The Greeks love to eat, which explains their enormous range of cuisine. Greek restaurants can be found in any part of the globe, but nothing beats the taste of dishes that are made with homegrown ingredients and prepared in authentic Greek kitchens.
One fine example of a local delicacy is tzatziki, a dipping sauce that accompanies pita bread for a meal’s first course. It is made from yogurt combined with grated bits of cucumber, garlic, and olive oil. Greeks absolutely adore their mezedes, or appetizers, in the same way that the Spanish can’t do without their tapas.
Tzatziki is just one of the appetite-teasers you’ll find on dining tables in Greece. The key to making scrumptious tzatziki is in the type of yogurt Greeks use.
Tzatziki is served cold and is oftentimes accentuated with dill, mint, or parsley.
With Greece’s rich agricultural industry, having a hearty vegetable salad in the country is one of the best experiences you can have.
Horiatiki, known generally as Greek salad in restaurants in the Western world, is an assortment of raw vegetables, olives, feta cheese, and olive oil.
This colorful recipe is just as pleasant to the eye as it is to the palate. The harmony of flavors explodes with every bite of the tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives enhanced further by the feta cheese. Horiatiki salata means “country salad,” and this well-loved Greek staple brings a rustic feel to your dining experience.
Dolmades, or Dolmadakia
The vineyards produce not only some of the world’s best wine but also recipes such as dolmades, or dolmadakia. This is a traditional dish made from grape leaves rolled and stuffed with minced meat filling.
Greek cooks forego the meat and use eggplant instead, making the dish more attractive for vegans.
The vegetarian dolmades can be served warm or cold, while the meat variety is definitely delightful when eaten warm.
The grape leaves used in this dish must be from untreated vines, and they must be boiled first to eliminate their bitterness.
Souvlaki is the Greek version of barbecue, with cubes of pork in skewers, grilled to perfection.
Variations of this mouth-watering dish are offered in souvlaki shops. You can try chicken, lamb, seafood, and vegetarian versions.
A popular way of enjoying souvlaki is by wrapping it in pita bread, garnished with tomatoes, onions, and yogurt or mustard.
If you get the craving for souvlaki while in Athens, the best place to look for it is in Monastiraki Square and on Plastira Street.
Melomakarona is a seasonal favorite among the Greeks. Served as Christmas fare, these cookies are dipped in honey then sprinkled with chopped walnuts on top.
This delicacy is made from semolina flour with the flavors of cloves, orange peel, and cinnamon, adding more to a taste evoking the feel of festivities. If you are invited in Greece during the Yuletide season, expect to be welcomed in the Greek kitchen with the wonderful aroma of melomakarona wafting in the air.