Greek food can be incredibly varied thanks to the many different islands that, together with the mainland, make up the country. Certain dishes, such as moussaka, souvlaki and taramasalata have made their way to our shores, but what of the cuisine that has yet to reach us here in the UK? Here are a few dishes that you should definitely try on an Athens city break or a beach holiday in one of the many island resorts.
These gooey cheese balls are delicious and the perfect start to any meal. If you are just looking for a snack, they are also a great meze dish. Three different types of cheese, one of which is usually feta, are mixed together and chilled in the fridge, before being deep-fried until they are golden brown. The crispy outer shell and oozing centre are an excellent contrast, making these a delight to bite into.
These almond cookies are a great snack to grab on the go or to sit down and eat with your Elliniko – Greek coffee served in a long-handled copper pot. As they are made without flour, they are perfect for anyone that can’t eat gluten and their simplicity means that the almond taste shines through. The most popular version is shaped like a traditional cookie and baked until hard on the outside and soft in the centre. However, various different parts of Greece also make them pear-shaped and in round balls.
Another great meze dish, tomatokeftedes are tomato fritters that are mostly eaten on the island of Santorini. The rich, volcanic soil here means that the tomatoes have a fantastic flavour, something that becomes obvious once you bite into one of these summery delights. Once the tomatoes have been properly drained, they are sliced and mixed with onions, herbs and then deep-fried.
Supposedly dating back to the times of Alexander the Great, Dolmathakia can be found on the menu in countries such as Israel and Turkey, as well as Greece. These rounded bundles consist of a variety of fillings wrapped in grape leaves and can be eaten either hot or cold. Depending on where in the country you travel to, they could be filled with things such as vegetables, pine nuts, meat and rice.
This sweet and sticky dessert is a favourite in Greece and almost as widely eaten as baklava. It is named after the thin strands of pastry which are used to give it a texture similar to that of shredded wheat. The strips of pastry are wrapped around a nutty centre, baked in the oven and then finished with a liberal dashing of syrup. This last step not only makes it deliciously sweet but also helps preserve the dish for longer.
If you would like to try any of these traditional dishes in Greece, we can tailor-make a holiday to your wishes. Contact us today to find out where your next holiday could take you.