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If you haven’t heard already, Greece now accepts visitors from the following countries without any restrictive measures. All you need is a negative Covid-19 test or a Covid-19 vaccine passport. So if you’ve been putting your Greece travel plans on hold, you can finally set them in motion again! We’re most eager to fulfil all our traditional Greek food cravings. What about you?
Traditional Greek food is some of the most underrated cuisines in the world. Steeped in history, Greece is home to some of the finest ingredients. Fresh vegetables, fish and seafood play a major role here, thanks to its location by the Mediterranean sea. As a pescatarian, it’s no surprise that traditional Greek food and dishes are some of my favourites!
For foodie travellers, one thing to know (and rejoice at) is that Greek people love to eat, and they love to feed. In fact, they eat up to five times a day! With so many opportunities to indulge and fill up your tummies, what are the dishes you can’t miss?
Perhaps one of the most famous Greek dishes, you can find moussaka in almost all tavernas in Greece. It consists of layers of fried aubergine, minced meat and potatoes, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and then baked until golden brown. I guess you can call it the Greek version of a shepherd’s pie!
A classic amongst Greek dishes, Taramasalata is a creamy dip made with fish roe, lemon juice, olive oil and soaked bread or mashed potatoes. This dish is typically served as an appetizer and best paired with pita bread!
Similar to a kebab, gyros consist of grilled meat wrapped in a pita or flatbread along with vegetables like tomatoes and onions and a variety of sauces. Vegetarian versions can include grilled halloumi (a salty Cypriot cheese made from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk) or feta cheese in place of meat. Perfect for a quick meal!
4. Grilled fish
When in Greece, you have to visit at least one psarotaverna for their fish specialties, fresh from the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. They are incredibly tasty and cooked with minimum fuss – simply grilled whole and finished with ladholemono (a lemon and olive oil dressing).
Make sure to try this starter dish every chance you get! Kolokithokeftedes are courgette fritters, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. You will be impressed by their flavorful texture, full of savoury, tasty feta cheese and a hint of fresh mint!
How can we forget some good old baklava? These sweet pastries soaked in syrup and layered with crushed nuts are simply a delight. You’ll find different versions of them in different parts of Greece. They are made with almonds in central regions, walnuts in the east and with pistachios in northern Greece.
Greece’s version of comfort food, although not so well known internationally, is a white bean and tomato soup. This traditional Greek soup is made using dried white beans that have been soaked overnight. You’ll be hard pressed to find canned beans in Greece, making this an extra healthy and hearty dish. Traditionally, fasolatha is served with salt-cured fish like sardines.
Spanakopita is a delicious savory Greek pie, made of perfectly crispy layers of dough and a filling of spinach and feta cheese. It’s super versatile as a dish great for any time of the day. Be it dinner, as a snack or starter, spanakopita will definitely satisfy your taste buds.
Greek cuisine has many Italian influences, especially in the Kefalonia region. Similar to lasagne, pastitsio is a baked pasta dish made with macaroni, ground beef or lamb and béchamel sauce. This delectable dish is great in every season and is usually served with mixed green salad dressed with wine vinegar and virgin olive oil.
A popular Greek dessert made with a special type of dough called kataifi. A yummy nutty center is rolled inside crisp, thread-like strands of pastry, baked, and then bathed in sweet lemon syrup. Like baklava, this dessert is very popular among Greek, Turkish and Middle Eastern nations.