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.

The Greek melomakarono

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Are your ready for a Greek Picnic?

Now that temperature is rising, it’s good to have these ideas handy. A picnic is always a perfect opportunity to prepare something delicious. And of course is a perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy nature with your friends and family.

If picnic had rules, there would be these two: Picnic_Basket_2

  1. Everything should be pre-prepared, in order to enjoy nature without worrying about anything else.
  2. Every food should be eaten easily.

Trying to make your life a little bit easier, we thought of presenting you some interesting recipes for the so called Greek “mezethakia” aka finger food. These can make perfect appetizers at every occasion, they are ideal for a school or work lunch, and of course they are what you’ll need in case of picnic / excursion.

Dolmathes – Dolmathakia – Stuffed vine leaves

3186361_sA world famous Greek snack, made with vine leaves stuffed with rice and herbs, cooked in the pot. Usually in Greece, we make dozens of them. It’s eaten both cold and warm, with lemony sauce or without. It’s eaten by hand, really fast and before you know it you are eating your fourth dolmathaki. That’s magic!

Ps. It’s not an easy recipe, and that’s the main reason why we make dozens of them, when we do.

You can find the recipe here:

http://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/greek-dolmades-recipe-stuffed-vine-leaves/

Greek Salad

There is no such thing as inappropriate time to enjoy a Greek salad. Surely you’ll need a fridge to save it before you consume it, but the taste result will compensate you. You can cut all the vegetables, pack them into bowls with lid, and add the extra virgin olive oil on top, when you are ready to consume it. A clever alternative would be to prepare your salad by putting vegetable pieces on wooden sticks and make a salad skewer. Again, extra virgin olive oil must be applied right before you consume it.

2 large tomatoes5626146_s
2 cucumbers
1 green pepper
1 onion in slices
6-8 Kalamata Olives
Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Feta cheese (1-2 medium pieces)
Oregano

How to:

Cut in normal pieces all of the vegetables. Mix them well. Add the feta cheese and the Kalamata Olives. Drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, and add a pinch of oregano. In case you make them skewers (remember: finger food) be sure to chop them into bite – pieces, and not drizzle them with anything until it’s time to be eaten, otherwise they will soak and lose their fresh crunch.

Pies

Yummy in pieces. A homemade pie is the essence of comfort food. You can prepare a large baking pan, so you 27708101_swill enjoy your pie for a few days. There are so many Greek recipes for pies that you’ll be amazed. In a previous post we have gathered some of the most unique ones that also have a local character, so here’s a main idea of what we’re talking about:

  • Mpoureki from Chania
  • Ladenia from Kimolos
  • Cheese pie from Skopelos
  • Mpougatsa from Thessaloniki
  • Kreatopita from Kefallonia

You can find the recipes here: https://greekbrands.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/unique-traditional-pies-of-greece/

Fried Meatballs – Keftedakia

T27253251_she ultimate meaty finger food of Greece is present in every occasion, whether it’s a birthday party, a family dinner or a picnic. Keftedakia is a very famous Greek recipe, made with ground meat and herbs. They are delicious, aromatic and eaten by hand. They are enjoyed both warm and cool, and usually they are made in dozens, because everyone eating meat, seems to enjoy them much.

You can find the recipe here:

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

Olive bread / Fresh Bread with Olive tapenade

24981128_sIf you like Greek Olives then this is a must. You can either prepare from the previous day many olive bread rolls, or alternatively you can bring fresh warm bread, and bring along your homemade olive tapenade in order to spread it on.

Olive bread recipe:

http://kalamataolivesgreek.com/olivebreadrecipe.html

Olive paste / tapenade recipe:

http://kalamataolivesgreek.com/olivespatepasterecipe.html

Greek appetizers are very common in our daily diet, in our dinners, in taverns and in restaurants. It’s a perfect way to explore more tastes and add variety to your dishes. Greek appetizers are offered for a finger food occasion, whether it’s a party or a casual picnic. Feel free to explore more Greek recipes, and learn more about Greek products here:

http://www.greekbrands.com