Greece, the land of ancient myths and mysteries with fairy-tale landscapes is always an attractive place for international tourists to come to this place. Along with that, Greek dishes are always the best side dishes with great taste, fresh domestic ingredients and simple processing to create a wonderful culinary culture.
Food culture in Greece is very simple and diverse, but overall, they are all very healthy. All dishes are made with fresh ingredients. The ingredients include vegetables, nuts, cheese, grains, fresh fish and a very small amount of meat. For a meal, most dishes will be divided into small portions so that everyone can eat together and happily chat about what they have gone through after a long day of studying and working. On the other hand, recipes in Greece are not exactly measured, mostly just estimated by eye. This is hard to believe, but Greek women have been doing it for a long time. And Greek dishes also take a long time to complete, such as cakes, homemade bread - but those side dishes are totally worth it!
When coming to Greece, if you are not sure what restaurants to go for delicious Greek dishes, you can join the food tours organized regularly by the locals to be able to enjoy their specialties while visiting Greece.
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Souvlaki - The Well-Known Greek Grilled Skewer
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Grill skewer, or is known as barbecue - is one of the popular dishes in Greece. You will find this dish sold in street stalls, very easy to buy. This grilled skewer is pork grilled on skewers, which can be served with vegetables of your choice. Of course, it will not be limited to grilled pork, but can also include beef, chicken, fish, and lamb.
If you eat souvlaki as an appetizer, this dish will contain bite-sized pieces of meat. You can serve souvlaki with fries, tzatziki, and pita bread when you eat it as a main course. This is one of the delicious and extremely popular dishes in Greece. The island of Oasis in Greece is famous for this specialty, you can come to experience the dish while watching the process of making this amazing side dish.
Tzatziki - Greek Cucumber Yogurt Sauces
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This is also one of the popular dishes in Greece. A portion of tzatziki will be adapted from yogurt, cucumber and pickled garlic if you go to Greek cuisine restaurants around the world. However, if you have a chance, you should try this authentic Greek sauce specifically in Greece, because the taste will be absolutely amazing.
The special thing about this sauce lies in the combination of the fatty flavour of sheep's milk and goat's milk. In addition, the use of extra virgin olive oil also enhances the flavour of this dish. The tzatziki sauce is made from cucumbers, Greek yogurt, olive oil marinated with garlic and herbs. This sauce is often spread over souvlaki, vegetables and grilled meat to add flavour to the dish.
Rizogalo - Greek Rice Pudding for Afternoon Teabreak
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Rizogalo in Greek means rice and milk. Indeed, this dessert is made from milk mixed with rice flour and water. Depending on needs and preferences, this dish will also be added sugar and vanilla powder to increase sweetness and aroma when eaten as a dessert after a meal and added nut toppings such as cinnamon seeds and raisins.
As for authentic Greek food, the locals won't make it like a pudding. Rizogalo will be whipped and added cornstarch to increase the expansion, forming the shape of egg cream. This dish will take about 40 minutes to complete, and is always refrigerated to create deliciousness for the cake. Some people also like to have the rizogalo immediately after it's done, but if refrigerated, the cake will become slightly creamier, creating a wonderful fatty taste of milk and rice that's hard to forget.
Yiaourti Me Meli - Greek Healthy Fresh Honey Yogurt for Sweet Lovers
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Yiourti Me Meli is one of the typical Greek healthy desserts. This dish is a combination of Greek yogurt, thyme honey and nuts, perfect for a low-calorie dessert for a tiring afternoon.
This dish will not have a strong sweet taste, which is very suitable for those who do not like to eat sweets or worry about gaining weight. Thyme honey is one of the famous ingredients in Greece, always used in dishes to increase nutrition, neutralize the fat of yogurt, and is considered one of the precious ingredients in the world. Greek. When going to Greek restaurants, they will serve this dish as a free accompaniment.
Galaktoboureko - A Sweet Dessert Made from Syrup
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Inherited from Middle Eastern culture, the Greeks turned Galaktoboureko into a unique dessert. Galaktoboureko, also known as siropiasta - a dessert made from syrup. This dessert is made from a thick layer of custard, combined with layers of crispy toppings, then lightly soaked in syrup.
Eat this dish while it is still warm because then the melting of butter, eggs, milk and crispy crust soaked in syrup will give you a wonderful feeling like you are in heaven. This is also a popular dessert in Greece. Desserts can be found in bakeries across the country, and they are sold by tray to satisfy people's cravings.
Moussaka - Greek Savory Grilled Lasagna
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Moussaka is considered one of the masterpieces in Greek culinary art. This cake is arranged in different layers. Initially, a layer of crisps will be placed on the plate. Next, the chef will cover with a layer of deep-fried eggplant. After that, a layer of minced beef will be covered next. Finally, a layer of béchamel sauce will be covered and the dish will be placed in the oven for 30 minutes.
Besides, you will not need to have eggplant to be able to make this dish. You can replace it with tomatoes to create richness for the dish, as well as to suit your taste. Similarly, you can replace beef with another vegetable if you are a vegetarian. This dish is very easy to eat, not greasy when it is usually grilled, not fried.
Spanakopita - Greek Savory Pita Pie
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Spanakopita, also known as the famous Greek grilled spinach pie. Here, this savoury cake is kneaded with many layers of phyllo, with origins dating back to the Byzantine Empire. This dish is used quite diversely, depending on your needs, you can use it as a main dish, appetizer or light snack.
