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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can I enjoy Feta cheese?

Feta is a genuine Greek product and it is believed to be one of the oldest cheese types in the world.

feta jar olive oilMade from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat milk, has a unique distinctive salty bite, a fresh acidity of taste, and a rich aroma. Feta is semi-hard in texture, with some non-shaped holes in its body. It has a salty freshness and a tangy aftertaste, with mild to peppery notes.

If you haven’t tasted Feta yet, we propose that you do, because no matter how we describe it, the taste is a personal experience. It is the Queen of the Greek Salad (Horiatiki) as it beautifully complements the fresh crunchy vegetables included.

Moreover, feta loves the company of Greek olive oil, and the combination with dried herbs like thyme, oregano etc. The majority of taverns serve it with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of a dry herb, most likely oregano.

Feta can be enjoyed in every hour of the day. Despite its salty taste, it is considered a versatile ingredient, which can be combined with many dishes and ingredients.

watermelon feta salad

Watermelon feta salad

It can be an ingredient of a breakfast sandwich, a lunch salad, a cheese platter, a pasta dish and many more. It pairs uniquely with fruits, as it forms a sweet and salty combination. In Greece many people eat feta along with watermelon. It may seem like an intellectual-gourmet combo, but the truth is people are enjoying it that way in Greece for a long time now. Not long ago, I came across this salad, which combines juicy watermelon with feta pieces and chopped mint leaves.

Another recipe for the bold ones is the feta cheesecake. It’s an alternative to the original recipe, and has some sweet saltiness in it.

lamb feta lasagna

Lasagna with lamb and feta sprinkles

Feta pairs uniquely with meat recipes as well as pasta recipes, as it doesn’t melt, and little white chunks of flavor remain intact. This recipe combines our beloved lasagna, with lamb and feta sprinkled on top.

Another sweet-savory recipe is this: Feta wrapped in fried phyllo (dough) with sesame and honey. The absolute balance between sweet and salty, keeps you astonished in every bite. You can find this dish in many Greek taverns nowadays, but is also a simple recipe to prepare on your own.

Feta snack options:

cucumber feta rolls

Cucumber feta rolls

Sushi inspired feta-cucumber rolls, perfect for warm days of spring and summer, for every snack occasion and finger-food party!

canapes feta goat cheese

Canapes with feta & goat cheese

Delicious snack-canapé with feta and goat cheese

These pancakes seem an interesting way to incorporate your feta cheese into a breakfast, a light lunch or a mid-day snack.

Feta is enjoyed in many ways, and there are tons of other ways that are waiting to be discovered. In Greece, Feta is our staple cheese. We even have some oily dishes, which can’t be eaten without the companion of feta cheese. It’s an authentic and integral part of our gastronomical heritage. We will continue to respect our tradition, to highly maintain its production process, and to promote it in order to highlight its nutritional characteristics and rich flavor.

GREEK BRANDS

Your source for Greek Fine Foods

www.greekbrands.com

www.greek-feta-cheese.com

DIY|Summer Mediterranean Salad

hot weather

Officially, summer is here!

Our clothes are fewer, our smiles are bigger, the mood is getting better, and the food portions we consume are getting smaller. We generally try to avoid fatty foods during the summer, our bodies don’t need so much energy to make it through the day. We choose refreshing light meals that won’t keep us down.

So, I have a question for you! How do you feel about legumes salads? Salads with lentils, beans, split peas, peas etc?https://i0.wp.com/www.raw-living-food-success.com/images/Beans.jpg

Legumes are an important part of the Mediterranean Diet. In Greece we are used to consuming legumes at least once or twice a week. We are consuming large peas known as “giants”, lentils as a soup, split peas as a mousse, chickpeas as a soup or in the oven, and many more.

The first time I tasted legumes as a salad, I think I will remember it for a long time. I had not even seen it as a trend around the internet. I was in a comfort-food type of restaurant, in the alternative heart of the city, Keramikos. Since I like exploring new tastes, I ordered it from the menu right away.

It was a lentil salad, with carrot sticks, lots of parsley, feta cut in cubes, vinegar-olive oil dressing and ground black pepper. The taste was so refreshing and interesting, I was so happy to taste “boring” legumes in a different recipe.

Ingredients photos saladSince I knew that legumes is such an important nutrition source, containing significant amount of protein, I was glad that I was able to cook it differently, and set up a new recipe directory with the name “Legumes salads”.

