Greek cuisine is, without a doubt, one of the oldest in the world. Many Greek cooking recipes were recorded long before our era. Therefore Olympus cuisine is the supreme culinary tradition of the Mediterranean.
The first recipe book in the world was created many centuries ago in Greece, on Crete Island. Since then, the Greeks not only improved their quality of cooking, but they invented a lot of their own meals and new preparation techniques.
However, the historical background has certainly affected to the establishment of the Greek cuisine. Turkish yoke, which lasted several centuries, certainly left a big mark. Therefore, even today, many researchers see the effect of the Balkan Peninsula countries in the culinary tradition of Greece. Oriental tradition embodied not only in the recipe of Greek dishes but also in methods of serving them on a table. For example, Greeks keep food in warm for hours, and never warm up before serving.
Traditional Greek food
Greek cuisine is unimaginable without seafood. Apart from fish, very popular are octopuses, mussels, crabs, shrimp, oysters, trepangs, scallops. Greeks are number one in preparing roasted squids over charcoal or grill. In the process of cooking, they cut squads into rings and serve them with lemon wedges. Barbecued octopus is a recognized delicacy and the main dish in Greek tavernas. Chargrilled squids are flavored with olive oil, herbs, tarragon, onion. The meat is used rarely, and the main source of proteins are fish and milk. However, the Ottomans implanted love for the meat dishes such as gyros (kebab), kleftiko and moussaka – eggplant casserole with minced meat.
The Mediterranean triad
The basis of Greek cuisine is the so-called Mediterranean triad, which includes wheat, wine and, olives. From wheat flour, they bake bread, from olives, make oil and winemaking tradition is so embedded in the history of this country, that no one disputes their leading position in the world with their master Dionysus – the God of wine.
In the national cuisine of Greece, only natural products are used, and recipes are simple and affordable.Vegetables are the base for the preparation of many dishes of the Greek cuisine. Most commonly they use eggplants, tomatoes, beans, peppers, spinach, cabbage, and onions. Tzatziki is one of the most famous dipping sauce for vegetables. It is based on yogurt sauce with the addition of cucumber and garlic. It can be served with meat and vegetables, such as souvlaki or gyros and fried fish.
In Greek cuisine, as well as in any Mediterranean, they use many seasonings and spices, such as mint, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, and basil. Turkish influence also affected Greek desserts with halva, lakoum, revani, kataifi, baklava… Sugar is replaced by natural honey.
For breakfast, Greeks drink coffee, for lunch eat a vegetable salad or yogurt, but they turn dinner into a real festival. It’s all connected with serving dozens of meals and unpretentious hours of conversation with relatives and friends. Of course, it is understood that no Greek dinner wasn’t complete without a good bottle of wine.
Retsina wine: Amphora with resin
The Greeks are joking, by saying that you need to live at least ten lives, to try all sorts of wine produced in this historical country. However, to go to Greece and not to try Greek white wine retsina is a real shame.
Retsina is love at third sip. For the first time you try this wine, it is impossible not to feel a sharp aroma of resin, after that you pay attention to the taste of this drink, and then decide whether it will be your favorite either be classified as a taboo.