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.
A Greek Food Experience
The Greek food throughout its history and continuing today is for the Greeks a philosophy, they know that what makes a perfect feast is not just the food but also the good company. Food is nearly always prepared with the tastes of the guests in mind, should the dishes be roasted or fried, light or heavy? Much of the conversation at the dinner table centers amicably around the food. The freshness of the fish, having just leaped from the sea; the vegetables newly dug from the ground or picked from the vines of the local farmers. The host will want to proudly point out how they have attempted to provide the best and freshest produce for you to enjoy.
When it came to food, the ancient Greeks revered three things: bread, wine and olive oil. They also stressed the importance of civilised, convivial eating – sitting down around a table to share a meal – which, like baking bread, fermenting grapes and pressing oil, was considered one of the signs of a civilised society. These days, not much has changed. Bread, wine and olive oil, along with fresh vegies, are the cornerstones of Greek cuisine. Known as the Mediterranean diet, it’s considered to be one of the healthiest models for eating.
Many people don’t realize that Greek food is some of the healthiest food that you can consume. Haloumi, souvlakia, baklava…there’s so much to love about Greek cuisine, including the significant health benefits that go along with a Mediterranean diet. Recent studies have shown that this eating pattern can reduce your risk of dementia and reverse symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also helps in preventing heart attacks and promotes a generally longer life. Opa!