The fish dishes are the best ones as Greece is a country surrounded by the sea and fishing is a main factor of the Greek agriculture. But fish dishes are the tricky ones for the foreigners and tourist because in many Greek taverns the fishes are spelled wrongly and many west and north European tourists don't know so well the fishes of the Mediterranean.
Of course the lobsters, shrimps and red mullets (Barbounia) are the most expensive and most popular, but there are many other kind of fishes that you have to should try like Tsipoura (sea bream), Lithrinia (red sea breams) Fagria, Melanouria, Sargoi and Synagrides all of those fishes belong to the breams and porgies family, very tasty grilled or fried. In the summer you will find in the Greek taverns many Mackerels (kolioi) But the special fish that the Greek love is marida or maridaki the Greek equivalent of the north Atlantic Whitebait, this is one of the tastiest fish dishes and the best companion for Retsina wine. Other common fish foods in Grece are the Kalamaris or Kalamarakia (squids) , Gopes (bogues) , Htapodi (octopus) grilled or boiled with vinegar, Gavros (a kind of anchovy) , Galeos (Smooth Hound) tasty fillets that served most with garlic salad (scordalia) and beetroots and finally Xifias (Sword fish) a very common fish in the Aegean. The Greek bouillabaisse (Psarosoupa) with first class fishes (usually Synagrida or Fagri ) most of the times especially in the summer has to be ordered a day before in many taverns and restaurants. The typical Greek fish soup contains except of the fish, onions, carrots, potatoes and celery, in an excellent combination with olive oil and lemon juice. Finally, the desserts include Yogurt with honey, Crème caramel and Baklava.
Wine was for the Ancient Greek the drink of the Gods, still today the Greek wine is for the Greeks the most popular drink. Among the most popular wines in Greece is the Retsina a wine that for the foreigner is you love it or you hate it. Retsina is one of the most older wines in Greece and its name and taste comes from the resin that they put in. Its popularity comes from 2 reasons the good taste and the cheap price, Stil today in Athens you van find places and taverns that sale Greek wine from the Barrel. Other popular wines in Greece are Kokineli and Brusco, red dry house wines (the Greeks refer to brusco as dry red and not sparkling as the Italian Brusco) (sweet wines) Mavrodafni of Patras (the sweet Greek Dessert Port wine), Muscat of Samos or Samiotiko. There are many kinds and appellations of white and red wines in Greece among them are Agioritiko, Macedonikos, Naoussa, Robola of Kefalonia, Zitsa, Santorini, Rhodes Peza, Gumenissa and others.
Liquors and Aperitifs
Ouzo : Is the best Greek aperitif well known all over the world for its special flavor of anise, among the best ouzo are the ones from Samos and Lesvos island some of the ouzo you can ask in Greece is Mini, Giokarinis, Plomari and Ouzo 12. Ouzo its a drink that most Greeks will drink with meze ,if you are in an island try as meze grilled octopus or salted macerel, always something salty goes well with ouzo. You can drink Ouzo straight but the best way is to mix it with water. Metaxa is the world famous Greek Brandy, it has a rather sweet taste and you can find it as 3, 5 or 7 stars.
Even though recreating foreign dishes at home is difficult, you can give the recipes here a go. They are not too hard, and if made right, will take you back to that lovely place by the sea. Click to check our new pages about
Recipe for traditional Greek fish soup Kakavia
Being from a Greek fishermen family I first taste kakavia fish soup while on a 3 days fishing on a remote island in the Dodecanese. We where 3 fishing boats all working together. After having put our nets we where returning on a small bay we used as anchorage. My Grand father used to make the Kakavia on the beach putting the pot on the fire we had made with small wood and dried bushes the so called in Greece “Frigana” .Here is the ingredients he use to put in to the soup and the way he was cooking it. All you need are many different kind of small fishes as more kind of fishes you have as much tasty is the soup. We had a lot of fish from the morning catch so that was easy to collect the ones we needed. Now to make the soup you just need except the fishes a tomato a large onion water salt and pepper. He was putting the Onion and the tomato chopped in the pot with just a few drops of water, the juice of the tomato was doing its job so the onion becomes tender when that is done you add water and the fishes be sure the water is not a lot just covers the fishes add the oil and salt with pepper and close the pot. To check when the soup is ready just open the pot and put your hand over the steam, if your fingers fill gluey then Kakavia is ready, you can add lemon juice if you like as many Greek fishermen do. The fish soup Kakavia was invented mainly by the fishermen because its an easy to make food and because they have fresh the main ingredient, namely the fishes. Every Greek fishing boat on a journey always has with all the essential things for cooking, a huge cooking pot, some forks and knifes, olive oil, tomatoes lemons and onions, bread, olives Greek coffee and food in tins. Of course the women of the family will cook for them some portions of the food of the day to take with but after some days you have to cook by your self. Because Kakavia is made mainly from small fish and might have fish bones inside there is a trick you can do, if you can find a tiny net from string put all the fishes inside the net that will keep all the bones within, alternatively you can use boneless bigger fishes but try to use many different kinds of big fishes so the soup will be more tasty.
Greek Pickles (Toursi) from Aubergines
Melitzanakia toursi made from baby aubergines, is a very tasteful pickle in Greece. The Greek pickle (called Toursi in Greece) are usually eaten as appetizers but mostly during the days of feast like the 40 days before Easter Sunday and especially at the Clear Monday of Apokria. Melitzanes toursi or Melitzanakia is an excellent side delicacy dish for bean soup or lentil soup.
Ingredients: In order to make a big jar or bowl of Melitzanakia toursi we will need about 20-30 baby eggplants, 1 garlic, 3-4 carrots, 2 bunches of celery, olive oil and vinegar.
Method: The upper side of the small aubergine has to be cut with a knife, make from the top to the bottom a cut almost to the half of the baby aubergine, clean the celery and the carrots and put them all together to a pot to boil until they become almost tender. Take out all ingredients and drain them in a colander. Chop the carrots and garlic in tiny pieces and mix them in a plastic bowl. Start filing the mixture to the aubergine, after you fill the aubergine tight it with a small and thin branch of the tender celery. Place one after the other the baby aubergines in the jar or the bowl. After you finish add vinegar and oil (more vinegar than oil) up to the surface of the jar. Close the Jar or the bowl and live it for a week. After one week your pickle will be ready. Kali Orexi..!!