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).
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
- Stuffed vine leaves
- Courgette and feta fritters with tzatziki
- Cheese pies
- Braised lamb with oregano
- Greek salad
- Pistachio baklava
your place now.