Sunjet.gif (2233 bytes)Greek food

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Food is always a exiting part of a vacation and this is especially true when you get to a new country. In Greece you will probably not find the worlds greatest food but you will find great variations both when it comes to meat dishes and to fish dishes. On the islands you will off course find many fish dishes to choose from. Grilled squid is one of the choices. This is a very common dish at both Antiparos and Naoussa at Paros.

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From a typical Greek tavern
(Pavlos Place Antiparos)

DISHES

A Greek meal usually begins with a Greek salad. This is a very good salad that includes cucumbers, tomatoes, onion and black olives. On top of this you will find some feta cheese, then olive oil and in the end some oregano or thyme. To accompany this it is common to order a bowl of tzatzíki. This is a dip made from yoghurt, cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and olive oil.

Among the meat dishes, lam meat is the most common. But these days also beef and pork are to be found. Musaká is probably the Greek national dish. At least this dish is part of the menu in every restaurant and tavern. Musaká is made from lam and aubergines laid is layers in a long frying pan along with béchamel sauce and olive oil. This tastes wonderful.

Another popular dish among the tourists is souvlaki. This is a grill spit . You can have this dish with beef, pork or lam meat. As a rule you will also find onion and paprika as a part of the meal. All this is served along with fried potatoes and/or with boiled rice.

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There is a good choice between different vegetables
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A third meal that is popular among the tourists is gýros. There are to different versions. The most common one is similar to the one you find outside Greek then called kebab. Gýros is meat grilled on a vertical rotating grill.

The meat is put into pita bread together with onion, tomatoes and tzatzíki. The other alternative is a gýros plate. This is a main course where the meat is served on a plate along with fried potatoes, onion, some pita bread and a portion of tzatzíki.

The children often prefers spaghetti dishes. There are many types with the simplest one just consisting of plain spaghetti. You seldom find this version on the menu but you can ask for it. The most common spaghetti dish is probably spaghetti bolonese. This is spaghetti with a meat sauce with some feta cheese on top. If you don’t prefer cheese tell it to the waiter.

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It's normal to see octopus drying in the sun like this

LOCAL FOOD IN THE GROCERY STORE

The Greek milk products are excellent with a large selection. The yoghurt is wonderful and fresh milk also tastes delicious. But take a look at the expiration date. Because of the hot weather the milk sour fast. Do not buy milk products that are about to expire.

The choices of juices are plentiful with many exciting tastes. Try them !

Fruit and vegetables are also plentiful. But you will find large variations in both the number of products and in quality. The number of products will also vary from season to season and during a given season. Be a little bit picky and remember to wash both the fruit and vegetables. Also the potatoes and the carrots are good.

I have eaten loads of cherry, morels, plums, grapes and apricots without ever getting sick.

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There are a lot of good fruits in Greece

For breakfast it is nice to go to the local bakery store and buy some newly baked rolls or a small bread. Then you stop at the grocery store and buy some Danish sausages, German cheese and Norwegian tube cheese or you buy Greek food to put on top of your bread. The international brand names are all over Greece so if the only meal you trust is made by Kellogg you will find it…..

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The Greek ice cream tastes very good

DRINKS

When it comes to drinks you can’t omit Ouzo. This is a Greek aperitif with a strong taste of anise and a proof of 40%. Ouzo is served with water and ice which makes the drink look milky white. To spend a short time on stronger drinks, the Greek cognac is also to be mentioned. This means Metaxa, which is the large provider of this cognac. You can get it with 3, 5 or 7 stars and the drink is served with large quanta of ice.

Several wines are produced in Greece. Many of them are very good. Each island have their own wineries and specialities. Ask at the tavern what they will recommend. One of the most famous white wines is Retsina. This is supposed to be a resin tasting wine but many think it tastes like paraffin (you should not drink paraffin it’s for the planes…) and hate it. Taste for yourselves.

Beer is produced is Greece, but most tourists prefer the German, Danish or Dutch ones.

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The main part of a lobster we got served at Antiparos. They told us that it was 1.5 kilos.

 

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Thanks to Kjell Inge Gjesdal, Oslo, Norway for his translation into English!
© Jan Bergtun, 10. January 1999 Updated, 09.24.2011
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