Coming back from a holiday in Crete, we bring with us a tan, many pictures and a bag of beautiful memories connected with visiting this charming corner of Greece. However, holidays in Crete are not only breathtaking landscapes, sun or monuments, but also a feast for the palate. Greeks know how to appreciate the multitude of fresh vegetables and fruits, which is why even the simplest dish tastes great there. Greek cuisine shows that very little food would have to be made from simple ingredients. It is also worth remembering that in many scientific studies the local diet has been recognized as one of the healthiest and most sustainable in the world. Greek cuisine can make eating vegetables a pleasure. One thing is for sure, our taste buds were probably born in Crete, because the local cuisine won over our hearts or stomachs.
Zucchini in Greek cuisine is ubiquitous. Kolokithopita is a little known Greek way to use this popular vegetable in Poland. Kolokithopita in taste is very subtle and delicate, so combining it with, for example, tzatziki sauce will cause that the garlic contained in the sauce will dominate its taste.
Greeks have to admit that they know how to make delicious food from the spinach popular in this region. Of course, spinach in the Greek version has nothing to do with the little appetizing mash that is usually made in Polish homes. Spinach combined with feta served in a filo pastry can occur in the form of a large casserole ( Spanakopita Σπανακόπιτα) or in the form of small croissants (Tiropites Τυροπιτες). Spanakopita is a popular dish and is one of our favorite Greek dishes. The ingredients for its preparation are available in our stores.
Feta from the oven is a great way for a quick and very tasty dish that will appeal to fry-eaters and lovers of Greek cuisine. The absolute condition of success is the use of the original Greek fete and not the Polish substitute, which has nothing to do with real feta. As with other dishes, there are several ways to prepare feta from the oven . Our version is based on a recipe taken in one of the taverns in Rethymnon. If the dish is to fulfill the task of a snack, we only need one feta packet for 2 people.
I have never had a good opinion about stuffed vegetables. I always associated them with a bland and not very tasty dish. Until I came across a Greek way to prepare stuffing. The proportions and its ingredients are excellent, so stuffed peppers for good has settled on our table. The Greeks have once again proved that they know how fantastic vegetables can be made.
Small pieces of fish dipped in batter and fried in deep oil is a delicious and quick way to prepare fish in an unusual way in our country. In Greece, this dish is very popular and served, for example, with skordalią - Greek garlic sauce. The dough draws all the smells from the fish and emphasizes the delicacy of the meat. It's best for frying fish with white rather thick meat such as monkfish, cod or ordinary miruna.
Pancakes stuffed with spinach and feta are a dish spotted in one of the Greek bar "windows" permanently appeared in our menu. Its plus is also that it works perfectly in reheated form. The excess number of pancakes you will use during dinner on one of the following days, you can safely store in the fridge.
Grilled vegetables are often hosted on Greek tables as an addition to larger dishes or as an independent starter. In one of the taverns last year, we enjoyed a grilled pepper stuffed with feta cheese. Delicious and very fast to prepare. It tastes brilliantly combined with ordinary fried potatoes sprinkled with herbs.
This is one of our favorite recipes for Greek fish dishes. It comes from the tiny island of Spetse located on the Halkidiki peninsula. It's an extremely delicious and quite simple dish that does not require the addition of sophisticated ingredients. Originally the Greeks sprinkle the fish with breadcrumbs at the end of baking. However, I do not do it, but instead adds Cretan fish soup to the sauce and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Each kitchen in the world has its own way to tomato sauce, but the most important difference is in the spices that the individual nations spice up the simplest and best of sauces. The variety of spices that are popular in a given region of the world is also landing in a tomato sauce every day. We love tomatoes in absolutely every form, so every day the sauce made from them reigns in different forms.
With this very simple and tasty salad, we met for the first time in the Sfakia region of Crete. To prepare it you need a small amount of ingredients, and the effect is great. The basic ingredient here is a certain bean known as 'black eye' with a very distinctive appearance. It is very popular in the world, unfortunately with the exception of Poland, therefore you may have a problem with buying it.
