What you should taste
A visit to Greece is not only a trip of relaxation and adventure. It is also a gastronomic trip of exploration and mystery.
The Mediterranean cuisine as a way of living is becoming the next big trend, being followed by millions of people. Thousands of articles are being published, pages and pages are written and cookbooks are available in every bookstore.
It all begins with the basic ingredients of our nutritional tradition.
Good quality fresh ingredients, correct use of flavourings (herbs) and spices, fresh fish and seafood and above all, the famous Greek olive oil.
After all, the Greek gastronomy has a proven history and record of more than 3,000 years; we wrote the first cookbook in history back in 330 B.C. by Archestratos.
Fresh fruit is in abundance, especially during summer months, and can be found in every corner of Greece.
The nutrients of grapes, vitamins from apricots, peaches and cherries can buoy you throughout the day.
During the hot hours of midday find yourselves a cool spot under the shade of a beach bar for a refreshing fruit juice or a cold fruit-salad. There is nothing more refreshing and tasty than this.
The ‘Greek salad’ or "Horiatiki" as we call it is already in everyone’s vocabulary. Plain ingredients like fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, slices of green peppers and onions, accompanied by feta cheese olives and capers, create this world known plate. You will find it in all restaurant and tavern menus.
If you try preparing it at home, you will realize that it doesn’t taste the same. The secret is in the high quality olive oil together with oregano and herbs produced and grown in our land.
Apart from feta (a protected designation of origin product since 2002) there are numerous other cheese products with special flavours coming from places like the Ionian Islands, or Cyclades, especially Naxos, Ios and Santorini. Dairy products like yogurt can even be served as desserts, dressed with honey and walnuts or fruits.
Don’t be shy when enjoying your meal; accompany your meals with various hors d’oeuvres (mezedes) you will find in the Greek menus. They perfectly match with a glass of ouzo, a tradition that every Greek maintains with reverence.
You can try taramosalata, fava (from Santorini) or tzatziki (made from strained yogurt, shredded cucumbers, olive oil and lots of garlic!). They fit perfectly with most of our cooked dishes, or well known plates like moussakas and gemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice).
Sip a glass of ouzo or wine while enjoying the Aegean breeze while sitting under the shade of a small tavern by the seaside. The combination with your drink is a plate of grilled octopus, some shrimps or grilled scampi, or even a fish and lobster dish.
If you prefer to have something on the road (a take away), it won’t be difficult to find a famous Greek ‘souvlaki’ place. Coming in many variations (like ‘gyros’, ‘kalamaki’, chicken, etc.) this is the most popular and delicious Greek fast food. Usually served as a sandwich, or on a platter with French fries and lemon.
Usually a warm welcome of our visitors is accompanied with a sweet taste, the foremost traditional treat in most Greek homes. Also served as dessert in the traditional restaurants, don’t forget to order galaktoboureko or baklavas, coated and soaked in sweet syrup.
And of course in the morning, there is nothing more effective to wake you up than a cold Greek Frappe. It has become our "National" coffee drink for the summer time, being served all day long. Frappe is mainly instant coffee shaken to a frothy texture served with or without milk and sugar to your taste.