Anyone who has ever been to Greece will smile knowingly whenever the topic of Greek food is brought up. There is nothing like Greek food anywhere else in the world. Full of fresh vegetables, unencumbered by spices that hide the flavor of the ingredients, and filled with beef and lamb dishes that will tempt any palate, there is something in Greek cuisine that will tempt anyone.
The best way to get a feel for Greek food is by understanding the food that makes up most of its dishes. Olives are huge in Greece. There are so many varieties of olives, that the Greek like to say that say you do not like olives is like say you do not like candy: if you do not like one kind, there are plenty more to try from. From black olives to green, Kalamata to Peloponessos, there is something for everyone. Of course, when you think of olives, you have to think of olive oil, and this is an important part of Greek cooking as well. In fact, olive oil is used to cook almost all foods, and is used as salad dressing or garnish on other dishes as well.
Bread Is A Big Deal At Greek Meals As Are Fruits And Vegetables
Wonderful Greek bread is usually served at every meal, and is dipped in olive oil or the sauce of whatever you had for dinner. Local bakeries serve fresh, hot bread of all sorts and flavors.
Fruits and vegetables are always served fresh; the Greeks take great pride in their fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes are served with a great many dishes. It can often come stuffed with meat or rice and onions, or sometimes sometimes it just served plain with olive oil. Sometimes, they are even mixed with flour and egg, deep fried and called "tomato-keftedes." Green peppers are another popular ingredient. They too can be stuffed with either rice or beef, or grilled and eaten plain.
Potatoes are another popular ingredient in Greece. They are found in stews, and are often made roasted with olive oil, onion, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, and oregano. Potatoes deep fried in olive oil are often served as a side dish. The Greeks make liberal use of garlic and onion in their food. Fresh fruit, including figs, is a common dessert.
Greeks are big meat eaters. Lamb, beef, pork, chicken, and even goat and rabbit are all consumed regularly. Meat is often made with garlic, onions and potatoes.
Lamb Is Perhaps The Most Popular Meat Choice in Greece
Roast lamb is the meal of choice for Easter. Roast lamb and potatoes are a popular Sunday evening meal, and grilled lamb chops are popular anytime. Being on the Mediterranean Sea, it only follows that seafood is popular as well. Calamari, sardines and smelt are some of the more inexpensive fish eaten. Lobster is perhaps the most expensive. Before you eat fish in a Greek restaurant, you will often be encouraged to go back into the kitchen to inspect the fish and make sure it is fresh. It is there that you can decide what you want to eat. Octopus, mussels, shrimp and cod are other common Greek seafood choices.
For dessert, baklava, which is made from a special kind of dough called phyllo, is the most popular. It is made with nuts, honey, and sugar, and is a layered pastry.
Greek food offers something for everyone. It is also a very healthy cuisine, mostly because of the liberal amounts of olive oil in it. People in Greece, who eat a traditional Greek diet, have been known to live on average quite a bit longer than inhabitants of other countries. Greek food is tasty and good for your health and you will not find a better combination than that.