Well, there is a whole underlying culture when it comes to Greek food. A thrilling journey to the senses, awakening your taste buds and introducing you to the junction of the Orient and the West. Greece is a hub of civilizations, where different people meet and interact shaping contemporary culture. And in this unique blend of flavors and aromas, colors and textures, the gastronomic stage is always a treasure.
Of course, you should know that there are innumerable options regarding Greek food. Literally every neighborhood features a picturesque tavern, fast food options to die for and special restaurants twisting local cuisine with modern twists. What should you try is totally up to you. They are all mouth-watering and they will travel you to cherished places. But there are some food options you should never leave out!
The Epic Souvlaki
Greek food means souvlaki, right? This famous fast food has traveled the world and satisfies even the most discerning of palates. The secret to success lies in its simplicity, highlighting the genuine flavors of the ingredients. Pork or chicken wrapped in pitta bread, along with tzatziki sauce and tomato, fried potatoes and spices. There are of course variations to the original souvlaki for vegetarians and haloumi enthusiasts!
Tasty Homemade Greek Food
Fast food holds its own charms in Greek cuisine. But there are homemade recipes that are equally thrilling to taste! Mousaka is one such dish, made in the oven. Layers of potato, eggplant, ground meat and béchamel sauce create a multi-level culinary masterpiece! And pastitsio is another such recipe with pasta, ground meat and béchamel sauce for those in need of more carbs!
Sweet and savory pies are also great gastronomic creations in Greece. Spinach pie or cheese pie (with feta cheese), pumpkin pies and mpougatsa (fyllo pastry and a thick cream with cinammon and sugar) are just few of the exciting things to try out in Greek cuisine.
Then, there are many mezedes not to miss out on. Small plates filled with intense flavors to eat with your company. Just grab a fork and munch on ntolmades (stuffed vine leaves) and keftedakia (meat balls), tomato fritters and zucchini croquettes. Grilled cheese and sausages, omelets and many other dishes will fascinate you.
Vegan in Greece? No Problem!
Although at first though vegans feel deprived of authentic Greek food, the truth is so much different! You will soon realize that there are thousands of meat-free recipes to satisfy vegetarians and vegans. From pies to pastries and from homemade meals to fast food, all detary requirements are met with the greatest of ease.
Try out Sifnian revithada (slowly cooked chickpeas in a traditional wood oven) and hortopita (pie made with seasonal herbs and vegetables). Hummus and eggplant salad, appetizers and salads in absolute harmony with seasonality. Lentils and beans, stuffed tomatoes and peppers (yummy gemista) and baked giant beans, peas and briam (roasted vegetables in th oven) are some truly amazing recipes!
And of course, do not forget that extra virgin olive oil is the elixir of life! Greek olive oil ranks at the top in terms of both quality and taste. Even the simplest of dishes (like Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese and thick slices of onion) turn into nutritional boms that taste heavenly!
So Greek food is certainly vegan-friendly and you are most welcome to experiment with meatless creations, whether you are a vegan or not! You will be thrilled with the result and most likely ask for more!