Greece, as everyone knows, is a country steeped in history and enveloped in the warm embrace of the Mediterranean Sea. However, this beautiful country has even more to offer. It is undeniably home to some of the best food to be found anywhere in the entire world.
Using fresh ingredients, prepared with with age-old recipes, Greek cuisine is full of delightful surprises that your taste buds will thank you for.
Keep reading to find out what ten delicacies you absolutely must try during your visit to Greece; and don’t forget to have a glass of ouzo along with some of the traditional Greek dishes you will sample.
Bougatsa is a Greek breakfast pastry made with either semolina, cheese, or custard between layers of phyllo, the extremely thin dough used in pastries. You can also get a sprinkle of powdered sugar and cinnamon on top of your bougatsa if you desire.
2. Feta with honey
You may question the idea of eating feta cheese with honey, but honestly, this delicacy presents too good of an opportunity to miss. The feta is wrapped in layers of phyllo before baking, and then Greek honey is drizzled over it, with some sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Heaven in a pastry.
3. Fried Cheese Balls (Tirokroketes)
If you are a cheese lover (and who isn’t?), then Tirokroketes, or fried cheese balls, are definitely for you. These delightful little morsels are made from a variety of cheeses, including feta, graviera, and gouda, which are combined with bread crumbs before being fried.
This dish might seem overrated to some, but truly it is all about the place you buy it from. Each restaurant has its unique recipe, and they definitely do not all taste the same.
Souvlaki can be served either plated on a dish or wrapped in a pita, with any type of meat you desire, along with tomatoes, french fries, and cucumbers and its distinctive sauce.
5. Seafood Galore
While you may well have tasted seafood in different countries before, you will come to realize very quickly that Greek seafood is simply out of this world. Be sure to try all the jumbo shrimp, squid, oyster, and barbouni (striped red mullet) fish dishes that you can while here.
Soutzoukakia are sausages made from ground meat which are cooked in a red wine sauce. The sausages are served with white rice on the side. This dish, which is perfect for winter, is very filling, so pace yourself accordingly.
A traditional Greek dish consisting of sausage, onion, peppers, tomatoes, and wine, this delicacy originates from Thessaly, in Pelion, a region in central Greece.
A casserole made of fried eggplant, spiced meat and potatoes, layered with Bechamel sauce, this is perhaps the ultimate traditional Greek dish. After trying this delicacy only once, you will surely become one of its many devotees.
Pastitsio is another Greek staple, a dish consisting of baked pasta, ground beef, Bechamel sauce and tomato sauce, with gooey, melted cheese on top.
10. Tomatokeftedes (Tomato Fritters)
Tomaotokeftedes, or fried tomato balls, are a traditional appetizer on the islands of Santorini and Syros. Made with well-drained, diced tomatoes, these fritters have rough edges, with bits of mint and onion providing an inimitable combination of flavors.
Something For Vegetarians
An oven-roasted, delectable all-vegetable dish, this consists of pieces of zucchini, potato, and eggplant mixed with tomato sauce and olive oil, topped with oregano.
2. Leafy boiled greens, or horta
The quintessential vegetable dish in Greece, Horta, consists of lightly-boiled leafy greens which can include dandelion, vleeta, mustard and chicory, seasoned and served with olive oil and lemon.
A famous starter in every Greek restaurant worldwide, dolmades are delicious grapevine leaves which are stuffed with lemon-flavored rice, spices, and fresh herbs and then rolled up.
A healthy and enjoyable dish to eat, gigantes are broad beans baked in a rich tomato sauce. They are sometimes topped with crumbled feta cheese, but even without any topping at all, they are not to be missed at the Greek table.
And Something Extra
You simply must try the following two drinks while on any adventure in Greece, or your vacation will be incomplete.
The quintessential summer coffee drink in Greece, frappes are served cold and topped with the natural foam that occurs as a result of brewing. Perfect for those hot summer afternoons in Greece.
A white wine with pine resin added to it, this is an ancient specialty originating from Thessaloniki, in northern Greece. You can still purchase a large bottle of Retsina for only five euros at Greek supermarkets. Don’t miss the experience of sampling this unique wine during your Greek adventure.