Award ~ Top 40 Greek Food Blogs on the web

Greek-Food-transparent_216pxGBlogoWe have been honoured by Feedspot.com as one of the Top 40 Greek Food Blogs on the web.http://blog.feedspot.com/greek_food_blogs/

We are really happy and proud to have received this position, and we would like to thank Feedspot for this nomination.

We try to pick interesting subjects, Greek food trends, season’s dishes and costumes, and all that you need to know about Greek Food Ingredients, and their connection to the Greek gastronomy.

Thank you all for reading our blog, following us in social media and loving what we love, Greek foods!

The blog is sponsored by www.greekbrands.com

Greek Brands is a Fine Foods export company, serving Greek fine foods worldwide since 1999.

A Greek Clean Monday

Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα),  is the first day of Great Lent in the Orthodox Christian Pasha. This day is also called Koulouma.

This day in Greece is celebrated as a National Holiday. The whole family gathers around a table full of mezethes, made specially for the day. If the weather allows it, it also involves outdoor acitivities of flying kite and Maypole which is a custom brought from the refugees in Greece, but also has special dishes such as lagana, halva, tarama and various others.

Related image

Kite flying

Image result for γαιτανακι
The Maypole Dance Custom(Γαιτανάκι in Greek)
Gastronomical Customs of Greece
Image result for λαγανα
The most famous eating costume is that of Lagana, that is unleavened bread made just  for that day. It is a flat bread with sesame, which is made with yeast and is ususally oval shaped. Every bakery shop in Greece is selling tons of Lagana bread on this day!
Image result for ταραμοσαλατα
The other famous delicacy of the day is tarama salad, made with preserved fish roe. It is made with olive oil or sunflower oil, fish roe, bread and onions.
Among these foods, there is also a loved delicacy. The famous Dolmathes or dolmadakia.
They are made with vine leaves and filling of rice and herbs. It is a difficult handmade process that requires experience and knowledge, but that is what makes this dish so special.
Another sweet delicacy of the day is Halvas.

Halvas is called the dessert made with sesame paste and glucose syrup, often found with almonds, cocoa or vanilla. Τhis halva is very nutritious as it contains sesame which is one of the Greek superfoods.

Image result for χαλβάς
Related image
There are also other 2 types of halva.The semolina halva made with semolina, olive oil, sugar and water & Halva Farsalon which is made with corn flour, sugar, olive oil, water and almonds.
semolina halva with carrot sweet preserve

Semolina Halva

farsala type halva with caramel

Halvas Farsalon

There are many other dishes that are enjoyed on Clean Monday. Some prepare giant beans in tomato sauce, seafood like mussles and shrimp in tomato sauce, or fried in olive oil. Other enjoy a shrimp spaghetti dish, or a mydopilafo which is rice with herbs and mussles.

Clean Monday is a day that we have fun, spend time with our loved ones and enjoy valuable moments with great tastes.
Are there any culinary customs in your country?
Have a Great Clean Monday!
Are our trusted  partners for exporting Greek Fine Foods wholesale to countries alla over the world.
Product Inquiries: info@greekbrands.com

The Greek melomakarono

20161127_195443.jpg

How many of you know what a melomakarono is?

The Greek melomakarono is an olive oil cookie dipped in sugar syrup and sprinkled with chopped nuts. It is a traditional Christmas delight that you can find in every Greek home during Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. Every pastry and bakery shop sells them, and along with kourabiethes -another Greek Christmas delight- are the top 2 delicacies of the season.

A few things about its name (melo= honey & makarono=spaghetti)

Although the first thought that probably comes to mind is the Italian word “macaroni”, the melomakarono name derives from ancient Greece! Specifically, the “macaroni” comes from the Greek word “makaronia”, a funerary dinner based on pasta. The aim of the dinner was to bless and farewell the dead.
The makaronia comes from the ancient Greek word “makario” which means blessed. It was a piece of bread in the shape of modern melomakarono, that was offered after the funeral. Later, when the “makario” was drizzled with honey syrup they named it  melomakarono.

Melomakarono Recipe

{http://akispetretzikis.com/en/categories/keik-mpiskota/ta-melomakarona-toy-akh} 🙂 

However, if you are an importer or distributor and melomakarona or kourabiethes interests you as a product, do not hesitate to contact us and we promise to bring you some of the Greek Christmas spirit!

info@greekbrands.com  |     http://www.greekbrands.com

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

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.

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!

888

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

10

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: