Monday, November 18, 2013

Greek Cuisine 101 - Part I

Welcome to Part I of a series of posts we’ll be doing on modern day Greek cuisine in Greece. Are your taste buds ready for this? Here we go…

Greeks spend a lot of time socializing outside their homes, and sharing a meal is one of the chief ways of doing it. The atmosphere is always relaxed and informal, with pretensions rare outside of the more “hip” parts of Athens and certain major resorts.

Although standards like kalamari and moussaka are everywhere and figure strongly in taverna fare, Greek food is considerably more complex and varied than just these well-loved dishes.

In fact, modern Greeks are rediscovering their rich rural culinary heritage, which began as simple and functional, relying on local products, and later expanded under the influence of elaborate, Anatolian-influenced recipes in the 1920’s, brought by immigrants from Asia Minor. The result is a rich and wide ranging cuisine based on fresh, raw ingredients, subtle herbs and preparation by charcoal grilling or in wood-burning ovens.

In Greece, you’ll find a plethora of local specialties, all proudly promoted: anything from whole pickled caper sprigs to smoked eels, mollusks bottle in brine to soft sheep’s cheese or thyme honey to almond syrup.

Stay tuned to future episodes as we dive into the mouth-watering facts about seafood, meats, vegetables, wine and cheeses. Yummy!

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