The Best Greek Dishes to Try on a Greek Holiday
Greece is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, and with good reason. With some of the finest beaches on the planet, some of the finest historical monuments and cultural significance that you’ll find anywhere in the world, and some of the finest cuisine, it is no wonder that people continue to visit Greece in their droves. Whether you are on a city break in the monumental Athens, visiting Thessaloniki, or on one of the thousands of Greek islands for an extended and relaxing break, you’ll be in for a treat when it comes time to dine. If you are on your way to an authentic taverna, or looking for a great Greek restaurant, be sure to try out some of the following traditional Greek dishes.
Greek cuisine is perfect for those lazy days on the beach, making the most of the seafood and the surroundings, and is similar to other Mediterranean food in that there is a wide range of natural ingredients that promote good health and longevity. Most traditional recipes in Greece are based around extra virgin olive oil, the freshest seafood, local meat that is packed with flavour, and colourful fruit and veg.
The colours are important, and this can be seen straight away with a horiatiki (village salad), which is simple and delicious, a sign of intent for the meal ahead of you. The traditional Greek salad is made of tomato, pepper, red onion, cucumber, olives, topped with crumbled feta cheese, and sprinkled with oregano and dressed with olive oil. It is the perfect accompaniment for any dish.
Another salad option is the Crete favourite of Dakos, which is made with barley rusks that are soaked in water and spread with olive oil. The rusks are then topped with olives, fresh tomatoes, and feta (or alternative soft white cheese).
Starting with some dips and fresh, hot pita to dip is a great way to bring a table together. tzatziki is a fresh dip made with yoghurt, cucumber and garlic and is one of the most popular Greek dips. Other favourites include taramasalata, made with pink or whitefish roe, and fava, made with yellow split peas, olives, onions, and olive oil.
Move on to dolmadakia and you’ll be eating one of the most popular dishes in Greece. It is a simple vegetarian dish that is made with grape leaves, that are stuffed with rice, a selection of herbs, and fennel.
The centrepiece of the best Greek meals is always souvlaki. Grilled pork or chicken cooked on the grill and delivered on sticks. They are always served with warm pita, tomatoes, fried potatoes, tzatziki, and a simple salad.
Seafood is fresh and delicious in Greece, especially on the islands. Maridha (or whitebait), gavros (anchovy), sardines, octopus, and calamari are all very popular dishes. Seafood is best served in a simple state, with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
Sweet treats to finish a meal, such as baklava (pastry layers filled with ground nuts and then soaked with honey), are very popular.
If you are on holiday in Greece, or back at home looking for that taste of your last holiday and searching for an authentic Greek restaurant, or Greek takeaway to reminisce with a souvlaki and some tzatziki, be sure to go back to those tried and tested tasty recipes that you perfectly encapsulate all that is good about Greece. Food is at the heart of everything in Greece, it is family, it is culture, it is art, it is sustenance, it is simple, it is delicious. Make sure you make the most of authentic Greek food and your life will be transformed for the better.