The Marvelous Cuisine of Greece
Greece is a country with a rich culinary tradition that has evolved over millennia. From the fresh seafood of the coasts to the hearty meat dishes of the mountains, Greek cuisine offers a delightful diversity of flavors for every palate. Vegetarians also have plenty of options thanks to Greece’s emphasis on fresh vegetables, grains, legumes, olive oil, and herbs.
One cannot talk about Greek food without mentioning the quintessential Greek salad – crunchy cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, salty feta cheese, plump Kalamata olives, crispy onions, drizzled with Greek olive oil and red wine vinegar. This simple, yet mouthwatering salad combines the fresh produce that Greece excels in growing. Visiting any Greek restaurant and not ordering a Greek salad should be a crime!
Of course, Greeks are masters of turning fresh vegetables into delectable dishes. Some vegetarian favorites include:
- Spanakopita – flaky filo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta.
- Giant Beans – gigantes plaki – large beans braised in a tomato sauce.
- Stuffed Tomatoes – tomatokes gemistes – tomatoes baked with rice and herbs.
- Chickpea Stew – revithia – chickpeas cooked with celery, carrots and onions.
The list goes on and on. From roasted eggplants, zucchini fritters, to lentil and vegetable soups, Greek cuisine celebrates the bounty of vegetables and fresh spices.
Greece’s location between the Ionian and Aegean seas means seafood also figures prominently. From grilled octopus to fried calamari, fish soup to seafood linguine, the fruits of the sea are prepared simply to let their fresh flavors shine.
No matter your dietary preferences, Greece offers endless ways to tantalize your tastebuds. The fresh flavors of locally grown produce, herbs, and quality extra virgin olive oil form the foundations of Greek cuisine. Meat eaters can savor the lamb, chicken, and pork dishes seasoned with Mediterranean spices. Seafood lovers will delight in the fresh catches like sardines, sea bass, and lobster. And vegetarians have a bounty of salads, dips, pastries, and vegetable stews to choose from. With centuries of culinary tradition, Greece has something to satisfy every appetite.
So on your next trip to this sun-drenched Mediterranean country, leave space in your itinerary – and your stomach – to discover Greece’s diverse and mouthwatering culinary scene. Sample the fried snacks at a bustling port, learn to cook regional specialties at a cooking class, or just sit back with a glass of ouzo and let the Greeks introduce your tastebuds to their flavorful food. Opaa!