The popularity of Greek food has seen a huge spike in recent years. The reason? Researchers have proven that the Mediterranean nation’s fare, rich in nuts, dairy, seafood, regional fruits, vegetables, olive oil and, quite happily, wine, does wonders for the body in fighting off chronic diseases. If you are planning a trip to the Greek islands, you might as well make it a foodie adventure – your body will thank you for the improved palate that you pick up there.
The cuisine of Greece is not uniform throughout the nation, due largely to the fact that it is a vast series of islands. Many of the larger ones have unique dishes even though the ingredients might share the same ingredients. It also owes its much of its diversity to culinary influences from Byzantine, Asia Minor, the Caucasus and Constantinople.
Here is a brief introduction to the best of Greek treasures no foodie should miss.
- Macedonia is lush, fertile land and has been for millennia. Peaches, apricots, Edessa cherries and apples feature heavily in the local fare, accented in the most heavenly way by local red and white wines. Hearty stews and soups are characteristic of the region, while fresh seafood rounds up the delectable range of choices.
- On the island of Santorini, you can find sumptuous feasts that use baby tomatoes, caper greens, cheese, sausages, split yellow peas and white eggplants.
- The Ionian region bears the distinct marks of Venetian influence in its character and cuisine is no exception. Hot paprika is unique here while dishes featuring ladotyri cheese, lentils and salami are also famous.
- Crete is known for its olive oil, cheese and fresh seafood. The entire region is awash with herbs growing in the wild – rosemary, thyme and oregano you are free to pick right where they flourish.
- The area south of Thessaly is known as the breadbasket of Greece but is also famous for the cuisine of the local shepherds who have tended their animals in the area since time immemorial. The pies they make are truly exquisite in the simplicity of their ingredients and the richness of their taste. Each ingredient, from the wheat or corn flour to the cheese to the wild greens to the meat has always been sourced from the local area.
- Peloponesse is known for the captivating twist it puts on sausages and tomato stews. Oranges go into the first and lemons into the second, and the air are best tasted together.
Between these regions, there are overlaps which are all the better for the variety in flavor. If you are a foodie on your way to Greece, you will never be wanting for a delicious meal and glass of wine anywhere.