This dish is usually made in the form of a square. To make a traditional Greek Spanakopita, goat's milk cheese (feta cheese) - is usually crumbled and mixed with spinach to make a feta cheese - bina mixture. The spinach and feta cheese mixture will be mixed with the dill, onion, scallions and eggs to create a stable texture for the feta spinach filling. The mixture is then wrapped in a phyllo crust coated with melted butter or olive oil for an hour to achieve standard crispness. This dish can be made in large trays and divided into small portions. When in use, it can be rolled up into a triangle for easier handling.
Taramasalata - Greek Fish Roe Dip
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Taramasalata, a famous Greek sauce that is indispensable when eating pita bread. This sauce is usually made from caviar, or small caviar depending on the preference of the processor, plus other ingredients such as olive oil, lemon, onion and breadcrumbs. Depending on your taste, you can use eggs of fish species such as herring, carp, cod, and striped mullet. The colour of the sauce will be pink and white, depending on the degree of tarama and eggs during processing. This dip is very quick to make, taking only about 15 minutes of your time.
This dipping sauce is so popular in Greece, you will find it popping up a lot in Greek restaurants. In particular, this dish often appears during Lent, Shrove Monday - which is the first week of Easter.
Pastitsio - Greek Creamy Cheese Baked Pasta
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This is a popular Greek barbecue that has its roots in Italian cuisine. Pastitsio is said to be a variation of the Italian Pasticcio di Maccheroni - a signature dish of Ferrara. Pastitsio "regained" his Greek citizenship when a Greek chef added béchamel sauce, creating a breath of modern Greek cuisine.
Pastitsio is a casserole with many layers of pasta and ground meat. The bottom layer will consist of toppings with a variety of tubular pasta. The middle layer is a mixture of ground meat marinated with spices, the most commonly used meat is ground beef, which will be cooked with a tomato sauce with aromatic spices including cinnamon and cloves. Finally, Pastitsio will be covered with a layer of Béchamel sauce to stimulate and create a rich flavour for the dish. Then, this dish will be put in the oven and baked. A perfect and standard Pastitsio will have a golden brown coating.
Horiatiki Salad - The Typical Greek Salad for Hot Summer Days
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Horiatiki in Greek means a dish of the village. Indeed, this is an extremely simple and healthy dish for everyone with the freshest ingredients. Horiatiki is one of the most popular dishes and one of the oldest side dishes of Greek cuisine. In the late spring and summer months, the ingredients for this salad are all ripe and in their freshest state, so it's incredibly juicy and flavourful to enjoy.
The authentic Horiatiki salad is a wonderful combination of goat's milk cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs. This salad contains a lot of nutrients and is a dessert that should never be lacking in Greek meals. In the summer, we will often see Horiatiki salad always eaten with bread dipped with salad juice. Eating together like that will help purify the body and cool down in the summer. Outside of Greece, horiatiki is mashed only with goat's milk cheese, lettuce, and olive oil.
Dolmades - Wrapped Grape Leaf Dish
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Dolmades, named after the Turkish language, means a dish wrapped or filled with stuffing inside. Dolmades was brought by the Ottomans and became one of the most famous and popular rolls in Greece.
Dolmades is a roll stuffed with a delicious meat filling and wrapped in grape leaves or grapes. The meat filling is usually made from beef or lamb, rice, pine nuts, fresh dill and other herbs to create a delicious flavour for the dish. There are quite a few variations to this dish. For the Lenten season, this cake is usually made with only vegetables and nuts, not meat - it can also be made into a small portion to be eaten with the main course. If Dolmades is made into the main course, it will be served with avgolemono sauce - a sauce made from a mixture of rice, lemon juice and eggs.
Loukoumades - Greek Sweet Fried Doughnut
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Loukoumades, a fried doughnut dish dating back to the oldest Greek history to 776 BC. This is one of the most popular desserts in Greece. Loukoumades are small dough balls seasoned with a honey shell, topped with cinnamon powder - sometimes substituted with powdered sugar depending on local custom. This cake is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, light and delicious, very suitable for afternoon snacks, or simply snacking after tiring working hours.
Loukoumades are one of the traditional Greek cakes, which are sold a lot in shops in this country. This dish is very popular and is sold in many street food stalls, and often appears in many commemorative events and during Lent in Greece. You can enjoy this cake with a cup of coffee, they will make a great combination for an enjoyable relaxing break time.
When travelling, we will always combine seeing the scenery and enjoying the typical dishes here. It is extremely romantic and poetic when going out for dining in Greece. Indeed, dishes with long roots, combined with fresh and nutritious ingredients, will enrich your culinary experience. The way the Greeks combine vegetables, seeds with meats, pasta, and noodles, is extremely flexible and reasonable when the dish can provide enough calories for daily activities but still not make you get sick or gain more weight.
Besides, you can comfortably enjoy sweet desserts without the fear of fat. Most desserts are combined with Greek yogurt, honey and nuts that will help you have a good and stable digestive system, as well as help you have smooth skin, support weight loss, and get a good night's sleep. You can learn how to make these healthy desserts to enjoy as a snack or add to your diet menu when craving sweets during a strict diet.
We have listed 15 of the best dishes from Greek cuisine so you have more references to find cooking inspiration, as well as pocket these dishes to enjoy in person in Greece if you have a chance to travel to this beautiful country. Hopefully, the above information has provided you with a more comprehensive view of this simple but flavourful cuisine. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and please let us know if we’re missing your favourite Greek dish in the comment below!