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Athenian Culinary Culture

Well, they say that “when in Rome do as romans”. Food has always been a significant part of the greek culture. Since the early childhood the mothers would always yell to their little ones that “you should eat more” and has now become the staple for any typical greek family. Gatherings around the table occur every week and it is a chance for the whole family to come together around the table, laugh, shout, but ultimately eat!

The mediterranean diet has become world widely known as the healthiest diet and one of the secrets to longevity. However, it has yet to disclose its little secrets! From the famous souvlaki to the easter delicacy called “kokoretsi”, meat is a key ingredient to the cuisine. Try combining it with tzatziki, a garlicy spread for the ultimate flavor profile! Moussaka is for sure a dish that has won a place on the table blending the creamy eggplant and bechamel sauce with the crunchy potato chips and juicy minced meat. The greek cuisine is all about the simplicity of the European dishes made extraordinary with the condiments and perplex flavors of the Middle East. Don’t forget to order a side of salad. The greek salad is called “choriatiki” and DOES NOT contain any lettuce (shocker, right?!). In the dish you will find tasteful tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, red onion and the celebrated feta cheese, sprinkled with oregano and olive oil. Speaking of olive oil, it’s the king of the country’s nutrition chart. The Kalamata extra virgin olive oil has been renowned as the best tasting in the world, having the perfect amount of tanginess to sweetness.

Bread is what the greeks opt for the most to accompany their meals. The “koulouri” is a type of bread with sesame seeds on the crunchy outside and soft on the inside. When it comes to the pies the norther parts of the country take the lead. The cheese pie is the most preferred breakfast amongst the greeks. Different types of crusts and fillings make it impossible to get bored of them. For those who prefer veggies, you can go for the “spanakopita”, a pie with spinach on the inside (which is also the writers’ favorite). There is even a type of pie, named “mpougatsa” with a sweet creamy filling on the inside and icing sugar and cinnamon on the outside.
If you are a sweet tooth, there are many options available for you too! The mastery of the confectioners is mostly exhibited in the syrupy sweets. Baklava, galaktoboureko, ravani and even walnut pies, they all burst with flavor in the mouth. The tsoureki is a type of sweet bread the Greeks bake before Easter. You can combine it with syrup or a chocolate spread for the ultimate experience.

Are you drooling yet?