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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olive oil tastes Greek

32580916_sOlive tree is the most valuable tree of Greece and its value is counted in the numerous generations that have been raised and blossomed with it. It has been strongly connected with the country for thousands of years. It is a symbol of peace, wisdom, fertility and victory. It nourishes, inspires and heals. The olive tree is considered blessed. Along with the tree, our land is also blessed with the millions of olive trees that survive and produce their valuable fruit, even under difficult conditions.

According to the earlier mythology, the first olive tree was planted on Acropolis by goddess Athena in the temple of the Erehtheion and was named Morea olive. Others say it was a gift of the goddess Athena to residents of the city of Athens, when quarreled with the god Poseidon, for the name of the city. Then, citizens gave its name to the city and the goddess taught them the cultivation of olive trees. The Athenians in their currencies depicting Athena with an olive wreath on her helmet and an amphora with olive oil.9720507_s

Athenians considered themselves civilized and were holding olive branches, while the barbarians and slaves kept an oak twig, as more primitive tribes. The messengers of peace held an olive branch. The winners of Olympic Games were awarded with an olive wreath and a large container of olive oil that had so big value that automatically made them rich.

9844105_sHomer in his writings, called it “pure liquid gold”. The Greek philosophers, Dioscourides, Diocles, Anaxagoras and Empedocles studied the medicinal properties of olive oil, while Aristotle revealed the science of oil production. Moreover, Solon created laws that banned the cutting of more than two olive trees, to protect olive growers. In ancient Greece, olive oil has kept the leading part in many commercial action, and it is said to be the backbone of trade in the ancient world.

But olive oil was more than a symbol of virtue and wealth, as it is was also used in other applications. The ancient Greeks rubbed their bodies and hair with olive oil and used it to heal wounds and treat diseases. Apart from the food products that it produced (olives and olive oil) its wood was used for fuel and wood carving. According to mythology, Hercules, in his 12 labors, kept a bat that was made of olive wood, and that when he finished his battles with success, he planted an olive tree in Ancient Olympia. Nowadays, a lot of wooden furniture and tools are handmade from olive wood. The 17603164_sgrowing of the olive tree was also a measure of time. When a child was born, an olive tree was planted. By the time the tree bared fruit for the first time (6 years later), they knew that the child had reached school age.

Altogether, the history of Olive oil is weaved together with the history of Greece. Olive oil can be found in many human activities, and above all in our nutrition. It is beneficial for every age, it is the basis of the Mediterranean diet (wins the first place in medical researches), has multiple applications and is deeply appreciated.

It is now, more than ever, a necessity to highlight Greek olive oil at a global level, as a certified quality product, symbol of the Greek agricultural production for thousands of years.

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

http://www.greekbrands.com

Sources:

http://www.greek-olive-oil.com/history.html
http://www.foodbites.eu/j15/food-lovers/istories/1448-
http://elia-eleolado.blogspot.gr/2014/10/blog-post.html
https://theancientweb.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/%CF%80%CE%B1%CF%81%CE%B1%CE%B3%CF%89%CE%B3%CE%AE-%CE%B5%CE%BB%CE%B1%CE%B9%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%AC%CE%B4%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%B1%CF%81%CF%87%CE%B1%CE%AF%CE%B1-%CE%B5%CE%BB%CE%B1%CE%B9%CE%BF%CF%84%CF%81%CE%B9/

Greek P.D.O. Cheeses: Vol.2

Greece has a great variety of cheeses and 20 of them are registered as P.D.O. Each one of these 20 cheeses, has its own cultural and geographical characteristics. They follow traditional production methods, require a lot of hand work and are connected to a know-how of decades. If you plan on visiting Greece, search for these authentic flavors, and taste as many as you can.

Following our previous post, here are 5 more P.D.O. Greek cheeses, that have an interesting taste story to share.

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  • Kalathaki (Basket) Lemnos

Soft white cheese with a cylindrical shape, which matures in brine and has a slightly acidic taste. Kalathaki is produced in a traditional way by sheep milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk (in percentage less than or equal to 30%) on the island of Lemnos. The name “basket” is derived from the specific knitted molds used for preparation that look like small baskets.

  • Metsovone

It is a hard yellow smoked cheese with a slightly salty and spicy taste. It is traditionally made with cow milk or a mix of cow-sheep-goat, with the two latter in proportion not higher than 20%. It is produced in the province of Metsovo, in Ioannina prefecture, where it got its name. Metsovone has an interesting story. The benefactor Evangelos Averof-Tositsas, decided to send some youngsters from Metsovo to Italy in order to learn the art of cheese making. These youngsters later returned to Greece and combined Greek traditional cheese making techniques with methods of preparation of certain Italian cheeses and started producing a cheese that was later named after their region. That is when Metsovone cheese was born.

  • Manouri

Soft white cheese with a sweet flavor produced from sheep or goat milk (or their mixtures) whey, in which sheep’s or goat’s milk cream is added. Produced in central and western Macedonia and Thessaly. It is considered that the most famous cream cheese is produced prepared in Blast (Blatsi) of Macedonia.

  • Katiki Domokou

It is a soft white cheese, with pasty texture characterized by its cool and slightly acidic taste.Produced from mixed sheep and goat milk, in the county of Domokos of Fthiotida prefecture. This cheese is produced in this area for many years and the technique has been taught from generation to generation from shepherds who lived in the area.

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  • Graviera Naxos

Hard cheese with cylindrical shape, and white-yellow color. Salty and tasty, with sweet notes. It is produced exclusively from cow’s milk or a mixture of it with sheep and goat milk (last at no greater than 20% by weight). Traditional and branded, it is produced on the island of Naxos in Cyclades, but consumed widely across territory.

Have you enjoyed any Greek cheeses?

Share with us your comments!

http://www.fetacheese.gr

http://www.greekbrands.com

Photos credits:

http://www.europeandesign.org/wp-content/uploads/submissions/2011/17-packaging-food-beverages/3813-17-packaging-food-beverages-kalathaki/Web/kalathaki-1_retouched.jpg

http://www.paragogi.net/thumbnail?filepath=/contentfiles/all/graviera.jpg&width=600