A delicious Greek Summer

Spending a part of your summer vacation in Greece, is a beautiful experience.greek-tavern-concept

If you combine both beautiful sights and enjoyable dinners, you have lived the essence of the Greek vacation.

When I’m on holiday, I like to enjoy the relaxed time frame for every activity. However I’d say I’m rather organised when it comes to picking a place to eat.

My criteria are strict in restaurant selection, because I pay attention to ingredients, flavors, local recipes and the character  of the place I visit. What I look for, most of all , is quality. I don’t want to end up in some touristy restaurant, with an extra large menu that tries to suit all tastes.

But what can someone eat in Greece?

Some famous summer dishes of Greece is Gemista, which is vegetables stuffed with rice (tomatoes, peppers, vine leaves, zucchinis etc) and Tourlou, which is also a vegetable based recipe made with a variety of fresh vegetables, olive oil and tomato sauce.

Both are made with vegetables of the season, so they’re at their best!

The Mezethes – aka Greek Appetizers

It’s one of the crucial chapters of Greek Gastronomy, as it includes versatile tastes and a vast variety of dishes. It is common here in Greece, to order only appetizers along with tsipouro and ouzo.

There are many different salads to pick from, like Dakos or Choriatiki served with feta cheese, Greens with lemon and extra virgin olive oil etc.

There are many different cheeses made in all parts and islands of Greece, so wherever you are, you have 1 more new cheese to try. Fritters is also a common appetizer. The main ingredient may vary (tomato, potato, zucchini, aubergine) but the concept is the same.

The Meat

If you like meat options, you will find plenty of choices depending on the area. Pork, veil, goat, lamb are all included in our national menu, with recipes’ variations.

In Crete , there is a special recipe on goat meat, called “antikristo” . Its called like that because of its position, opposite of the fire (opposite = antikri). Pieces of meat are sticked in an iron installation, in close distance to the fire. When its almost done on one side, it is turned around.

One of the most authentic tastes of Greece is souvlaki. Souvlaki is the food with no boundaries. It’s eaten at all times, with all kinds of meats, with all kinds of fillings, and you can find it almost everywhere. It’s the burger of Greece. Or shall we say, burger is another kind of our souvlaki?

Pork or Chicken Gyros, pork or chicken skewer, Greek souvlaki is enjoyable at all times and is without doubt one of the classics of the Greek cuisine.

The Fish

anchovy servingGreek enjoy fish a lot! With so many islands, wouldn’t we love sea and fishing?

If you pay a visit to a Greek island during summer you will find plenty of fish dishes to enjoy.

Fried, oven baked, rack baked, boiled, or cooked with tomatoes and onions, fish can be a nutritious meat alternative for the whole family.

It can also be eaten as a soup, and when it has a variety of fish we call it “kakavia”.

The desserts

When eating in Greek tavern and you ask for the check, most likely you will also receive some fresh fruit or the dessert of the day. It may be loukoumades -the puff balls with honey or chocolate on top- maybe semolina halva, or even Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.

Greek cuisine is not only a blog post. It’s intertwined with our history, our folklore tradition and our cultural roots.However, I decided to point out some good hints, for you to search it some more.

The beauty of the Greek Gastronomy, is the ability it gives you to discover its gems!

For wholesale inquiries and information on Greek food products, you can visit:

http://www.greekproductstrade.com & http://www.greekbrands.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New York, New York

 

Greek Brands team, visited the Summer Fancy Food Show held in New York the past weekend.

The experience was unique. Once again, the city amazed us. Everything here happens in maximum speed, the city has a vibrant pulse that never stops.

The spotlight was on Javits Center, where the food show was held.

We tasted very interesting flavors, we met exciting people who love what they do, and had a wonderful time cathing up the trends in the food sector. We enjoyed discovering new flavors, new uses to standard ingredients and of course talking with major influencers of the business.

We were pleased to see a variety of Greek products standing out due to their superior quality and flavor characteristics. Generally, the Food show, apart from its international colours, had kept an ethnic character.
We also noticed that health claims are on the rise on food labeling, due to high consumer awareness around decide-commit-succeed.jpghealth and nutrition issues.

