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Greek Cuisine

Greek: Ελληνικν Κουζινα
Common dishes: tyropita, moussaka, gyro, fasolada, Greek salad, etc.
Known for: Feta, olives, olive oil, tzatziki, etc.

Souvlaki, fries, bread and salad.

Souvlaki, fries, bread and salad.

Greek cuisine is the traditional cuisine of Greece, a typical Mediterranean cuisine, sharing characteristics with the cuisines of Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Middle East. Describing Greek cuisine in a few short paragraphs would not do it justice, go out and buy a Greek cook book if you would like to learn more. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of olive oil, vegetables and herbs, grains and bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including poultry and rabbit. Typical ingredients in Greek cuisine are lamb and pork, olives, cheese, eggplant, zucchini, and yogurt. The desserts are dominated by nuts and honey. Some dishes use phyllo pastry.

The first cook book was written in 330 B.C. by Archestratos, a Greek poet from Syracuse, Sicily. Greece has long been known for its food and has a culinary tradition of some 4,000 years. Ancient Greek cuisine can be characterized by wheat, olive oil, and wine, the main ingredients of any meal. Meat was rarely eaten and fish was a more common dish. This trend continued for the next few thousand years, and has only changed recently with new technology. Greek food is a staple of any Greek household with recipes of dishes being passed down from generation to generation. Dining out is common in Greece and the Taverna and Estiatorio are found almost everywhere. These places servetraditional Greek home cooking. Fast-food has also become popular recently, with chains such as Goody’s opening up, and souvlaki, gyros, and pitas are served in fast food style on almost every street corner.

Greek cuisine uses some flavorings more often than other Mediterranean cuisines do: oregano, mint, garlic, onion, dill and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil, thyme and fennel seed. Many Greek recipes, especially in the northern parts of the country, use “sweet” spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews. The terrain has tended to favour the breeding of goats and sheep over cattle, and thus beef dishes are uncommon. Fish dishes are common in coastal regions and on the islands. A great variety of cheese types are used in Greek cuisine, including Feta, Kasseri, Kefalotyri, Graviera, Anthotyros, Manouri, Metsovone and Mizithra.

Greek Food websites:

Bizarre Foods – Kalymnos - by Andrew Zimmern:

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