Food is one of the reasons people fall in love with Greece. The wealth of flavors, the freshness of the ingredients and the choice of dishes is bountiful. We’ve asked our members of Travel Bloggers Greece to share their favourite Greek food.
By Katerina and Maria of It’s All Trip To Me
Greek cuisine is one of the finest examples of the world-famous Mediterranean diet which is based on fresh produce and seasonal ingredients. One of the best vegetarian dishes to try in Greece is revithada, a simple yet mouthwatering staple of the Cyclades Islands.
Although many islands claim to be the birthplace of revithada, Sifnos is the primary contestant, and for good reason. The island has a long culinary tradition and local gastronomy is among the best regional cuisines in Greece.
Revithada, or chickpea stew, is a hearty legume dish, which is slow-cooked in a clay pot for an entire night until the chickpeas are super tender and soft. Traditionally, locals cook revithada overnight on a Saturday so that they can enjoy their favourite dish at the family Sunday lunch. If you ever visit gorgeous Sifnos, don’t miss the chance to savour this delicious dish. Apart from the island’s restaurants, revithada is also served at the renowned traditional festivals that take place in Sifnos, where you can sing, dance, and eat among the hospitable locals.
Tzina of Love for Travel
Souvlaki is a snack that Greeks love and you should try it when you are in Greece.
It is a street food but very often Greeks are accustomed to eating souvlaki as a main meal for lunch or dinner. There are two ways to eat souvlaki.
One is with gyro which are small sliced pieces of pork, kebab, or chicken wrapped in pita bread together with tomatoes, onions, and of course tzatziki. The second way is to order a kalamaki, which translates as little reed and are pieces of meat grilled on a wooden skewer. It is usually accompanied by a slice of bread and you order it as “kalamaki”.
Souvlaki was first introduced in ancient Greece and was known as obelisk (from the word “ovelos” which means spit).
These were pieces of meat passed on a skewer along with a slice of bread. Not too far from its current form, especially when we choose to eat it not accompanied by pie but straw with a slice of bread. There are references to these recipes in the works of Aristophanes, Xenophon, Aristotle, and Homer’s Iliad.
Amber of Provocolate
Greece’s seas are rich with all kinds of excellent fish. And a good fish is considered, indisputably, queen of the dinner table. Fish is celebrated in Greek cuisine with a number of excellent fish dishes – the most familiar of which is Psarosoupa – Greek fish soup (ψάρι – “psari” = fish, σούπα – “soupa” = soup). It’s also called sometimes called Kavavia. By whatever name, like most Greek dishes it can vary by region and by cook – everyone has a favorite version. Kakavia – the Cretan version – for example is often thick with pureed vegetables and fish.
Psarousoupa belongs to an international tradition of excellent fish soups, such as bouillabaisse. Like other international fish soups, it can go plain or fancy – stretching a thin catch and making the most of smaller fish, or featuring one or two excellent large fish. Most any fish can be used, but some fish – such as the “peskandritsa” (monkfish) are especially good for soup. The other ingredients are simply minced onion, potatoes, carrots, and usually some celery, as well as a small handful of rice. What sets psarosoupa apart is its characteristic broth, velvety with avgolemono – the egg-lemon liasson that thickens many an excellent Greek sauce, giving just the right balance of richness and tang. It’s an ideal dish for summer or for winter, for a festive meal or a simple family lunch.
Katerina of Limitless Travelling
Fava is very tasty, and also a very easy-to-make Greek appetizer made from dry yellow split peas. It’s best served with both meat and seafood dishes. It is great as a dip for a meze together with fresh slices of bread or pita bread before starting your main course.
The plant from which fava takes its name is the pea, which is cultivated on the island of Santorini. Peas from Santorini are distinguished by their delicate, sweet taste, which they owe to the microclimate of this island.
