Smell the Surfeit of Souvalaki and Orektika

Greece-Orektika ©qastina2/flickr

Orektika ©qastina2/flickr

Greece has a culinary tradition of more than 4000 years. Eat in the Greek tavernas all over Greece, you will be offered Souvalaki, Kalamaki, Pita, Tacos, Sushi and Stir-friend Lamb. Let’s say if you allocated your daily budget of about €90 – €130, you can expect restaurant grade of these Greek food. It can even include a stay in an own room and sleep in comfortable beds, eat out for that entire day and afford sightseeing to the various islands.

Herbs: Greek Oregano and Thyme

Speaking about Greek cuisines, the Mediterranean oregano is always present. In a sense, oregano is from the mint family. So it is often used in fish, meat and sauces of the Greek dishes, in pizzas, for any type of tomatoes sauces, with egg and cheese dishes too. The Italians combine it with basil for that special flavour.

Authentic Greek Cuisine

The authenticity of the Greek cuisine is by presence of the olive oil. Cheese, yoghurt, lots of vegetables from okra or what we know as ‘Lady’s Fingers’, green peppers, onions, eggplant, and tomato. Honey from nectar of fruit tress and citrus trees: lemon, orange, bigarade trees while thyme honey, pine honey from conifer trees.

Fresh herbs, grains, wine, fish, bread, meats like pork and rabbit, poultry and aubergine or eggplant and zucchini (here they called the zucchini, courgette.) Dips served with bread loaf or pita bread.

For desserts, dominantly the Greek use nuts and honey, one example of such is the filo pastry.

Mezés (?????) & Orektika

The Mediterranean style of eating is selections and varieties of food served in small dishes. Starters are assortments of Orektika which are appetizers served with anise-flavored liqueurs as ouzo or homemade tsipouro.

The greek appetizers are deep fried vegetables from mushrooms, aubergines, courgettes, peppers. Dolmadakia which are grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables. Fava (yellow split pea puree), horiatiki , horta, kolokythoanthoi, lahanosalata (cabbage salad), marides tiganites served with lemon wedges, melitzanosalata (eggplant salad), pantzarosalata (beetroot salad), patatosalata, saganaki (fried cheese usually Graviera or Kefalotyri), spanakopita (spinach, feta cheese, onions, egg). Taramosalata, tyropita (feta cheese wrapped in phyllo pastry) and my favourite Tzatziki.

Thyme

Greece Souvalaki ©fasish/flickr

Souvalaki ©fasish/flickr

Be it fresh in bundles or dried Thymari or thyme leaves, any ways including keeping a kitchen herb garden, the Greek cuisines enhance their dishes of poultry, meats, fish, stews and soups. The vegetables are fresh garden salads. Even to cookies, to breads and spoon sweets.

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