When Greeks say “Let’s go for a little ouzo”, this is not only a social invitation but also a culinary pleasure that is rarely turned down.
Ouzo conjures many images but the most common one is a picture of sitting at a seaside taverna and the summertime sun is setting.
A carafe of ouzo is next to a bowl of ice on the table, and several little plates with grilled octopus, fried calamari, little fish in brine, fresh cucumbers and tomatoes, rich feta cheese, plump olives and other delicacies are on the table.
With all that in the picture, ouzo is spelled G-r-e-e-c-e.
Ouzo is made of distilled pure alcohol with added natural sweeteners such as anise, fennel, carob, molasses and fruits such as figs or plums.
And it also gets better than this: ouzo is good for you, not only for the soul, but your body as well — if consumed in moderation, of course.
One little glass of ouzo has about 150 calories, so it is not so catastrophic if you are on a diet. But the health benefits are definitely worth noting.
First of all, anise helps in the proper functioning of the intestine, and also helps in absorbing iron from food.
Ouzo also has the quality of dilating blood vessels and, in this way, reduces blood pressure.
The terpenes contained in ouzo have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity that protect cells from diseases, including heart disease, some forms of cancer and neurological conditions.
Research also shows that ouzo components fight liver disease and help patients with Crohn’s disease.