Greek cuisine is a specific mixture of different influences that speak in favor of the country's reach history and cultural changes. Culinary habits differ from area to area, and every part of Greece has its specific local flavor that makes Greek cuisine so special.
An additional advantage of Greek cuisine is connected to specific micro-climate conditions, so the same dishes might taste very dissimilar in Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Aegean, Ionian, or Dodecanese islands.
Here is how olives, herbs, spices, love, and patience, create a mosaic of flavors that enriches the culinary story of Greece. We present you a list of Top 8 traditional Greek foods, you must try when you want to spice up your perfect Greek summer!
As we have already warned you some dishes differ from area to area, and this is the case with Saganaki.
While in some areas Saganaki may come as fried goat's cheese or sheep cheese, which doesn't melt although it is prepared in high temperatures, in other areas Saganaki is served as a delicious dish made of shrimps and tomato sauce. The only similarity is that both dishes are prepared in a pan.
So, before you order it, ask the waiter how it is made and enjoy it as a starter dish - a meze.
Dolmades are one of the most commonly prepared dishes in Greece, and we could say that every household has a unique recipe and advice on how to prepare dolmades.
Dolmades are the most specific traditional Greek foods of Dodecanese islands and are usually served as an appetizer. The traditional version of Dolmades is made of vine leaves stuffed with minced meat or rice and flavored with different combinations of herbs such as thyme, dill, or oregano.
Moussaka is one of the most famous traditional Greek foods that are really worth trying.
Moussaka is made of a few layers of fried aubergine, that are filled with minced meat, and potatoes, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce. Moussaka is cooked in every part of Greece, and every area puts a pinch of a local flavor to it. It is a standard dish on the menu of every traditional Greek restaurant.
If you want to taste a Greek version of Italian lasagne, you should definitely try Pastitsio!
Pastitsio is especially good to try in Rhodes or Corfu, where Italians left their influence even in food, and it will be a favorite dish of your kids as well. Not so well is known among the tourists, that Rhodes and surrounding islands have this tradition of hand-made small macaroni.
So, how Pastitsio is made, and why we recommend it as one of the traditional Greek foods you must try?
Instead of pasta sheets, Greeks use small macaroni, arranged in layers that are filled with beef or lamb meat, and topped with béchamel sauce and grated cheese. In some areas, the spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbs are also used in order to enhance the flavor and make it even more delicious.
When you want to taste some real delicacy of traditional Greek foods, you should definitely order a portion of Kleftiko!
Kleftiko is made of slow-cooked lamb meat and a mix of different vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrot, and potato, tomato, combined with various seasonings - oregano and bay leaf, merged with a little of white wine and lemon juice. It is especially going well with red wine, so don't miss to try some of the high-quality locally produced wines, too.
Kleftiko is prepared all over Greece, however, we would recommend you not to miss trying one when spending your holiday in Crete!
Pies are another traditional specialty in Greece. Spanakopita or Spinach-pie is the best option for your breakfast. Greeks just adore fresh food, so spanakopita will be on the menu every single morning in bakeries all across the country.
Spanakopita might come in combination with cheese. It is made of multiple thin pie crust layers that are filled with a mixture of spinach, eggs, and cheese, making it crispy and soft at the same time. It especially goes well with yogurt, and it is one of the favorite kids' traditional Greek foods, as well.
We finally came to the best part of the Greek culinary story! It is dessert time!
Greeks have literally hundreds of sweets and desserts, each of them tremendously delicious. Was it hard to choose among them? Certainly, it was. However, here are two desserts you should definitely put on your list that will make your summer in Greece even sweeter!
7. Revani Cake
Revani cake is known for its citrus flavor and semolina flour. This moist dessert is very easy and simple to prepare. The secret is in syrup made of lemon or oranges, honey, a mixture that is spiced up with a few cinnamon sticks.
Revani cake is best to serve as it warm, and the flavor becomes even more delicious if you put a vanilla ice-cream on the top of it.
8. Yogurt with Honey
This light, unexpectedly delicious dessert that might sound like a strange combination, is a traditional Greek sweet that is especially recommended to try on hot summer days. Sour and sweet flavor, combined with a walnut that gives it a crispy note, yogurt and honey is a creamy, refreshing dessert you could make right away and bring some of the Greek summer days into your cuisine.
Which specialty in Greece is your favorite one, and what would you recommend to others? Write us in the comments, and share your culinary story of Greece! Don't hesitate to find your perfect holiday destination and enjoy your Greek summer completely.