A Greek Food Experience

Loukoumi's Taverna & Greek Restaurant Blog. The famous across New Yorker's place now shares Greek traditional recipes and health information for the Greek kitchen.

Traditional Greek Foods To Eat In Winter

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Greece’s cuisine is humble and frugal and based on simple yet flavorful ingredients; excellent examples include ‘Greek salad’ (horiatiki salata) and even souvlaki. However, you’ll also find that the same goes for heartier winter recipes. Here is a small list of traditional Greek winter staple dishes you can enjoy.

Greek Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

Greek stuffed cabbage leaves, or lahanodolmades in Greek, is a traditional dish of cabbage leaves filled with a mixture of minced meat and rice and served with an egg and lemon (avgolemono) sauce. The stuffing is usually flavored with oregano and mint, and if you are a vegetarian, you can simply leave out the meat. Though the dish is simple, it is flavorful, with the sauce adding a lemony layer, complementing the cabbage.

Cabbage Salad

During the winter, Greeks forgo the horiatiki salata (or classic Greek salad) in favor of lahanosalata, or cabbage salad. If you’re visiting the country in the winter months, don’t be sad. You can still find horiatiki in the majority of tavernas, but why not give this winter selection a try? Full of flavors and texture, the salad is made of cabbage, of course, and while some people add carrots, onions, and a dash of olive oil, others keep it simple and complement the dish with aromatic herbs. It is basically a coleslaw but without the yogurt and seasoned with olive oil. It is an excellent fast dinner option if you pair it with feta cheese or another source of protein for the meat lovers out there.

 

 

Prasorizo

Another winter veggie you’ll often find on the Greek dinner table is leeks. Prasorizo (or leek rice) is a simple, vegan dish that can be served with virtually anything and is similar to risotto. The vegetable and rice are cooked together with the addition of lemon juice and dill. Simple, fast, and delicious.

Fasolada

Fasolada is a traditional Greek bean soup – a vegetarian recipe that can easily be made at home. Perfect to warm the body and fill the stomach on cold nights, this hearty soup is a winter standard. Traditionally, the humble dish includes white beans cooked with olive oil, onions, carrots, tomatoes, and celery. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked.

 

 

Giouvarlakia – Meatball Soup

Who doesn’t love a good meatball soup? Another Greek comfort food, giourvarlakia (hard to pronounce the first time, but you’ll get the hang of it) is perfect for a cold winter’s night. It is a flavorful meatball soup, finished off with the infamous egg-lemon sauce (avgolemono), although a version including tomatoes also exists.

Spetsofai

A traditional dish from Pelion, spetsofai is another winter staple. Made with country sausages and peppers cooked in a rich tomato sauce, spetsofai can be served with cheese, but don’t forget the bread – you’ll want to dip it in the sauce. The original recipe contains aubergines, and in some regions, it is made with hot paprika and red hot chili peppers instead of regular peppers. Whichever version you find or make, it is a must-try.

Chicken Soup With Egg-Lemon Sauce

Another Greek winter classic, kotosoupa avgolemono (chicken soup with egg-lemon sauce) is often served on Christmas day, but it can be found all winter long. And it is not even that hard to make; it’s chicken soup with rice and plenty of egg-lemon sauce. It’s comfort in a bowl.

 

 

Oven–Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

This self-explanatory dish, called kotopoulo sto fourno me patates in Greek, is comforting, simple, and delicious. Potatoes, cut into thick half wedges, and chicken are both seasoned with oregano plus a dash of olive oil and then put in the oven to roast. Pair the dish with a tasty salad, and you’ve got yourself a healthy meal.

Beef Soup

Want a filling winter dish that won’t make you hide the scale? Greek beef soup, called soupa mosxari vrasto, is the answer. This tasty meat broth with carrots, celery, and boiled potatoes is a low-fat dish which can also include orzo pasta, rice, or other Greek pasta such as hilopites and sometimes tomato sauce.