Soon after I discovered it, it was already everywhere. On Pinterest, on foreign and Greek sites as well, in every respectable restaurant of the town, in every salad list etc. It had become a different dish, made with the same old materials that nonetheless gave it a new perspective.

If you know the basics in the kitchen, and you have enough imagination in order to experiment, the road is open and the dogs are constrained. (a famous Greek saying, meaning you are free to act as you will)Salad Recipe

I started experimenting with all kinds of legumes, lentils, chickpeas, peas, splitpeas, green peas etc. Not all of my experiments were crowned with success. However, I found where my taste met my capability, and this was somewhere near the Mediterranean bean salad.

So, from now on when it’s the legumes day of the week, one in two weeks I will experiment with a salad.

Waiting for your thoughts and comments!

Fenia Karkantzou

Marketing Manager | Greek Brands

Like our Page : https://www.facebook.com/greekbrandsfoods

Follow us on twitter: @GreekBrands

The art of making a Greek Salad

454217_sEven if you have not come to Greece already, I am pretty sure you have at least heard what Greek salad is. If you haven’t this is a wonderful opportunity to learn it, and also see how it’s made. First of all, in Greece we call this salad “Horiatiki”. (From the word “horio”=village).The true ingredients of this salad are not lettuce, cabbage, beets or potatoes. Greek Salad’s ingredients were established many many years ago. Workers that were having their lunch break used to eat a tomato, a cucumber, onion and a little bit of cheese as a snack to keep their energy.Later on, someone decided to place these ingredients together in a plate and mix them. That slowly become what we now call “Horiatiki”. It contains tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, feta cheese, oregano and olive oil. You will also find it with green peppers, or capers, but that varies according to which area/island of Greece you are. It is a typically “summer” salad, because all of its ingredients are fresh at this time of year. If you travel to villages around Greece, you will see that many people grow their own vegetables at their lawns and gardens.

Apart from the quality and freshness of the vegetables, someone must also take care of 2 things when making a Greek salad:8955415_s

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1. The extra virgin olive oil

2. The feta cheese.

They have to be of premium quality because they play a crucial role to the final taste result of the salad, so take an extra care on these 2. This salad has no dressing, only extra virgin olive oil. When you have finished eating the vegetables out of the salad, you will notice that olive oil has mixed with the tomatoes juice. That is the essence of the salad. Do not forget to dip your fresh bread into these juices. Mouthwatering experience. When preparing the salad, do not mix it. Your guests will mix the salad, by cracking the feta cheese into smaller pieces and mixing it well to blend the flavors. That’s their job, not yours!There is no right order for placing the vegetables. But remember to place the chunk of feta on top, along with some oregano. Of course the final step is to pour on top extra virgin olive oil.

Hope you enjoy it 🙂 

A bit(e) of Greece

 

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Visiting Greece during summer, is not an option. It’s a natural choice! You only need to pack your positive mood.

Whether you have had a rough year and need to fill up your batteries, or you just plan on having fun, this is your destination. Greece has it all.

Relaxation, adventure, picturesque sights, historical landscapes and lots of natural beauties. Mountain or sea, you will be dazzled by the magical touch of nature. Sights that cut your breath are almost everywhere you look.

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Greece comes in the 15th place in the world rating of tourist destinations, and that is because more than 15 million people visit us every year. It has a long history which shows in the hundreds of archaeological and historical sites. Greece is surrounded by water, and has nearly 6.000 islands, but only 166-227 of them are inhabited. They are the most popular Greek destinations, especially in summer. If you’re planning on going to one of the islands, you should know that there is a huge variety of beaches and sea landscapes and if you look it up online, you will easily find the landscape that suits your needs.

ImageBut you can’t visit the islands, without tasting their culinary traditions. It is a rather significant part of Greek hospitality (“Filoxenia” in Greek).

Culinary traditions are travelling us back in time, and connect taste and tradition. There are some treasure-recipes, made the traditional way, which you cannot afford to miss! Everywhere you go, try to taste local home-made recipes. And do not be afraid to try new tastes and ingredients, we’re sure that you will enjoy plenty of them!

We have developed a know how in tourism, so we’re sure that if you choose a Greek destination for your summer holidays, you will not regret it at all. For us here, tourism is a way of living.

An opportunity for others to see how lucky we are we were born here.