We are optimistic about the future of the food business, after we witnessed such bright examples of success.

If you want to thrive, you cannot afford to complacent.

Greek Brands

Your wholesale partner, for Greek Fine Foods.

gb logo.jpg

29 Argiroupoleos Avenue 16451, Athens, Greece.
Tel: +30 210 9967247 – Fax: +30 210 9967243
www.greekbrands.cominfo@greekbrands.com

Sarakosti & Greek cuisine

April-ShowersApril is here to stay and we are in the middle of the Orthodox Lent -Sarakosti-.

Sarakosti is also an important fasting period for Christians. It is an important part of the religion but also an important part of Greece’s folklore history and tradition. It mainly includes the fasting of meat, fish and animal byproducts. It starts with Clean Monday, and ends on Holy Saturday.

There are some  fasting foods enjoyed throughout this period, such as taramasalata, horta (greens), grilled seafood, traditional lagana bread, black eyed peas, giant beans in tomato sauce and many more. On Shrove Monday, the table contains many of them and even more!

Here are a few of some delicious appetizers and dishes that we traditionally consume during Sarakosti.

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Lagana as we described above, is the staple bread of this period! Here in Greece every bakery is preparing lagana these days.Lagana is a flat bread with sesame seeds. Many try to bake it at home, with exciting results!

If you want to try this style bread at home, give a look at this recipe:

http://mylittleexpatkitchen.blogspot.gr/2013/03/the-lagana.html

Taramasalad

http://www.m38378b1aefdab3385e127b6338f78ef0ygreekdish.com/recipe/taramasalata-recipe-greek-fish-roe-dip-taramosalata/

Its basic ingredient is taramas, which is carp’s or other fish’ eggs. The preserved fish roe is mixed with olive oil, dry bread, onion and lemon juice until the result is creamy. The taste of this dip is irresistible. You have to try it at least once! It’s not typical in its ingredients, but the taste result will compensate you. Here in Greece, we consume it mostly in the feast of the orthodox Pasha.

Below you will find the recipe for the Greek traditional Halva, which is made with semolina.

Semolina Halva

1

Ingredients
1 cup olive oil
2 cups coarse semolina
3 cups sugar
4 cups water
cinnamon
almonds
pine nuts
blonde raisins

Heat the olive oil in the pot, and add the semolina. Slowly roast the semolina, constantly stirring. When it has a darker richer color, add the sugar and water. Be careful, big hot blisters of halva are going to pop, so use an oven glove and protect your hands. Stir constantly over low fire until the mixture is detached from the pot. Add ½ spoon cinnamon, some pine nuts, almonds and raisins and give it a few more stirs. Pour the mixture in a form and let it cool.

Patties_07Chick peas Patties

One day before we put the chickpeas in water to swell. Next, thoroughly dry chickpeas and mash a few in food processor. Then chop (by hand rather than in a food processor) other materials, add the chickpeas and mix well. Allow the mixture to rest for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator.
In a deep frying pan put some olive oil and place over medium heat. Shape small balls with the mixture, roll them in flour and fry until they are golden. If you want, accompany the dish with slices of lemon and tahini sauce.

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpeas
2 large onions
3-4 spring onions
1 bunch dill
1 bunch mint
1 bunch parsley
Salt Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
flour

Do you know other interesting recipes? Share with us!

Check here our new site, with the most delicious Greek food Products online! www.greekproductstrade.com

For wholesale inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us : info@greekbrands.com

Vasilopita the pie

“Vasilopita” cake is the dessert – symbol of New Year and is connected with the feast of St. Basil, from which it took its name.

vasilopitaWe find it in many forms and different ways of preparing, in all Greek houses, urban and rural. Made mainly with flour, eggs, sugar and milk and most commonly on the surface is written the number of the New Year with peeled almonds.

Inside the dough is placed a coin and whoever finds it is the lucky person of the year.  In some rural areas instead of coin they used to place a piece of straw, vine or olive strand depending on the production area, and whoever found it would have a good harvest during the year.