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Top 10 dishes to try in Greece

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Steeped in history and lapped by the Mediterranean sea, Greece is home to some of the finest ingredients in the world. Sample them in a traditional Greek dish along with a glass of ouzo.

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The Tradition and History of Olive Oil Part 2

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The production of Olive Oil has been lost deep in the centuries. History is taking us back at 3500 BC during the Minoan period but the production theoretically it starts at 4000 BC.

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The Tradition and History of Olive Oil Part 1

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It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world – being grown before the written language was invented. It was being grown on Crete by 3,000 BC and may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan kingdom. The Phoenicians spread the olive to the Mediterranean shores of Africa and Southern Europe.

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The Best Greek Summer Dishes

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Used to the warmer climate, as soon as the temperature starts to rise in Greece, the locals start living their best life! Along with the bikinis, sunglasses, and cold coffees, a must for the summer months, are the Greek summer recipes that are equal parts light, nutritious, and delicious!

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10 Vegan Dishes Not To Miss In Greece

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Have you started planning your next vacation to Greece, only to discover that there are surprisingly few vegan or vegetarian restaurants in the country? Has your search on HappyCow left you discouraged, wondering if you’ll be subsisting on Greek salad (hold the feta cheese, please)?

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History of Greek Street Food

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Street food provides an important income and is a source of cheap and tasty food. In Greece, it made its appearance in the 6th century BC with the development of cities. Lentil soup was available in the Greek "agora", however eating while wandering around the market was not appropriate.

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Greek Cuisine Through History

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Situated as it is at the crossroads between Eastern and Western Europe as well as Europe and Asia and sporting a cultural history going back some 4000 years it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Greek Cuisine is some of the most varied and delicious in the world.

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Ancient Greek Food, What Did They Eat?

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Ancient Greek food wasn’t too much different from the foods we eat today. Of course, the methods of processing food were much different, and the Ancient Greeks had different ways of coming about their sustenance. For example, they may have kept a goat for access to milk and cheese.

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The History of Greek Bread

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Since ancient time bread has played a major part in the Greek diet and still does today. In a Greek household,
they prefer having fresh bread, baked at home or from the local bakery.

The ancient Greek word for bread is artos, meaning flavor. Today it is called psomi, meaning morsel, a choice piece, or the best bite.

In ancient Athens white bread was considered far superior to whole grain bread. Socrates called whole grain bread “pig food”. How the tables have turned, today whole grain bread is preferred especially by the educated health-conscious wealthy.

Athens was not a good place for growing wheat. Most had to be imported either from Egypt or areas around the black sea. Bread was made from barley, in the form of cakes called maza. There was great rivalry in ancient Greece as to who had the best baker and the tastiest bread. Athens won the laurel wreath with the baker Therion, a name passed down through generations and often mentioned in Greek literature.

By 400 BC there were 50-70 different types of bread, named for the flavor, the shape, holiday, or for religious festivals: vasilopita, New Year’s bread, named after Saint Basil; tsoureki”, Easter bread, sweet and flavored with mastica from the island of Chios, usually made in a braid with red–dyed eggs placed on top; christopsomo is the bread eaten on Christmas.

Most households had their own pottery ovens in which to bake bread, then the main household task, taking up to five hours every day. Greeks invented the olythian mill – two square stones placed one on top of the other driven by slaves, making it much easier and quicker to produce large quantities of flour to make larger quantities of bread.

After the 5th century, commercial bakeries were run through the night and bread could then be found at market stalls all over Athens. By this time Greeks were making pastries, the first were koulouria cookies, or biscuits.
Sweetening and olive oil, never butter, as butter was considered barbaric by the ancient Greeks, were added to the basic bread dough formed into small circles and baked.

The bakery fourno is still the hub of Greek village life. Housewives prepare bread and cookies, amongst other Greek dishes, take them along to the bakery and for a couple of Euros the baker will bake it in his oven. Meanwhile they return home to attend to other chores. The bread is usually picked up by the husband on his way home for lunch.

