The Greeks are famously known for many things around the world. Their stunning sunny islands, tonnes of ancient history, and not to mention smashing plates at the liveliest gatherings you’ll ever attend. But mouth-watering food HAS to be at the forefront of why Greek culture is so cherished and appreciated by its tourists! If you’re lucky enough to be visiting a Greek Island on your travels, here are 5 delicious dishes you simply cannot return home without tucking into…🇬🇷
Souvla – probably the most traditional dish in the Greek cuisine not only for the food but also for the social gatherings that occur during the hours of cooking. Juicy chunks of lamb, chicken or pork are marinated in oregano, lemon and olive oil roasted on rotating skewers for 2-3 hours on a traditional charcoal BBQ. You’ll notice merely by the smell on a Sunday afternoon, that Souvla is in fact the Greek’s alternative to a Sunday Roast. Many hotels in Greece and Cyprus host evenings where you can enjoy a feast, mainly consisting of Souvla, which is cooked throughout the day on the hotels terrace. (Filling the air with the most sensational aromas 😍)
Makaronia Tou Fournou
Or Patstitio as known in some parts of Greece, is commonly referred to as the Greek Lasagna. Using the same creamy béchamel as used in Moussakka, this mourish pasta dish substitutes Cheddar Cheese with Greek Cheese for a twist (Halloumi or Anari). The meat mixture is seasoned with mint, cinnamon and garlic and a touch of tomato puree. Long tubes of pasta are coated in halloumi and butter and then layered with the meat first and thick cheesy sauce on top. It’s deliciously creamy, and tastes amazing when cold too!
You may have tried Calamari, otherwise known as squid in the UK – perhaps as a starter with tartar sauce. (Usually frozen!) However in most Greek islands Calamari is caught fresh on a daily basis, and served in local tavernas on every corner. Usually served whole or in rings and fried in a light and crispy batter, Calamari is one of the tastiest and satisfying seafood dishes around. Usually served as part of a “meze” or simply with chips, Greek salad and a selection of dips – it is an absolute treat as a main course!
In the UK we have Greggs, Simmons and the odd patisserie selling pretty looking delicacies. In Greek cities however, bakeries are dotted in their hundreds around the islands, with a massive variety of sweet and savoury items. One snack that is hugely popular is known as a “Kouba”. A kouba is a delectable deep fried snack made from bulgur wheat (very similar to couscous) and filled with a seasoned onion and mincemeat filling. (Substituted with mushrooms for a vegetarian option!) Best served with a goooood squeeze of lemon, this street food is a mouthful of deliciousness and cost on average just 1 euro!
An all time favourite Greek dessert (After baklava of course!). Galatoboureko is roughly translated as Cream Custard pie – and it’s essentially just that. The cake is filled with a vanilla flavoured custard filling, covered in golden filo pastry and drenched in syrupy sauce! It can be found in bakeries and in the dessert section of most restaurant menus. What a delightful way to end your meal #YUMMY
Best until last? Just maybe 😍 Loukoumades, served as a dessert usually, are crispy Greek doughnuts – light, airy and dripping in syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon (and optional nuts). These little bites of heaven are a true depiction of the sweet side of Greek Cuisine, and loved by both tourists and the locals. Served after a meal with vanilla ice cream – Perfect on a hot night!