The tradition of baking lagana bread is still strongly cultivated in Greece and Cyprus. Although many housewives still prepare bread themselves, the vast majority of Greeks buy lagana at local bakeries, which start the production of this bread the evening before Pure Monday. Although in larger cities, the sale of this bread begins even at night, no one is surprised by the gigantic queues that set up in the morning under the best bakeries
Looking from the perspective of what bread can be bought in our stores, the growing popularity of self-baked bread ceases to amaze and be treated as a temporary fashion. It is precisely for these people that we have a surprise today in the form of a recipe for Greek bread with the addition of feta cheese. It is a very tasty and delicate bread suitable for everyday breakfasts.
Gigantes Plaki is a popular Greek dish, which consists of a large bean baked in a tomato and herb sauce. Perhaps some of you during your holiday have already had the opportunity to try this delicious and filling meal. If not, it is worth to prepare them at home. It should also appeal to vegetarians, because vegetables prepared according to Greek recipes are full of flavor and very aromatic.
Halloumi cheese comes from Cyprus, where its average consumption per capita is 8 kg per year. It is a white, semi-hard cheese made from unpasteurised sheep's milk, from a mixture of sheep and goats, possibly with the addition of cow's milk. Halloumi taste is sometimes enriched with the addition of mint. The recipe for its production has been unchanged for centuries.
Butter cookies koulourakia is one of the popular snacks, which often appears in Greece during Christmas and Easter. This treat, however, is not served only during the holidays, but quite often guests on Greek tables without any opportunity. Cookies are usually served as an addition to coffee and in this form they work perfectly.
Bread and olive oil are probably the two basic and most important products that can not be missing in any Greek home. No wonder that in Greece, the bread combining these two flavors is popular. Today, we will offer you an independent baking of Eliopsomo bread, in which olives are used as one of the main additives. In the bread you see in the pictures below, we used green olives. Of course, you can alternatively use black olives, just choose those that taste you more.
In Greek taverns, one of the most popular appetizers is fried squid. The tastiest and softest will be small specimens, so if there is an opportunity, it is best to order them. However, it is worth remembering that for a seafood feast, go to a good tavern rather than one of the "pubs" located near the tourist promenade, because then the chances of getting rubbery and unpalatable calamari grow.
Tzatziki is one of the simplest and most popular Greek sauces, which will be a great addition to many dishes. Although it is usually served to gyros in pita pancakes, it will also be great for grilled and fried vegetables or as an addition to meats. Tzatziki eaten in reasonable quantities are healthy, because garlic and lemon juice is a source of antioxidants, and protein, calcium and friendly batteries contained in Greek yoghurt also have important importance for the body.
Baklava is probably the most famous Greek dessert. However, let us put aside the genesis of its creation, because Turks, Bulgarians and several other Balkan countries also admit to the invention of baklava. Nevertheless, since the Greeks have invented almost everything, the baklava is probably also ;-).
Ingredients that Greeks need to prepare a tasty meal is always only as much as needed. Just like in this recipe for fried fish in a lemon marinade. We have eaten cooked fish on various Greek islands and for some time we have been using this method of frying ourselves.
Fava is a popular appetizer in Greece somewhat similar to hummus, but unlike it, it is made from yellow-skinned peas. Fava is easy to prepare and can be served both hot and cold, for example with pita bread. After preparation and cooling, it can be stored in the fridge for a few days. The proportions that I give in the recipe are enough to prepare a fairly large portion.
Giouvetsi is a traditional Greek dish that can be prepared from various types of meat. It is a simple one-pot dish traditionally prepared in the oven. The main role in giouvetsi is played by orzo - a special type of pasta resembling the shape of grains of rice. In Greece it is known as Κριθαράκι (Kritharáki).
Rizogalo is a creamy Greek pudding prepared on the basis of rice and milk. The name of this dish is derived from these two ingredients: ρυζι - rice - rice; γάλα - gála - milk. An addition that will enrich the taste can be orange or lemon peel, which we add during cooking. Rizogalo ideally suited to the form of dessert, snacks during the day or as an addition to breakfast.
The genesis of pizza is not as unambiguous as it was thought to be, because it was the ancient Greeks began to bake herbal flat bread with oil and garlic. Although pizza is not really included in the canon of Greek cuisine, contemporary Greek people create their own version of pizza based mainly on local products.
Patatosalata is another proof that the Greeks can conjure up tasty food from simple ingredients. Potato salad is fast to prepare, you can eat it either hot, at room temperature or straight from the fridge. The set of products needed for preparation is simply typical - we can find similar in a bean salad with a black eyelet.