The cake is cut and shared with a ritual in the night before the New Year, right after the year change!

There is, however, the Christian tradition for the custom of New Year cake.

When St. Basil was bishop in Caesarea of Cappadocia, the perfector of Cappadocia wanted to plunder the city. St. Basil asked the city’s wealthy citizens to collect cutlery that could deliver as “ransom” to the conqueror. They gathered many valuables. However , according to the tradition the city was saved either because the perfector regretted, or because of a miracle with St. Mercurius and numerous angels removed his army from the province.

flouri_konstantinatoBut in order for St. Basil to return the valuables to the citizens, not knowing who owns what, he instructed to prepare small loaves into which he placed one of the coins or valuables and distributed them to the citizens the next day. The tradition continued in the memory of the day of his death, January 1st.

Newer versions of this tradition from Pontus and Asia Minor show St. Basil winning the collector of taxes on gambling and then distributed them with small breads or a big pie.

In Athens it is common to serve the so-called “Politiki” Vasilopita which is produced mainly from flour, eggs, sugar and milk, manufactured in various sizes and types, but is usually inflatable, fluffy and sweet. Other Vasilopita recipes are served throughout Greece, with spices , fruit etc.

In western Macedonia instead of Vasilopita they serve a cheese or leek pie. Basic but common feature is that inside they have a coin, usually an ordinary one but in some cases gold (“Constantinato”) or silver.

Then Vasilopita is cut on the table, in which the family is sitting. The landlord after the “crossing” of the pie with the knife three times, starts to cut into triangular pieces offered in each attending family member or friends and relatives. First piece is for the house (or the Christ, the Virgin Mary and Saint Basil), and the line continues with the landlord, landlady, family members and guests, with the last piece going for the poor, without of course forgetting any immigrants, patients and other family persons who for various reasons weren’t able to attend.

Vasilopita

Ingredients

850 g. flour
100 gr. beer yeast
6 eggs
180 g. butter
180 g. sugar
 1 level tablespoon salt
100 gr. Sugared fruits cut in small cubes
100 g. raisins
zest of one orange

Preparation

IMG_8705Mix 100 g. flour with yeast, previously dissolved in warm water thereby making a dough and leave in warm place for 3 hours. Knead in remaining flour with whole eggs, butter dissolved, sugar, salt and leaven uploaded. We continue to work the dough for a while until it “thickens”. Add the chopped fruits, raisins and orange zest.

Allow the dough to rise until doubled in volume . Place in mold and bake the pie at 180 Celsum degrees for about an hour. Leave at least for half a day, before serving.

Vote for Greek Brands in European Business Awards 2015-2016

We wish that 2016 brings to all of you health, happiness, prosperity and success in every part of your life!

We would like to inform you that Greek Brands, is now in the second stage of the European Business Awards contest for 2015-2016, in the Import-Export Award.

We are now competing for the title of National Public Champion for Greece among 36 other Greek countries.

This phase includes the online voting of our corporate video, and is on-going until February 26th.

To vote for Greek Brands click here:

http://www.businessawardseurope.com/vote/detail-new/greece/16615

Register with your email and click on the VOTE button. In order to validate the vote, click on the link in the email you recieved.  Kindly note, that each email address has the right for 1 vote.

Continue reading

Back to school Vol.2

New school year has begun, and everyone is trying to organize the daily routine, which requires a lot of time and energy. We gathered some interesting recipes of Greek inspired quick and easy meals, suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, that will save you a lot your valuable time. They’re also suitable both for kids and grownups.

Lack of time, brings lack of creativity sometimes. You can “save” this post, to read it every now and then in times of need!

  1. Greek Burritos!

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http://kokocooks.com/2011/09/greek-burritos/

The classic Mexican dish with a Greek scent. You can prepare lots of them and put them in the freezer, so whenever you don’t have the time to prepare something new, you can defrost them. It is delicious, aromatic and everyone is going to love the flavors. Suitable for lunch and dinner.