Fava is basically yellow peas puree with onions, garlic, seasonings, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. When serving fava, it is very common to add some extra virgin olive oil, fresh or caramelized onions, or capers on top.
So simple and so delicious Greek meze, that definitely you should try while visiting Greece.
Traditional Greek Easter Bread: Tsoureki
By Celeste Tat from Family Experiences Blog
Tsoureki is a Greek holiday bread similar to the French brioche. The basic ingredients are the same; butter, milk, sugar, yeast, eggs, flour. However, what makes tsoureki different are the mastic and mahlap spices. These spices, when cooked, give the bread a distinct sweet smell and taste. Traditionally, tsoureki is baked on Good Thursday, but you don’t eat it before the end of Saturday because, in religious practices, in the days leading up to Easter Sunday, you shouldn’t be eating dairy products.
Typically, there are three plaits that are braided in tsoureki. These are made to represent the Holy Trinity; God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. You can also found round shaped tsoureki. The Greek Easter bread is decorated with blood-red, hard-boiled eggs. (Read here how Greeks dye their eggs red)
While tsoureki is traditionally served during Easter, it is also very popular throughout the year as a delicious mid-day snack, breakfast or coffee & tea companion. Kids especially love tsoureki because of its soft, fluffy texture and its delicious taste.
Chrysoula of Travelpassionate
Greek cuisine is one of the main reasons one should visit Greece and Moussaka is certainly one of the most popular and delicious dishes to try. Moussaka was first created in the 1920s by chef Nikolaos Tselementes and it is made with a layer of baked potatoes, aubergines, ground beef, and on top a hearty bechamel sauce. It is not an easy dish to cook as it needs a lot of preparation. All the ingredients are cooked separately before they get combined and cooked in the oven. You can combine it with a greek salad and tzatziki. This dish can be found in almost any restaurant serving traditional food around Greece.
Rania of Bachelor of Travel
Bougatsa is one of those foods that you can only get in certain areas of the country, namely Northern Greece. It has its origins in Asia Minor and the Greek community of Constantinopole and is regarded as both a dessert and a breakfast pastry. Bougatsa is especially loved in Thessaloniki and Serres, two of the places you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to try it from. The sweet and some say original version, combines sweet custard tucked between crispy layers of phyllo. It is then sprinkled with cinnamon and icing sugar and cut into bite-sized pieces. The second most popular version is savoury and features a mix of feta and other white cheeses. It tastes nothing like the traditional tyropita (cheesepie) and should be tasted whenever you get the opportunity, preferably with a glass of chocolate milk on the side.
Elena of Travel Greece, Travel Europe
Amongst the hundreds of Greek pies recipes, there is also the famous Kreatopita, which is the Greek version of a meat pie. A warm luscious meat-filled phyllo pie, is one of the most beloved and popular dishes in the area of Epirus. The traditional recipe includes three different ground meats, Greek cheese, and warm spices. All these ingredients are filled into traditional filo – or phyllo- pastry, which is solely made by flour and water, which is folded into layers, forming a delicious thin crunchy dough when baked. If you are a foodie and if you fancy discovering the food culture of the place you are visiting, we advise that you pay a visit to the traditional villages of Epirus like Napoleon’s place in Kalarytes or Aspragali a little village of the lovely Zagorohoria and try the best pies in the world- and of course some Kreatopita!
Lamb with potatoes
Mary of Trips and Dreams
Lamb with potatoes, a dish that you can find in many Greek islands but also in mainland Greece. A staple Greek dish that the Greek family enjoys mainly on Sundays and holidays when gathers around the table.
The taste of the local lamb, the Greek herbs, fresh or dried oregano, the rosemary, the garlic, the olive oil but also the lemon juice, in an oven pan with potatoes cut into large pieces, make each one of us enjoy a delicious meal. Accompanied by a large Greek salad, a salad with lettuce, spring onion and dill, and of course tzatziki.
It is a simple and easy recipe that always leaves the best impression on the guests.