Greek Gastronomy

Nestled elegantly beside the Mediterranean Sea, Greece is the home of some of the most sumptuous foods in the region. There is far more to Greek gastronomy than just Greek yogurt and Feta cheese!

greekflag

I always like to eat when I travel, and it’s good to tick off some of the famous foods from Greece when I get the chance. Some of these delightful bites I have eaten in other countries (i.e. in a Greek restaurant somewhere), but the chance to sample the real thing is pretty tempting! After a week-long trip to Athens and Santorini, here is what I found on the menu!

Moussaka
Moussaka
Spanakopita
Spanakopita
A classic Greek Salad
A classic Greek Salad

Vegetarians will love it in Greece, as there are plenty of salads available, such as the classic Greek Salad (many more varieties are available). These salads are typically made with slices of tomato and cucumber, but pieces of Feta cheese and olives are thrown in as well – just to remind you that you’re in Greece! The delightful Spanakopita is a fresh spinach pastry, that reminds me of the spinach fatayer found in Arabic cuisine. While not exactly suitable for veggies, Moussaka is potentially the national dish of Greece, and it is made with sautéed aubergine and tomato, with a little mince meat chucked in for good measure.

Fasolada
Fasolada
Souvlaki
Souvlaki
Kalamata Olives
Kalamata Olives

I always used to think Souvlaki was the Greek version of a doner kebab or a shawarma, but the term “souvlaki” actually refers to the meat itself, and it can be prepared in a pita bread wrap or on skewers, like pinchitos from Spain. I think I preferred the skewered version of souvlaki, as I have had enough wraps to last me a lifetime and they’re getting a little boring now! Everybody must have heard of Kalamata olives, and these are another trademark of Greek cuisine. They have a very hard texture and are usually preserved in vinegar before serving. In southern Greece, I learned that these olives make great bar snacks as you settle down to watch the sunset! An interesting dish I discovered in Athens was Fasolada, which is a soup of dry beans and other vegetables which is mixed with olive oil (another Greek product!). I wouldn’t say fasolada was my favourite Greek dish, but it’s very light in the stomach which helps when you’re being active when travelling.

greekoctopus2
Octopus is hung out to dry on the Greek Islands

One final thought: Greeks eat A LOT OF OCTOPUS! Wherever you go in the country, you can be sure of seeing freshly-caught octopus being hung out to dry before being used for cooking. This technique reminds me of the way Mumbaikars hang out the Bombil Duck (which is a fish) before cooking it in India. Cooked octopus has far too rubbery a texture for me, so I don’t like to eat it – but it seems that I was the only one in Greece who turned it down!

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Greek Gastronomy

      1. At the moment we’ve only booked a week on a yacht, which doesn’t take us to Santorini, but I’ve heard so many good things about the place I think we’ll probably have to make it happen. Have you spent much time there?

        Also, loving your theme haha. Great choice

        Like

  1. love it. i’m a big fan of mediterranean food. the feta cheese, the olives, the tomatoes and cucumbers, etc. i too am a fan of spanakopita, mainly because of the use of filo dough for their pastry, just like what they use to make baklava.

    Like

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s