  1. Feta, Olives and sundried tomato Bread

999http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/12424/kalamata-olive-sundried-tomato-and-feta-bread

A recipe for every hour of the day! Hand-kneaded soft bread with mixed in pitted olives, feta crumbles, and sundried tomatoes. You can experiment adding fresh or dried herbs. You can put in the freezer in small balls the size of a hamburger, in order to defrost and bake, so you have fresh bread every time you need it.

  1. Greek Yogurt – Fruit Cake

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http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2015/03/30/greek-yogurt-fruit-tart/

A really simple and mouthwatering tart with no baking involved. Perfect way to incorporate fruits in a “dessert” recipe. Greek yogurt makes it creamy and fresh.

11http://www.juliasalbum.com/2014/10/peach-and-blueberry-greek-yogurt-cake-recipe/

A juicy cake recipe with peaches, blueberry and of course Greek yogurt.

  1. The meatless Feta sandwich

 12http://thefoodcharlatan.com/2013/08/02/grilled-squash-red-pepper-and-feta-sandwich/

A no meat delicious sandwich, which includes oven baked vegetables, with the addition of feta cheese chunks. A simple alternative to the old fashion cheese n ham sandwich. Use your imagination to create other interesting combos, a sandwich bread is the kind of canvas to paint on! You can even let kids choose their ingredients or make it something like a buffet, with a list of various fillings to pick from.

  1. Savory Feta muffins

13http://thecookspyjamas.com/savoury-feta-and-olive-muffins/

A different recipe for a savory muffin with delicious feta cheese and Greek olives. It’s easy, you make a batch of them and of course you can freeze them in order to use them up on a busy day.

Do you have other Greek inspired Ideas or recipes to share with us?

Find other interesting recipes here:

Greek Brands Wins for Greece in Prestigious Awards competition

GREEK BRANDS FROM GREECE NAMED NATIONAL CHAMPION IN THE EUROPEAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2015/16

EBA Ruban Champion 2013:14Greek Brands from has today been named as a National Champion for Greece in The European Business Awards sponsored by RSM; a prestigious competition supported by businesses leaders, academics, media and political representatives from across Europe.

The European Business Awards now in its 9th year engaged with over 32,000 business from 33 European countries this year and 678 companies from across Europe have been named today as National Champions; going through to the second phase of the competition.

Greek Brands was founded in 1999 and exports Greek fine foods to more than 10 countries worldwide. Greek Olive Oil, Greek Olives, Feta Cheese, Greek Yogurt and more, with focus on quality, competitive pricing and outstanding service. Our clients are importers, distributors, food industries and retailers.

Panos Mavrakis, CEO of Greek Brands said: “We’re very proud to be selected to represent Greece as a National Champion. The European Business Awards is widely recognised as the showcase for Europe’s most dynamic companies and we are now looking forward to the next round of the judging process where we can explain in more depth how we are achieving business success.”

Adrian Tripp, CEO of the European Business Awards said: Congratulations to Greek Brands and all the companies that have been selected to represent their country as National Champions, they play an important part in creating a stronger business community.

The next round requires the National Champions to make a presentation video, telling their unique story and explaining their business success. The judges will view all of the National Champions’ videos, and award the best of this group the coveted ‘Ruban d’Honneur’ status. Ruban d’Honneur recipients will then go on to be part of the grand final in 2016.

Separately, the National Champion videos will be made public on the European Business Awards website www.businessawardseurope.com as part of a two stage public vote, which will decide the ‘National Public Champions’ for each country. Last year over 170,000 votes were cast as companies from across Europe were publicly supported by their clients, staff and peers, as well as the general public.

Supported since their inception by lead sponsor and promoter RSM, the seventh largest audit, tax and advisory network worldwide with a major presence across Europe, the European Business Awards was up to support the development of a stronger and more successful business community throughout Europe.

In the 2014/15 competition, all EU member markets were represented plus Turkey, Norway, Switzerland, Serbia, Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Their combined revenue exceeded €1.5 trillion, and together they generated profits of over 60 billion Euros and employ over 2.5 million people.

For further information about the winners, the European Business Awards and RSM please go to www.businessawardseurope.com or www.rsmi.com