You’ve come to a country blessed with a rare Mediterranean beauty, which unfolds in an extraordinary diversity of land and seascapes, opening your horizons to every possible kind of experience, not least gastronomical. Forget that the Greek sun and sea are there to put the finishing touches on our beaches. Think instead of the delicious things they produce, from the copious quantities of miraculous olive trees to the sensual grapevines!
Greece promises to be a gastronomy experience that you’ll never forget. Here you’ll take part in a game of discovering new tastes and aromas, new combinations of foods, and new fruits of the earth. The gastronomy here will excite you: traditional Greek breakfast, colourful authentic Mediterranean cuisine, local products, fine wines, flavourful beers and local spirits.
Every corner of the country has its unique specialties, dishes that have evolved over time from the interplay of necessity and invention; from raw materials that grew naturally in harsh or fertile environments; from passersby – invaders or refugees – who introduced new ideas and from the Orthodox Church, whose stringent regulations regarding fasting compelled countless generations of housewives to create an enormous repertoire of wonderful vegetarian and vegan dishes. Come and discover Greek cuisine in all its manifestations; regional or Panhellenic, traditional or modern, sophisticated or simple. The single thread of Greek ingenuity connects all the culinary experiences you will have here.
Delicacies inspired by the history of the Ionian Sea
The Ionian Islands will surprise you with their wealth of culinary flavours. These islands stand out for their cosmopolitan and sophisticated tastes. The most famous dishes from the Corfiot kitchen are sofrito (slow-cooked veal with garlic and parsley), bianco (fish in a white sauce), bourdeto (piquant fish stew) and pastitsada, a rich ragout of veal or chicken with thick pasta. Keep a lookout for locally produced ginger beer and kumquat liqueur.
In Lefkada and Zante, dinners are frequently accompanied by strolling musicians, who fill the air with delightful Italian-sounding cantadas. On Kefalonia, the piece de resistance is a rich meat pie with lots of extras; and on Zante it’s salsa, meat stew with cheese. Here the locals will also offer you a nougat delicacy called mantolato. If they don’t, just ask for it!
Gastronomic tradition in Greece
The key for any visitor is to ‘go local’, enjoy the gifts of the land and see in the company of people who have upheld ancient culinary traditions for centuries. Exchange toasts with your neighbours as you drink wine made from exquisite home-grown grapes. Have fun at lunch parties on Sundays and holidays that last till evening, enjoying traditional dishes that have been seasoned with love and special care.
Think of the gastronomic wealth of Greece as a giant gift basket full of natural perfumes and tastes. Peel the most succulent peach you’ve ever seen and let a glistening, juicy twine cascade over your wrists and fingers. Take a sip of fruity red wine or flinty white and let the sublime taste wash over you. Feel the energy flow after a light but fortifying Greek breakfast.
Ask the vendors at the farmers’ markets to choose their best produce for you. Swim at dawn and watch the fishermen haul in their catch; then order it for lunch at the beach taverna. Let your senses revel in what freshly picked fruit and vegetables should really taste like. Imagine biting into the firm flesh of naturally grown tomato in the shade of a courtyard ringed by chattering cicadas.
Wine and Greece’s local spirits
Discover award-winning Greek wine from historic vineyards. Share traditional local drinks – an aromatic tsipouro, ouzo or raki of a local producer – and enjoy the refreshing and flavourful Greek beers that have been gaining more and more fame in recent years. Finally be sure to try the one of a kind mastiha from Chios, as a liqueur as well as in a cocktail. The drinks and spirits that the Greek soil produces put the extra zing in those memorable holiday moments.
Turn your exploration of the flavours of Greece into an exciting gastronomic odyssey.
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