My Top 10 Greek Foods to try
Oh Greece, lovely Greece! The sun! The historic monuments! The beautiful sandy beaches! …and obviously the famously tasty food! I guess there are so many things you can see and do in Greece if you ever go over there. As in any trip you do in any country the biggest problem you will encounter is that you don’t have enough time to see or do all the thing that you want!
Don’t worry! That’s why we are here!
The following are some of my personal favorite dishes that I will urge you to try if you ever go to Greece. Obviously there are many more available and special favorites depending the place you are but for this case we will only focus on some of them.
You cannot start a discussion about Greek Food and the Greek kitchen without mentioning Moussaka, arguable the most famous of all the Greek dishes. Variations of the same dish can be found all around the Balkans, Turkey and furthermore to the east. However, the Greek version is one of the most famous ones and is based on layering: sautéed aubergine, minced meat fried pureed tomato, onion, garlic and spices like cinnamon and allspice, a bit of potato, and then a final fluffy topping of cheese and béchamel sauce.
- Vrasta Horta – Boiled Greens
Well, that is something you certainly cant find in many places. I always remember my grandparents going out during summer out in the fields and trying to find the best leafy greens to boil. There are so many different types that I don’t even know. Packed with nutrients and flavor, these greens will compliment any meal. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and enjoy. Many times I remember my father asking for boiled greens as a salad to eat together with his fresh fish.
- Galaktompoureko – Custard Phyllo Pie
If anyone manages to pronounce it properly I promise I will make one for him! Either way, its not important to learn how to pronounce but to find it and try it while you are in Greece. One of the best deserts you can have and obviously my personal favorite. If you manage and find a proper patisserie in Greece (and there are plenty) go and ask for one. It’s a divine combination of creamy custard and flaky phyllo dough that is baked to golden perfection then drenched with a lemon and orange infused syrup.
- Spanakopita – Spinach Pie
Greek and English have one thing in common. They both like pies! If you spend some time in Greece and especially wonder around in some of the villages in the North you will definitely find a lot of variations. Spinach pie is one of those classic popular pies that you can find anywhere, flaky phyllo sheets layered with a savory spinach and feta cheese filling. You can never go wrong with that!
- Souvlaki – Pita Sandwich
The most famous fast food of the country. You can never go wrong with this one. Mentioned it thousand times on my blog and I am sure any other food blogger in the world has done it also. Small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer served on a pita bread with a variation of garnishes and sauces. Best thing you can have after a night out with value for money. Ideally its served with pork but nowadays in Greece you can find with so many different variations you cannot imagine.
- Fish – Just any kind of them
Honestly, in a country with so many islands and one of the biggest coastlines you can find around the world, you can never go wrong. Make sure that you find a nice recommended fish tavern and ask about the catch of the day. Usually when I go in Greece during summer I am dying to eat octopus either grilled or boiled. Then again eating grilled shrimps is not too bad either….or Sea Breams….or lobster pasta…or fresh Swordfish… or… or..or….
- Gemista – Stuffed Vegetables
Again, I could not have such a list without having one of my favorites dishes listed. Basically as it is made during the summer as it is the best season for most of the vegetables. You a create a heathen stuffing from rice and minced meat together with some seasoning and you stuff the vegetable with them. Let them cook in the oven and you have a dish for kings! Now we Greeks like to fight for anything so you will see many of them cooking them without minced meat as they believe that is the original recipe, which is equally good. Nevertheless, for me the ideal one would be with the minced meat added to them!
- Patsas – Pork Soup
Ok, in order to appreciate the following dish properly you will need to do the following things.
- Go and enjoy the nightlife in Greece. Party until 6 o clock in the morning
- Find one of the restaurants called “patsatsidika” serving that soup and try it around 6 o clock in the morning after a hard night out
Pork soup seasoned with red wine vinegar and garlic, or thickened with avgolemono. Patsas has the reputation of remedying hang-over and aiding digestion, patsatzidika are often working overnight, serving people returning home after dinner or clubbing.
- Tzatziki – Garlic sauce
There is not a chance if you spend some days in Greece to not try Tzatziki. That famous garlic and yogurt sauce is used as a started or as a basic ingredient in Souvlaki and is one of the most famous dishes you can have in Greece. To be honest if you go to Greece you can have a variations of sauces as a starter dip that are quite underrated and deserve a bit more of your attention. Cool and creamy, this tangy cucumber dip flavored with garlic is perfect to compliment grilled meats and vegetables.
- Giouvetsi – Beef with Orzo stew
The following is one of the classic Sunday dishes that most of the Greek families have usually. Traditional recipe that you can find in many taverns around Greece with beef and orzo mixing up with melted cheese. One of my best memories when i was young about this dish was that my mother used to cook us Giouvetsi in clay pots which added a lot more on the taste. Good old times!
Obviously could continue the list with more and more dishes that i love but we would never stop. 10 are kind of hard to find but i think i made an honest attempt.