Hello everyone! So today I thought it’s about time to share the second part of „My trip to Crete, Greece“ series. Today I’m going to talk about Greek cuisine!
During this trip I actually didn’t go all crazy trying national dishes. However, I tried some things that I haven’t before! So these are my observations:
- Olives and olive oil. You can easily notice fields of olive trees while travelling by bus or by car, especially on the islands. The climate is just perfect for them: the sun is always shining and it is warm all-year-round… Olive oil is probably the most characteristic element of Greek cuisine and it is used in most of the dishes, such as Greek salad (horiatiki), tzatziki (which is a dip made of Greek yogurt, cucumber and garlic) or lachanosalata (a cabbage salad). Olives are also often used in many dishes or served alone, as a snack. You can find many different kinds of olives in souvenir shops or local markets. Probably the most popular ones are Kalamata olives (that are large, plump olives with a smooth texture). They were actually named after Kalamata city, which is in Peloponnese, Greece.
- Herbs. One of the most traditional herbs used in Greek cuisine is thyme. Other common flavorings are mint, garlic, onion, dill, basil and bay laurel leaves. They are used in many Greek dishes, such as Dakos (a slice of dried bread topped with crumbled feta cheese and chopped tomatoes) or Greek salad. You can find a variety of traditional herbs in many souvenir stores.
- Feta cheese, which is made in Greece from sheep’s milk or sometimes from a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. Obviously, it is the most commonly-used cheese in Greece. Not to mention all those popular dishes, but it is used in many others, such as Spanakopita (a pastry pie filled with spinach and feta cheese), Tirokafteri (a spread dip), Roasted florina peppers are often stuffed with this cheese and many herbs and many other dishes.
- Pita bread. Have you tried it? Because if you haven’t, you definitely should! It is quite easy to find at stores or even bake it at home and it could be used in many different dishes! A popular fast food in Greece is Gyros (roasted meat, wrapped with many vegetables and a sauce like tzatziki). Pita bread can also be used to scoop dips or sauces such as taramosalata (which is made of blended roe mixed with mashed potatoes or bread crumbs, olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar).
- Greek yogurt. Not only it is used as a base for tzatziki dip, but as a dessert too! It is served with some honey, syrup or canned fruit! This type of yogurt is usually made from sheep’s milk, but nowadays some companies use cows milk to make it. Greek yogurt is also a nutriotious choice: it is high in protein (it has twice the protein content of regular yogurts!), vitamins B6 and B12, potassium, protein, zinc and calcium just as all the yogurts. Is it time for snacking? Haha!
- Pastry. As you already know, it is used in some main dishes that I’ve already mentioned in this post, but it is also widely used in bakery! Baklava, bougatsa are both pantry-based desserts also filled with many other ingredients. Actually, many Greek desserts are similar to Turkish sweets! They are made out of nuts, honey or syrup, dough or pastry… They are so sweet that after a one or a couple sweets you will probably want to have a drink!
So that’s about it! I hope that you enjoyed reading my notes on Greek cuisine. Even though I haven’t tried all the dishes I have mentioned there, I would absolutely love to come back to Greece or Crete soon and visit many other objects as well as trying some new foods because they are absolutely delicious!
I would now like to ask you to leave your opinion in the comments section below! Have you been to Greece? Have you tried any of their traditional dishes? If you have, what was your favorite? I can not wait to read your comments!
Have a cozy evening!