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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Greek tribute to flour

Flour is a substantial part of every cuisine in the world. It comes in many types, and people around the world consume it almost in daily basis. Do you know its meaning?

123Flour drives us to the word “flower” which is derived from the French “fleur”, with the literal meaning “blossom”. This describes the fine product of flour, which was produced during milling. In Greek the world for flour is “alevri”. It is derived from the verb “aletho” which means grind. Flour is obtained by grinding the seeds/nuts/cereals and is thoroughly used in pastry, bakery and cooking. It is an ingredient that plays an important part in global nutrition, and in the past it was used as a measure defining nations’ prosperity. The lack of flour had vast economic and social results for the country.

It is not known when man started experimenting with the milling of wheat, producing flour. In his transcripts, Homer often referred to millstones and milling, as something very common for that time.

The milling works like this: 2 large heavy stones of cylindrical shape, put together, are pressing between them the seeds. The pulverized product is pushed to the sides and eventually is being collected. There were many types of mills used for the flour production. Starting from the hand mill, where the upper stone was hand moved, to mills which functioned with solar or wind energy. Nowadays, the procedure is completed with the help of automated machinery.

Flour is derived by a large variety of nuts and seeds. Semolina, hard, soft, cornmeal, oatmeal, rye, barley, chickpea, almond, soy are a sample of flour types that can be produced. The most common types of flour are: Bread flour, pastry flour, all purpose flour and self-rising flour.

sprouted flour-resized-600The quality of the flour depends on 3 characteristics:

  • Way of milling
  • Grade of panning
  • Seed quality

In Greece, there is a vast variety of delicacies, made with flour. The most significant is bread, which is an integral part of our diet for centuries. Every kind of dough/pastry (phylo pastry, puff pastry) is made with flour. Dough is used in a vast variety of dishes both sweet and savory. Traditional pies, pasta, bagels and breadsticks, cookies and biscuits, various pastries, traditional cakes, halva or semolina pastries and many more, are a small proof of how important flour is to Greek cuisine.

Examples of typical Greek dishes used with flour or flour products

  • Traditional Greek pies like tyropita, spanakopita, and others.
  • Barley rusks, made with barley flour, are used in the Cretan traditional “Dakos” recipe.
  • Traditional sweets like kourabiethes, tsoureki, semolina halva, baklava, Greek custard pie and loukoumathes, are all made with flour.

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

1

Semolina Halva
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. Serve and enjoy!

What’s your favorite flour delicacy?

Waiting for your thoughts and opinions.

http://www.greekbrands.com | http://www.greek-olive-oil.com

Sources:

http://www.wheatworld.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour