Greece is without a doubt home to one of the most formidable cuisines of the Mediterranean. Many travellers will fly across seas to explore the extensive options available to them. Greek Cuisine makes wide use of vegetables, garlic, lemons and olive oil but it is also rich in gourmet and signature local dishes that uphold international praise. Greek culture and hospitality extends to their everyday cooking where they dedicate a lot of passion and time into their cooking. One of the easiest ways to explore this cuisine is of course, whilst perched on a sun lounger overlooking a sandy coastline and crystal blue water! We will recommend the tastiest appetisers and snacks for you to get a taste of some of the traditional and modern takes on Greek cuisine whilst sitting in paradise.
“Greek Village Salad”
A hearty salad that will satisfy your midday cravings!
If you’re looking to keep up your hot beach-bod on your vacation and want to keep clear of any heavy foods, we recommend you try the traditional “Village Salad” or, more commonly, "Greek Salad", a staple dish in Greek cuisine. Although the locals experiment with their own versions of this recipe at home, most taverns and seaside restaurants will keep to the original, classic recipe.
Restaurants will serve the salad with verdant leaves and pick only the best vegetables from local suppliers. This greatly enhances the garden-fresh flavours; the juicy tomatoes and refreshing cucumbers will certainly cool you down from the hot summer sun. And it definitely wouldn’t be a Greek salad if it wasn’t topped with blocks of fetta cheese, and olives!
“Feta and Watermelon"
For those wanting to keep up their healthy eating habits
Although this sounds incredibly simple, it is important that we don’t forget to maintain our intake of vitamins and minerals whilst abroad, so that our bodies can truly benefit from our vacation with rest and good food. With the abundance of fresh fruit in every part of Greece, it’s not a surprise that this thirst-quenching option is popular as a snack as well as a light desert. It is traditionally enjoyed in the summer where even the locals go crazy over the contrast of the savoury bite of the cheese with the sweet-cool watermelon; it makes for an unforgettable combination of flavours!
Similarly, a fruit salad is also a viable option that is guaranteed to keep you cool in the sun! With the with a variety of seasonal fruits, including (but not limited to!) nectarines, bananas, kiwi, pineapples, pears, melon and apples you are truly spoilt for choice. The salad dressing is usually made up from fresh orange juice and honey which is typically locally produced.
The intriguing delight that comes on a spoon
Photo Credit: SouvlakiForThesoul
This desert is one that stirs up much nostalgia in Greeks as it takes them back to their childhood summer days. The dessert has a creamy texture and impersonates the appearance of a sorbet. It is made of sugar, corn, syrup and the spice of Masticha, which is a resin derived from the branches of the tree “Schinos”. This tree can be found in the island Chios, in the eastern Aegean Sea. Served with a spoon inside a clear, ice cold glass of water, the herbal zest of this dessert will instantly cool down your senses.
The Power of 3
A fresh, healthy platter made up of the best Greek dips
If you’re craving a light savoury snack but don’t want to miss out on any of Greece’s mouth-watering flavours, we recommend you try the most popular dips with a variety of fresh vegetables such as, carrots, celery, peppers and pitta.
Tirokafteri is made of fetta cheese and has a creamy yet punchy-hot flavour with warm mellow undertones of olive oil. The dip is made in combination with hot peppers, roasted peppers, yoghurt, oregano and of course the key group of Greek ingredients : lemon juice, olive oil and garlic!
Another dip we would recommend ordering in this tongue-tingling platter, is Tzatziki. Often served with grilled meat, this yoghurt-strained dip boasts a variety of flavours in combination with garlic, olive oil and salt. The dip is also made with cucumber with makes it surprisingly very fresh despite its dairy content!
Finally, why not pair up the above two with the delectable Taramosalata. Despite its strange pink colour, the dip echoes Greece’s rich seafood gastronomy, created with “tarama” (fish roe), salt, olive oil, lemon and (you guessed it!) garlic.
A platter of this kind will often be served with a handful of olives and your favourite cheeses which makes it perfect for sharing with a loved one!
Surprisingly tasty tiny fish
This is a classic dish that is served with lemon to drizzle over the fish. Being incredibly delicious it makes for the perfect light lunch to eat on the beach. More commonly known as “whitebait”, it is served fried and can be eaten whole – bones and all!
The drink that is socially acceptable on all occasions!
If you're keen to lounge on a stunning beach in true Greek style, why not blend in with the locals with an ice-tinkling glass of Ouzo? This is the perfect way to enjoy a romantic pink-orange sunset and to get you in the mood for your evening shenanigans!
High standards and full, tanned bellies all around!
Greek cuisine certainly offers a huge variety: from fresh fish and meat mezes to hearty salads, travellers can truly experiment with classic dishes as well as gourmet options. Whether you are sitting on a beach overlooking the Aegean, Ionian or any other sea that surrounds the beautiful islands, you can expect to never be disappointed by authentic, Greek food!