Saturday, March 29, 2014

Red Eggs At Easter - A Greek Tradition

The Easter holiday is the most sacred observance in Greek Orthodox tradition, and many of the customs and practices in preparation of the Holy Days before Easter are common mainstays in Greek life.

Tied closely to the main faith of the country - the practice of dyeing eggs red on Holy Thursday and then being cracked and consumed on Easter Sunday is still very much a part of life in modern Greece.

From My Blog Love Greece:

Traditionally, Easter eggs are dyed throughout the Orthodox Christian world on Holy Thursday, and they are dyed red to represent the redeeming blood of Christ that was shed on the Cross, the white egg (before being dyed) represents the white marble tomb were Christ's body was laid after He was taken down from the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolises the sealed tomb of Christ.

On Easter Sunday, a ritual of the cracking of the eggs take place, with people tapping each others' egg, symbolising the 'cracking' of Christ's tomb and the bonds of death and His resurrection.For more information on this and other Greek customs, visit My Blog Love Greece

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lovin' Lamb

At Zizikis’s, we stick to traditional Greek dining—which is why we love lamb! OPA!

Often there is a choice of lamb on the menu and many just overlook this mouthwatering delight for whatever reason. But it's a shame - because it's not only a traditional Greek favorite - it's one of Costa's many specialties.

Nearly 6% of Greek agriculture is comprised of sheep and goats. Now that there are improved breeding strategies and hygienic standards, lambs are perfect for those who are health-conscious and are willing to pay a little more for it. Since is has many benefits, lamb dishes are nearly a delicacy  served on special occasions and in celebrations. Here is one great reason to give lamb a try:

Lamb is rich in vitamins! It's an incredible source of protein and meets over half of the daily protein requirement for adults. It is also rich in iron, making it quickly absorbed by the body.New studies reveal that the vitamin B3, found in lamb, protects against potential age-related illnesses and bone problems. Eating lamb can actually help you maintain strong bones and skin!

Next time you are at one of our Ziziki locations – try the Lamb skewered medallions or the stuffed Leg of Lamb gyro or possibly - our most delightful is the Stuff Lamb Loin.Visit us on or Twitter and let us know what you like best!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Think Of Greece - Think Of OLIVES!

When you think of olives, you imagine a little bowl on a bar counter, ordering a small bowl to go with your meal at a restaurant, or in your martini . They are also very popular because of the oil that they produce, but what do you really know about where they came from?

Olives are grown on olive trees that are native to the Mediterranean area. They are an evergreen tree or shrub that is very short, usually no taller than 50 feet. These trees are incredibly strong. Olive trees last for many years, but usually don’t start growing the actual fruit until they are about 6 or 7 years old. These trees are grown in abundance in the Mediterranean countries. There are about 18 million tons of trees produced each year with 95% of them being from the Mediterranean area.

Every type of olive comes from a different area, therefore there are not all kinds of different olive trees in one area. The different kinds of olives are Empeltre, Hojiblanca, Lechin, Picual, Cornicabra, Verdial, Arbequina, Picudo and varieties. There are also the most common olives in the United States, which are the black and green olives. Each one of these olives have a different taste depending on where they are grown, inside or outside, the heat, and the soil. These are all factors that change the taste of olives! Olives are harvested at the green stage but can be left to ripen which darkens their color and we get what we know as black olives.

Olives are used in a variety of ways. They can be eaten whole or cultivated into oil. In kitchens all over the world, olive oil is the most common cooking oil. It is also very common to have olive oil salad dressings. Just like traditional mediterranean kitchens, Ziziki’s uses olive oil for cooking too. For example- our calamari is lightly sautéed with olive oil, white wine, and lemon. Another favorite dish with olive oil is our shrimp, it is marinated to perfection with olive oil and herbs. If you are looking for a delicious appetizer that is sure to please your Greek craving the artichoke dip & pita bread should be your number one choice; it is even served with whole kalamata olives. You can also just order a few olives on the side with any of our dishes if you would please.

After all, the Ziziki’s menu would not be so perfect unless it served foods that were full of strong flavors, like olives and garlic. These are the backbone to the every Greek meal, So come on “oliver” and eat a "Big Fat Greek Dinner"!