Greek Gastronomy: Discovering 24 Delicious Dishes
Greek Gastronomy. Greek cuisine is celebrated for its nourishing simplicity, often regarded as one of the world’s finest and healthiest. It emphasizes baking over frying, avoids elaborate sauces, and prefers the delicate flavors of herb seasonings.
Dietary experts have long praised the Greeks for their use of unsaturated fats, like olive oil, unprocessed sugars, such as honey, and their inclusion of pulses and vegetables. Greece consistently ranks high in longevity due, in part, to its culinary traditions.
One Greek island, Ikaria, has been in the spotlight recently because over one-third of its 8,500 inhabitants are over 90 years old. While other lifestyle factors play a role, the traditional Greek diet is a significant contributor.
Here are 24 beloved dishes that everyone in Greece knows and cherishes:
This tongue-twisting starter is a creamy dip made from soaked breadcrumbs or potatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, and a distinctly Greek ingredient – cured fish roe. While the authentic version appears in a somewhat unappealing gray-yellow hue, some cooks and markets add pink coloring to enhance its visual appeal.
Gigantes (Φασόλια γίγαντες)
Although dried haricot bean soup (fasolada) sustained Greeks during World War II, it’s not as celebrated today. Surprisingly, its cousin – a hearty dish of giant baked beans seasoned with cilantro – has found a place on typical mezze spreads. Sometimes referred to as “gigantes plaki,” it signifies a dish baked in tomato sauce.
Every Greek menu, from the coziest taverna to the most upscale restaurant, includes a “choriatiki” salad, known worldwide as a Greek salad. While there might be regional or chef-specific variations, the essentials remain the same: sliced tomatoes, onions, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, and a dressing of olive oil and oregano. Order a hearty portion during dinner for a wholesome meal.
This nutritious soup is renowned for its healing properties and appears deceptively simple to prepare. In reality, it involves simmering a whole chicken with vegetables, bonnet rice, and a magical egg and lemon sauce known as “avgolemono.” The result is a velvety, nutrient-packed soup that combines fats, carbs, and protein with a touch of vitamin C.