Greek Food Guide For Beginners

By Muhammad Zeeshan

27 October 2022

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Why Greek food is rich and authentic?

 

Because globalization has brought far-flung dishes to our dinner table, I was already acquainted with popular Greek dishes such as gyros, saganaki, dolmadakia, and moussaka. But, like any serious foodie, I wanted to try each and every one of those dishes while in Greece or by following a recipe. You can't say you've truly had a dish until you've tried it where it's actually from, in my opinion. It's like claiming to have seen the beauty of a Santorini sunset by looking at a postcard. The "Mediterranean Triad" of olives, grains, and grapes shaped Greek cuisine, as it did many other Mediterranean cuisines. These staple crops served as the foundation for traditional Greek cuisine. The main ingredients in the cuisine are olives and wine, while wheat is the basic grain. Many Greek recipes use olive oil and include vegetables such as tomatoes, auberge, and okra. Fresh mint, oregano, thyme, and fennel are common herbs and spices used to flavor Greek dishes.

The climate and terrain of the country favor the breeding of goats and sheep over cattle, while fish and other seafood dishes play an important role in the Greek coastal diet. Here are some dishes that you really need to experience if you want to taste some Greek food.

 

  


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Dolmadakia (Stuffed Cabbage Leaves)

 

Dolmadakia (or dolmades) is the Greek name for a type of stuffed dish popular in the Balkans, South Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Stuffed grape or cabbage leaves with a variety of ingredients such as onion, parsley, mint, dill, and rice. Although minced meat is used, meatless versions are more common. They can be served hot or cold, with or without a dip or sauce, depending on the filling. Dolmadakia is short cigar-shaped vegetables that are boiled until the leaves are tender. They're drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, as are many traditional Greek dishes.

 

Tirokrokes (Fried Cheesy Balls)

 

Cheese lovers, like saganaki, will find their taste buds dancing with this next dish. Tirokroketes are Greek cheese balls made with a variety of cheeses such as feta, graviera, and gouda. They're breaded and deep-fried before being topped with tzatziki or tomato sauce.

 

Greek Salad

 

Most Greek dishes are simple and emphasize the freshness of their ingredients. The classic Greek or horiatiki salad is the best example of this. Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, capers, and kalamata olives are used to make Greek salad. It's topped with a feta cheese block and seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. It's made in Santorini with the island's famous cherry tomatoes and capers. This Greek salad was served to us at Megalochori's Tavern Tzanakis. It's a family-run establishment that serves delicious home-cooked Greek cuisine.

 

Pastitsio (Greek Baked Pasta)

 

If moussaka gets your taste buds going, you'll probably enjoy pastitsio as well. It's a baked pasta dish in Greece made with ground beef and béchamel sauce. Greek pastitsio can be prepared in a variety of ways, but one of the most popular involves a bottom layer of bucatini (or another tubular pasta) mixed with cheese or egg. Before being coated in béchamel sauce flavored with nutmeg and allspice, the pasta is topped with a mixture of ground beef (or ground beef and ground pork), tomato sauce, cloves, and cinnamon. If you've been to Egypt, you might know this dish as makarna beshamel. Pastitsio is a delectable Greek baked pasta dish.

 

Baklava (Sweet dish)

Baklava is the most famous dessert on this list. It’s a rich and sweet dessert pastry made with layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and held together with syrup or honey.

 

Final Words

Needless to say, no one knows Greek food like a local, so what better way to experience it than on a food or wine tasting tour? A foodie local will show you around the city's best restaurants and explain all the dishes and wines in greater detail.