 

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A Guide To Greek Christmas Foods

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In Greece, the Christmas holiday season lasts 12 days and includes Christmas, New Year and Epiphany. As old as Cristianity itself, there are many traditions and customs associated with this season, some quite old and others more recent, like the decoration of the Christmas tree and the turkey. But like everywhere else, Christmas is synonymous with excellent, tasty cuisine. Here are the typical Greek Christmas foods you can find on every table around Greece.

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Traditional Greek Breakfast Part-2

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Greek breakfast from Crete

What can one say about Crete, where life expectancy rates are the highest in the whole country? The uniqueness of its products, their daily consumption, and their high nutritional value, are the reasons why the Cretan diet is ideal – not to say indispensable - for healthy living. Vast olive groves, vineyards, sweet-smelling honey, wild weeds, and herbs are the ingredients that guarantee a delicious breakfast!
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Traditional Greek Breakfast Part-1

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Wake up to and enjoy a delicious Greek breakfast! Nutritious specialties like real Greek yogurt, pure honey, the freshest fruits, free-range eggs, and traditional marmalades are just some of the Greek superfoods to boost your energy for the get-up and go to start your day.

Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, a great source of energy to start an exciting day full of experiences and new adventures! The high nutritional value and the quality of the Mediterranean products, along with their tradition and experiential character, account for Greek breakfast’s special features.

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History of Greek Cuisine

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From one of the most ancient civilizations on earth comes simply prepared food that uses the best of what's in season and adds a little magic in the form of clever flavorings to help it sing off the plate.

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A Guide to Greek Food Essential Herbs and Spices

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Known for its freshness and flavor, Greek cuisine is beloved across the globe. While regional variations and adaptions are always going to be found, Greek food has its defining elements.

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A guide to Greek Food

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Travel to Greece to discover Mediterranean flavors without leaving your kitchen.

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The Hidden Parts of Traditional Greek Cuisine Part-2

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Local Cuisine: Ionian

In the Ionian, you’ll find many culinary influences from the 400 years of Venetian occupation. Corfu is famous for dishes like pastitsada, beef or cockerel stewed with pasta, tomatoes and a touch of spice – hot paprika – not found in the rest of the islands. But thick tomato sauces, redolent of the sun and enriched by garlic and herbs, are common to all of them.

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The Hidden Parts of Traditional Greek Cuisine Part-1

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The rural and urban cooking of each region is a small but important piece of the puzzle called Greek cuisine. Until fairly recently, most tourists knew of only a small number of standard dishes – moussaka, tzatziki, Greek salad, stuffed vine leaves, baklava – without realizing that each corner of this incredibly varied country has its own specialties.

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Greek Island Cuisine Part 3

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This summer dive into a sea of flavours and aromas! Greek cuisine is ideal for warmer days, as it combines the benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet with the unique taste, colour and flavour of its basic ingredients. Discover the culinary treasures of the Greek land, such as juicy fruits and vegetables, nutritious pulses, fresh fish and seafood combined into delicious dishes which will satisfy even the pickiest palate. Choose the menu that suits you best and get a taste of Greek summer!

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Greek Island Cuisine Part 2

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Chios is a hospitable island all year round and offers a world of images, colours, tastes and aromas. The mild Mediterranean climate in combination with the island’s rich soil yields quality products that are used to create a range of unique local dishes. Welcome to the land that boasts beautiful medieval villages, extraordinary beaches and the lovely Chios town that open-handedly gives savoury mandarins, home-made liquors, ouzo, spoon sweets and the famous mastic. Let’s travel together to this magical island and taste Chios’ particular dishes that will definitely make a lasting impression on your taste buds.

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About Us

Loukoumi is the child of Chef/Owner Kostas Avlonitis, who is credited with opening one of the first Greek restaurants in New York City.
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