Greek food is one of the best things about Greece. I mean there is sea, hospitality, history, social life, night life and a lot more many things, but cuisine stands out. Due to favorable weather conditions, it is rich in fruits and vegetables. Fresh herbs make food not only delicious but a treat for all senses. The aroma, the perfect palette of colors and the heartwarming taste together create a borderline foodgasm experience!
Greek food: More than just food
Greek food is a bit more than just food. Especially because eating is not a considered a task that you just need to do and get over with. It is more of a social celebration, sipping the local drinks and giggling around with friends and family for hours. It is essentially divided over multiple courses and the delicacies are enjoyed one by one.
We had amazing culinary experience in Greece and this is why I a sharing the best of the dishes we tried. When you are ever there, you should definitely try them! Or you can cook them at home to bring Greece to your kitchen. Let’s see what we have here.
Warning: Tempting pictures. Not recommended when hungry. Proceed at your own risk! 😀
This is typically the most famous street food from Greece. It has pieces of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie (or cheese for vegetarian option) that are rolled inside pita bread with onion, tomato, french fries and tzatziki (a greek dip explained later). It is delicious and quite similar to the Turkish doner.
This is quite similar to chicken tikka we have in India. Just the pieces are a bit smaller and the marinade is a bit different. Meat is grilled on a skewer and served with fried potatoes. Yummy yummy, happy tummy!
I am not a big fan of zucchini but I still loved this dish. This already says the awesomeness of this dish. These deep fried balls of zucchini, cheese and carrot shreds are served with tzatziki. Absolute delight.
Baked stuffed aubergine:
I love mashed aubergine (We call it Baigan ka bharta in Hindi). Now imagine a tangier and tastier version of it, with capsicum and cheese. This is the greek version of baked aubergine. It is even served on aubergine skin.t was an instant hit and we ended up eating it multiple times 😀
Feta cheese is one of the most common ingredients in Greek food. I am not a big fan of feta, but since we were in Greece, we just had to try it once with local flavors. And guess what, not too bad after all! And the smell. Sorry , but I just cannot describe the smell and flavor of this sizzling melting cheese. We tried the baked version (both with and without honey) and totally recommend it to you all.
Spinach and cheese pie (Spanakopita):
It is a layered patty filled with spinach and cheese. It was our typical takeaway breakfast (almost everyday) in Greece and you can get it from every bakery.
Cutlets of minced meat (mostly pork). Funnily enough, quite similar to the ones in Indian cuisine as well. They are served with pita bread and once again, fried potatoes. I didn’t eat them. Kshitij did and he adored them.
Tzatziki and bread:
A typical yoghurt based greek dip which contains cucumber, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Our favorite snack in Greece. I did not know much about greek bread before going there and was impressed with the quality and variety of the bread.
Sauteed wild mushroom. These were a different kind of mushroom that we never had before. The texture was a bit weird but it tasted nice. Thumbs up from my side!
Honey dipped layered pastries filled with nuts. Quite similar to the Turkish baklava. I love them so much that we bought lots of them for home. Even from the airport (at the risk of almost missing the flight). Say hello to diabetes, my friend!
Bonus item: Greek yoghurt
Imagine a very fatty creamy yoghurt. Sorry, correction: imagine the fattiest creamiest yoghurt and then double the smoothness and creaminess. This is greek yoghurt. It already has a hint of sweetness but is generally eaten for breakfast with honey and almonds/walnuts. Sugar rush! Woot woot!
We were in food heaven and the foodie in us was as happy as it could ever be! We tried almost everything in Greek food (except seafood, I am the culprit. I don’t like seafood and can not stand the smell. Sorry, Kshitij!). Honestly, this post has been the easiest (and happiest) for me to scribble down. I already knew while trotting in streets of Thessaloniki that I have to write this down. This was more like visiting your favorite memories again! I will definitely try cooking some of them and post pictures. Stay tuned to my social media channel for the glimpse (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
Now tell me, which of these dishes would you like to try? Maybe I will try cooking that 🙂
If you are wondering why I am promoting #OffbeatGreece, I explained the Whys and Hows here. This article is a part of the 31 days series #OffbeatGreece I started in October 2016. You can find more articles from this series here.
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