not only mean souvlaki and moussaka, but hundreds of delicious dishes that the Greeks have invented over time.
Appetizers: One of the most popular and world famous Greek appetizer is easy tzatziki appetizer made from yogurt, cucumbers and garlic, followed by skordalia and taramosalata, saganaki, the chocks with nut, feta and tomatoes, the fried eggplant and zucchini, or fried green peppers, cheese pies and cheese croquettes, the stuffed vine (vine leaves filled with rice), the zucchini, greens, radishes, Swiss chard greens of the mountain, etc. There’s plenty of seafood too: Roast or boiled octopus, squid, shrimp, mussels, and sea urchins bubbles. The seafood is the best company for the ouzo.
Main dishes: The main dishes in Greece are endless and each region of the country has its own specialties. We enumerate some of the most popular main dishes like moussaka, stuffed tomatoes, eggplants or peppers, giouvarlakia avgolemeno, the dolmades, the meatballs, the meatballs, pasta with meat and macaroni pie, the role of meat, chicken with sauce of beaten eggs+lemon juice soup, braised beef or the lamb with potatoes, pasta and stew, the soup and fish, baked, fried, boiled or wafers, the imams, the okra, the briam and of course the soup is in the menu every Greek household. Chicken is cooked in many ways as well as beef, lamb and pork.
Fish: Fish is one of the most basic and healthy diets rich in phosphorus. Fish of the Greek seas is divided into categories A, B, and C. Cost is depending on the category. The lobster, red mullet and sea bream are the most expensive and most popular, but there are many other equally delicious fish such as bream, sea bream, the Pandora, the Seabreams, the swordfish, sea bass and lakerda that are cheaper. The cheapest and perhaps the most delicious fish at affordable prices for everyone belong in the C category. Among them are anchovies, mackerel bonito, the horse mackerel, bogue, the whitebait, the tope, the Khan, the menoules, the scarves. With the small fish in the third category you can make the best soup just boiling the fish with plenty of fresh tomato and onion, olive oil, some lemon, salt and pepper. Traditionally tope whitebait and the cod with
garlic sauce are among the best dishes that accompany the wine. The typical Greek soup contains other fish, onions, carrots, potatoes and celery, with a fine blend of olive oil and lemon juice to pour on the fish.
Desserts and sweets: Of the simplest desserts is the yogurt with honey. Easy as well is the semolina halva which is also a nice dessert. Caramel cream is not of Greek origin but is common on a Greek table. Traditional Greek desserts are baklava, galaktompouriko, kataifi, folds, donuts, delights, halva and sweets from fruits with more known cherry, quince, cherry tomatoes, bergamot and bitter orange.
Greek Wines: The wine has always been the drink of the gods, even today the Greek wine is for the Greeks the most popular drink. One of the most popular wines in Greece is retsina. The retsina is unique in the world and because its flavor comes from the resin. It’s popular because of two reasons, its taste and its cheap price; of course the best Retsina is the draft. Other popular wines in Greece are the red and white dry wines from different regions such as Mount Athos, Macedonian, Robola Kafalonias, Naoussa, Zitsa Mavrodaphne, the Muscat of Samos and Santorini.
Alcoholic drinks and aperitifs: Ouzo: Ouzo is the best Greek aperitif, known worldwide for its special anise flavor. The best are those from Samos and Lesbos. Raki is made from the leftovers of the grape. It is stronger than ouzo, and has lots of fans.