Greek cheese balls fried in deep oil, probably some of you know from vacation journeys. The Greeks serve them with lemon, which emphasizes the taste of melted cheeses. The rich composition of the taste is thanks to the three cheeses from which they are made. Slightly spicy salty feta, sweet and soft Gouda and mature cheddar complement each other, but their flavor can be enriched by adding herbs, such as mint.
Bougatsa is a beloved delicious sweet snack that can be served at any time of the day. Well suited instead of dessert or morning coffee. Creamy light vanilla center, crunchy filo pastry, on which cinnamon with powdered sugar tops the work. It is not easy to make a good filling for bougatsy, and the Greeks themselves have many ways to do it.
This is one of our favorite salads of Greek cuisine. Along with the appearance of the young bean on sale, we absorb a lot of it. For a salad to come out tasty beans must be young, so in our latitude we can enjoy it for a very short time.
Pilaf with tomatoes is a simple and light dish, which is worth doing especially when there are fresh ripe tomatoes. However, when there is no season or longer, you can reach for tomatoes from the can. If you feel that the taste of this dish is too delicate, you can enrich it and add some optional spices.
Galaktoboureko is one of the sweetest traditional Greek desserts. The combination of a cream based on semolina, filo pastry and sweet citrus-cinnamon syrup will fall to the heart of the lovers of sweets, because the whole is really delicious. The syrup that is soaked in this dessert can be made of lemon, orange or with the addition of rose water. It is important that it is sweet and very aromatic.
If you are going to Crete for the first time, be prepared for the explosion of real flavors and aromas. Cretan vegetables and fruits are fresh and full of flavor, while wild herbs that smell in the air, emphasize the taste of simple dishes with their intense aromas.
In every Greek kitchen you will find large jars of dried oregano. It is sometimes called spice, but oregano is an herb that is an important ingredient in the Greek diet. Greeks add them to almost everything: salads, feta, meat, fish, potatoes and legumes.
Today, we will consider what the Greeks use this cheese for. The average consumption of this delicious cheese in Greece is over 11 kg, or more than 50 cubes per one person. So we decided to make a list of dishes in which this cheese is. This is an objective-subjective census, based as usual only on our experience.
Since 2007, the name Feta is protected by international regulations and reserved exclusively for cheeses produced in specific regions of Greece using strictly defined ingredients based on the traditional method of production. Thanks to the regulations introduced in the EU, this name can no longer be used by producers from other EU countries producing "salted cheese in brine".
Frappe iced coffee is popular not only in Greece, but also around the world. We reach for it especially gladly on hot days, which are not difficult in the south of Europe. We travel around Greece, we drink frappe practically every day because it is an excellent drink during a break in sightseeing. In most taverns a glass of water is added to the frappe, which can be seen in the picture attached. If you want to know the history of frappe, read the following article.
Biolea oil is obtained from the fruits of the Koroneiki variety, which are considered olives best suited to the climatic conditions prevailing in Crete. The features of these plants allow to avoid the use of intensive irrigation of fields. The Astrika olive groves, unlike most Cretan crops, are not covered by a dense network of black PVC pipes that supply water.
Origanum dictamnus plant is another flagship product of Crete, also known under the names: Dittany, Δίκταμο, hop majoram, Dittany of Crete or Cretan dittany. It is a perennial crop plant occurring in natural environment only in Crete. Over the centuries, many gatherers have died or injured during attempts to obtain a plant, because it occurs on quite hard to reach areas. Its 20-30 cm bushes are most easily found on limestone mountain slopes, in ravines and on cliffs.
Today we would like to introduce to you black dried salt olives that we discovered in Paleochora during our last holidays. Their amazing salty and very expressive taste makes them a great addition to various dishes, but they also taste fantastic in the form of a self-made snack. Unfortunately, we do not know if you can get it somewhere in Poland because it is a relatively rare product.
For many years Cretan cuisine has been considered one of the healthiest in the world, which is officially recognized by the scientific community. It is rich in dishes consisting of a large amount of vegetables, fruits, fish and seafood, as well as olive oil and herbs. There is little red meat and animal fats in it. Does its health properties result from the quality and richness of these products?