The venerable Mediterranean diet has long been praised by chefs, nutrition specialists and simple eaters amongst us as one of the most delicious and healthy around the world. Incorporating almost everything, from meat to fish, vegetables and legumes, the wide variety of dishes on offer will cover even the most demanding foodies around. The Greeks pride themselves in their food and certainly a taste of their fresh made traditional delicacies will have you licking your fingers too. Here are 5 staple dishes to keep an eye out for while on holidays in Greece and -why not- have a go at making yourself!
The ultimate Greek staple dish, moussaka is often served throughout restaurants and households around the country. If you have had the chance to try it before, rest assured that this dish is even more of a must try in its place of origin! Incorporating succulent beef or lamb mince layered between potatoes, aubergines and courgettes and topped with flavoured béchamel sauce, this fulfilling dish is something to go for during your holidays in Greece.
Fish, Calamari and Octopus
Being a land surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, one of the most consumed types of food is fish and seafood. Prepared in a variety of ways, the freshly caught fish is simply delicious to try on one of the seaside tavernas, served with a variety of sides. Fresh octopus is mostly grilled on charcoal and then served with vinegar and olive oil for a delicious appetizer and succulent calamari or squid is usually fried and served with some lemon juice. Seafood is a must as well during your holidays in Greece and if you happen to be having your vacations on an island you will be well rewarded.
Fasolada (Bean Soup)
Eating out during your holidays in Greece might also include some tasty and healthy legume dishes. Generations of Greeks have grown up on this humble yet hearty dish and if you try it yourself you’ll definitely want to have a go at making it. The recipe is simple; white or kidney beans are soaked overnight to soften and then boiled in a tomato sauce with the addition of onion, celery and carrot, making this a perfect side or main dish to have when tired of all the meat.
Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables)
Another Greek favourite, tomatoes, bell peppers and sometime aubergines are stuffed with rice softened in a tomato sauce and flavoured with parsley, slowly cooked in the oven to a tender package full of flavour. A typical dish made by grandmothers, mothers and aunts around the country, gemista owes its flavour to fresh vegetables and their experience, making it an overall exceptional culinary experience. Accompany it with some feta cheese for the full package and you’ll definitely want to have some more.
The most common starter in most households, tavernas and restaurants around the country, Greek Salad is renowned around the world as one of the tastiest. The ingredients are simple but fresh and due to this simple fact it’s made irresistible! In order to make it, fresh tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and olives are combined with a gentle amount of olive oil, spiced up with the addition of oregano or other herbs and usually topped with a thick slice of feta cheese. As an insider tip, try dipping your bread on the leftover oil at the end for some extra flavour!