Lapped by the Mediterranean sea and steeped in history, Greece is home to several of the best ingredients in the world. Taste them in a Greek traditional meal along with a glass of anise-flavoured ouzo.
Greece with its gorgeous blue sea, child-friendly and pleasant beaches and the variety of flavour-packed cost has long been a favourite place for family vacation. Be sure you taste all the best dishes in this region and don't leave Greece without trying these delicious foods:
A mainstay of any Greek traditional meal are classic dips, for example, tzatziki (contains yogurt, cucumber and garlic), fava (creamy split pea purée) and melitzanosalata (aubergine). Nevertheless, the yummy taramosalata (fish roe dip) is a must. This creamy blend of white or pink fish roe with either a bread or a potato starting is best with a lemon juice or a drizzle of virgin olive oil.
Olive oil and olives
Greek people have been growing olives for such a long time that some even state that Athena gave the first olive tree to the Athens' city, thus earning its favour. Greek traditional dinners are combined with regional olives, some relieved in a vigorous sea salt brine, others like throubes, eaten uncured directly from the tree. Olive oil is the elixir of Greece, it is used generously in cooking and salads, and drizzled over most dishes, dips and foods. And many tavernas make their own oil to use it for cooking.
Each place in Greece, even each household, has its variance to the classic grape leaf -twisted rice package. Enjoyed as a finger food, some stuffed vine leaves incorporate mincemeat with the long-grain rice, others, simply a heady combination of thyme, dill, fennel, pine nuts and oregano.
Variants on moussaka are found throughout the Balkans and Mediterranean, but the legendary Greek baked meal is based on layering: minced meat fried pureed tomato, sautéed aubergine, garlic, onion and spices like allspice and cinnamon, a bit of potato, after which a final deep topping of cheese and béchamel sauce.
Greek cooks are master of spit-roasted and charcoal-grilled meats. Souvlaki is still Greece's favorite junk food, both skewered meat versions and the gyros with onion, tomato and lashings of tzatziki, wrapped in pitta bread. In the taverna, local free-range pork and lamb rule, though child goat is also a favorite.
Fresh fish dishes
Settle down at a seaside taverna and eat there as locals have since ancient times. Fresh calamari and fish from the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas are unbelievably tasty and baked with minimal fuss – grilled and prepared whole and drizzled over with ladholemono (contains lemon and oil). Flavoursome smaller fish such as maridha (whitebait) and barbounia (red mullet) are perfect lightly fried.
Courgette balls (kolokythokeftedes)
Occasionally in the form of a patty, sometimes in a lightly melted ball, ensure that you try this food starter any opportunity you obtain. The fritter's body is usually made of pureed or grated courgette combined with mint, dill, or additional top-secret spice mixtures. Used with tzatziki, for its cooling freshness, you simply can not lose.
Along harbours, octopus hung out to dry like washing is one of the iconic photos of Greece. Marinated or grilled, it makes a good meze (appetiser), or being an entree stew it in wine marinade and serve it with tasty pasta.
Feta & other cheeses
While in Greece, make sure you taste the vast array of fresh cheeses. Ask behind marketplace surfaces for feta kept in big barrel rolls, creamy and tasty (totally different from the one in plastic tubs in areas beyond Greece). Or, taste a hard golden-white cheese graviera, ideal eaten cubed, or fried as saganaki. At bakeries, you will find cheese pie (tyropita), at tavernas, salads like Cretan dakos, which will be capped having a crumbling of mizithra, a smooth, white cheese.
Honey & baklava
Greek people enjoy their sweets, typically based on honey mixtures and olive oil, with filo pastry. The traditional baklava can be a start, layering filo, honey and ground nuts. Or try galaktoboureko, a sinful custard-filled pastry. Simply, pour a dollop of local honey with thyme over fresh Greek yogurt.