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    The history of Greek food

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    Greek food is one of the first fusion cuisines in the world, thanks to Greece’s place in Europe and wonderfully rich history (Italian and Turkish foods along with the Middle East played a part in influencing today’s Greek cuisine).

    History of greek food

    In ancient times, the Persians introduced Middle Eastern foods, such as yoghurt, rice, and sweets made from nuts, honey, and sesame seeds. When Rome invaded Greece in 197 B.C., the Romans brought with them foods that are typical in Italy today including pasta and sauces. Arab influences have also left their mark in the southern part of Greece, with spices such as cinnamon, cumin, allspice, and cloves playing a prominent role in the diet of these regions. The Turks later introduced coffee to Greece.

    Did you know?

    The first cookbook was written by the Greek food gourmet, Archestratos, in 330 B.C., which suggests that cooking has always been of importance and significance in Greek society.

    Greek food today

    Greek cooking traditions date back thousands of years but Greeks today still eat some of the same dishes their ancestors did in ancient times. These include dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and many of the same vegetables, fruits and grain products.

    With its long coastline, Greece also relies heavily on fish and seafood. Meat tends to play a less important role, and is often used as an ingredient in vegetable dishes instead of as a main dish. The islands and coastal areas of Greece favour lighter dishes that feature vegetables or seafood. In contrast, the inland regions use more meat and cheese in their cooking.

    The Greeks eat bread, grains, potatoes, rice, and pasta nearly every day. Staples of the Greek diet include olives (and olive oil), aubergines, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, lentils, and other types of beans, lemons, nuts, honey, yoghurt, feta cheese, eggs, fish, chicken, and lamb.

    The following are some of the most famous Greek dishes: dolmades, (stuffed vine leaves); an egg and lemon soup called avgolemono; meat, spinach, and cheese pies; moussaka (a meat and aubergine dish); souvlaki (lamb on a skewer); and baklava (pastry with nuts and honey wrapped in layers of thin dough called phyll).

    The national beverage of Greece is strong Turkish coffee, which is served in small cups. Other beverages include ouzo, an alcoholic drink flavored with anise, and a popular wine called retsina.

    A Big Fat Greek Dinner

    If you're unable to get to Athens or the Greek islands this year, our Greek Demo & Dine evening is the perfect way to sample traditional Greek cuisine without having to step on a flight. We can't promise sunshine or plate smashing (not intentionally anyway!), but rest assured the food will be good enough to transport you to a Greek taverna on a sun-soaked island, no matter how dreary the Scottish weather. And you won't even have to lift a finger - our chefs will do all the hard work. Just look at the menu below…

    • Stuffed vine leaves
    • Courgette and feta fritters with tzatziki
    • Cheese pies
    • Braised lamb with oregano
    • Greek salad
    • Pistachio baklava

    Book your place now.