Recently I just returned from a trip to Greece. It was my first time visiting and I know it will not be my last. One thing I was excited about was the food and it did not let me down. I’m officially a self-confessed Greek food addict now! Fresh, flavourful delicious food every meal of the day! My stomach was happy for the whole 2 weeks I was there.
I have narrowed it down to some of my favourites, so don’t read this on an empty stomach and prepare to come away with a real craving for some Greek food.
A pasta-based dish similar to lasagne. This dish is cooked with ground mince and béchamel cheese sauce. The bottom layer is made up bucatini (tubular pasta) and stacked with the ground meat and béchamel sauce. The sauce is even better when it’s made from fresh goats cheese. It’s simple but delicious and even better the next day when everything has been given the chance to sit in its juices. It’s something you can enjoy all year round.
A traditional Greek dip made from yoghurt, cucumber, garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Dig in with some crusty fresh bread. Don’t believe me, try it for yourself. I ate this at every meal time and still make it for myself now I’m back at home. It’s a classic appetizer.
Another dip because you can never have too many dips. This one is simply made from pureed yellow split peas and flavoured with olive oil and onion. It is the perfect vegetable dish. Light and tasty, the crunch of the chopped onions gives it a different texture and it really helps to give you a burst of flavours.
This is a no-brainer really. A legendary dish, everybody knows this it. A sautéed aubergine (eggplant) bake with minced meat, potatoes, a nut-meg favoured béchamel sauce. Creamy and juicy and a dish you will find in almost all tavernas around the country. It will leave you wanting more.
I don’t think I had ever tasted Okra before going to Greece but I am still unsure of that one because it could have been in some dishes in Asia, I can’t quite remember. It’s kind of a strange sour green vegetable. A very strong flavour but very delicious. Its cooked in a kind of light tomato sauce, similar to a stew. This dish seems to be popular in the summer months of July-September.
A must when you are in Greece obviously. Nothing like the ‘Greek Salads’ you get at home I can tell you that now. Obviously, they are 1000% better. Fresh juicy tomatoes, (and I didn’t even like tomatoes until I went to Greece), cucumber, green peppers, olives, olive oil and of course a big slab of the most delicate feta cheese I have ever tasted. Soak up all the juices with some fresh bread and it will take you to a whole other world.
A traditional Creten dish which is made from a dry rustic bread which softens back up with the juices of the olive oil and tomatoes then topped with crumbled Feta cheese, it’s the perfect dish for brunch. Some people describe it is the ‘Greek Bruschetta’. simple and delicious.
Stuffed vine leaves either with vine leaves or courgette flowers. These leavy parcels are stuffed rice, meat, cheese and herbs. Traditionally served as an appetizer. Another version of dolmades is to have the stuffing stuffed inside fried courgette (Zucchini) flowers.
A very popular Greek food. It is grilled meat on a stick, kind of like a kebab. Usually pork. It is especially popular is street side restaurant or at a pit stop on a road trip, which is where I tried my very first one. In the Greek Language ‘ Slouvaki’ means ‘meat on a stick.’
Juicy meat wrapped in a pita bread with salad, tzatziki and chips. Delicious but you probably shouldn’t eat too many of them. It’s pretty cheap and quick, perfect for the budget traveller or for soaking up too many Rakis.
Arni Sto Forno me Patatas-
Lamb in the oven with potatoes of course. It is slow-cooked all day to make it succulent and melt in your mouth. It’s savoury and juicy and a real winter warmer, although it’s served all year round. Most of the time it is prepared as a treat for those special occasions.
Fassolakia me patatas-
A runner beans with potato casserole. This is a similar style dish to the ocra one but with runner beans instead. I guess it is eaten more when Ocra is not in season but is still as delicious. The green beans and potatoes are stewed in tomatoes and it’s full of flavours
This traditional Greek custard pastry cake drizzled with honey. Kind of like an egg custard tart but on a much larger scale. Really delicious especially when it freshly baked and its still slightly warm. I love slightly warm fresh out of the oven cakes. It is also pretty tasty after a few days of sitting and soaking in the sticky honey.
I have never been a huge fan of Baklava before. Maybe the ones I have had in the past haven’t been that great. Maybe it’s all the grounded nuts that it is filled with but this a must try when in Greece. But this honey-soaked phyllo pastry dessert is unquestionably the most popular Greek dessert.
My favourite of all the desserts. The only way I can describe it is a mixture of nuts basically wrapped in ‘shredded wheat’ to use Brits or a special type of pastry called “Katafi” and drowned in one of my favourite things…honey! It is very similar to Baklava the only difference is the type of pastry used.
Visiting Greece was a stepping stone for me when trying new foods when travelling. Here I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a lot of foods that I wouldn’t usually eat. I even tried foods that I didn’t like in the past such as tomatoes and nuts. If you ever visit this amazing country, indulge yourself with its delicious cuisine. It might just become your favourite.
Have you been to Greece? What’s your favourite Greek food?