For the Greeks, their foods all throughout its history and continuing these days is a philosophy. The residents of Greece know better than anyone what makes the best feast, and it is not only the foods but the good company as well. Food is almost always prepared with the tastes of the guests in mind, regardless if the dishes are fried or roasted, and heavy or light, with the wine chosen carefully. Food is amicably the center of the conversation at the dinner table.
As freshly leapt in the sea, the fishes are delicious, and the vegetables having just picked or dug from the ground are the freshest produce for you to enjoy. Greece in the traditional way is still de rigueur in the islands. It starts early with a fast breakfast of cigarettes and coffee or dried Rusk that is soaked in a warm milk. This is followed by a great lunch and siesta.
The olive oil of Greece is adding flavor and enriching the Greek foods, which serve as the traditional cooking methods for long slow baking and grilling. It enhances and mellows the foods. Drinking out and eating in Greece is still very democratic and enjoyable, old and young, wealthy and not too wealth, celebrity and ordinary, are all enjoying similar favorite neighborhood tavern, café, or restaurant. Nowadays, in many places of Greece, special occasions, celebratory meals and family get-togethers more likely to happen in the restaurants or local tavern than in their homes, which means that you, as a visitor can vicariously enjoy those events which may include traditional, live music as well as spontaneous dances, and perhaps fireworks.
Basically, the traditional diet as well as the methods of cooking in Greece hasn’t changed since the ancient times – the original flavors and ingredients are still being used together with the most important basic ingredient of all, which is the Greek olive oil. This is particularly true specially in Crete, where traditional diet is similar – basic and simple without over spicing like modern foods. It’s also argued that the diet in Crete has not really changed since the ancient times -using cereals, olive oil, fish and wine. Such kind of diet has introduced the world’s most healthy and long living people and the basis of this is the popular Mediterranean diet. There are researches that discovered that Crete people were very healthy because of their diet. Still these days, it’s generally agreed that by following the traditional way of eating by Cretans would lead to less chances of suffering from any heart disease as compared to other Mediterranean diets. The primary reason is because of the fact that the Cretans consume twice as much fruit, 1-quarter less meat, and more pulses as compared to other European countries. But other could also argue that this traditional diet is much of Greece.
Greek cuisine is almost free from animal fats, which is the reason why it’s great for the health. This, combined with organic, fresh foodstuff, huge helpings of fruits, vegetables and fish with little chances for fast food binges and no true traditional of making with pre-cooked TV dinner tells us that that it isn’t completely surprising that aside from being the civilization’s cradle, Greece was also the place where Mediterranean diet was born. Nowadays, with the inception of the nouveau cuisine in majority of western Europe – with its very strange combination of flavors and ingredients, or the dish of some European cities with its complicated, pretentiousness etiquette formalities and procedures, it seems that the entire gastronomical pleasure has already been lost. With Greek cuisine, you can possibly rediscover the original taste and feeling. The Greek food is very beautiful and it Greece already has hundreds and hundreds of tasty, healthy dishes that the Greek women have created through time.
If you wish to try the typical traditional food in Greece, the first thing that you need to do is to look for a traditional Greek restaurant or a tavern. The first sign that you need to look for is the customers; if majority of the customers are Greek then you’re in the right place. You also need to look at the tavern; of it does not have any big sign in 50 languages saying that they are offering Greek dishes of Moussaka for just 4 to 5 euros, then you already found something. If you’re really lucky, restaurants and tavern don’t even have menus, or at least not in English. If you find the perfect place, eat the way the Greeks do. You should start buy ordering mezedakia, or mezes. These are small dishes with many different delicacies that you will eat on the side or as appetizers. You can even stay there or not order a main course. Whatever comes to your mind, you can ask the waiter to bring in whatever order is good.
Read our previous article Witness the rarely visited places of Bavaria