Friday, 23 October 2015

Adventures In Food: Greece

{breakfast spread with greek yoghurt, fruit and honey}
I was really looking forward to Greek food! Along with Turkish cuisine, it's one of my favourites from back home. They share lots of flavours and many dishes and concepts are the same. For instance, you will find coffee made the same way as in Turkey, already be familiar with the concept of meze, and of course you know that baklava is really a Turkish dessert! Have a look at my Turkish post if you're not sure what I mean! But, there are many ways that Greek food stands out from Turkish. For starters, the breakfasts are better! For a sweet tooth like me anyway, Greek yoghurt with fruit and honey is a better start to the day than tomatoes and cucumber.
{freddo cappuccino}
One big difference between Greek and Turkish coffee is that Greeks love to have it cold too! You can't walk down the street in Athens without seeing freddo (iced) coffees in people's hands!

Such a great pick me up snack or light lunch. Spanikopita, spinach pies, are everywhere but so are other types of pie, like just cheese or one with potato.
A lot of meze are the same as in Turkey so it was familiar ground for us. Here are some famous Greek small dishes.
{horiatiki salata}
Greek salad proves that the most simple dish can be a showstopper with fresh, seasonal ingredients- like this amazing local feta.

{fava dip}
Fava beans are a Santorini specialty as they grow in the unique climate there.

Breaded, fried feta. Tastes even better than it sounds.

{fried zucchini with skordalia}
This is a last supper meal for me. The pan fried zucchini had the perfect balance of crispy and soft. And that skordalia.... it's a garlic, potato and bread sauce. Note to self: make at home!
Now we go on to bigger meals...
{pita wrap}
Souvlaki, gyros, vegetarian... however you take it, a pita wrap is gonna be good (and cheap!). So souvlaki and gyros both involve meat, but wherever you can get one of those two, you can ask for a vegetarian version. It will basically be a pita bread wrap with tomato, lettuce, tzatziki and yes, often potato chips! Not a full size meal but a great light lunch on the go.
This was delicious, like a Greek version of ratatouille with veggies in tomato sauce. Mine had potatoes, peas, carrot, zucchini and even the special Santorini white eggplant in it! Lucky!
Stuffed vegetables is a common vegetarian dish on the menu so it's a great go-to. I really liked that this particular restaurant served stuffed tomatoes, capsicum and vine leaves together so I could try them all!
And now to my favourite course.
Yum! Hopefully you will take advantage of the street vendors who drop balls of dough into hot oil, fry them up then roll them about in honey syrup and dust with cinnamon. Yes. Also known as 'honey puffs' to all Australian Greek food fans.
One of my favourite types of biscuit... in the world! I have even made them myself before! These are crumbly almond shortbread biscuits absolutely lathered in icing sugar. The bakeries in Greece are overwhelmingly amazing and there is always a large selection of small 'tea biscuits' on sale per kilo (not to mention the trays for days of other sweets). Go for kourabiedes!
There are a few variations on this but in essence, it is a milk/custard pie with filo pastry. A classic.
{frozen greek yoghurt}
This probably needs no introduction to the Aussie fro-yo fans (I think this is a trend we inherited from Americans as London seems to be lacking fro-yo joints?). You can't really go to an ice cream parlour in Greece. Instead you get frozen yoghurt, with all the toppings. No complaints here.
{syrupy cakes/pastries}
I guess this has been borrowed from the Turks, but not only with Greeks soak pastry in syrup, but also cake! The mini croissants above left are soaked with syrup and filled with chocolate! Too much? No way! Many of the syrup cakes have a citrus flavour, like the orange cake above right.
P.S. Greek bakeries are so overwhelming, there are just trays and trays like in the picture above out on the counters with just hundreds of different things, then there are cakes in the fridge, homemade chocolate dipped ice creams in piles in the freezer, not to mention the breads and savoury pies! Oh my. It really was too much sometimes.

No comments:

Post a Comment