Features that Make Greek Cuisine Stand Out

Category: Cooking, Food
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2023
Pages: 4 Views: 2154

Greek Food Greek Cuisine is certainly one of the most wanted flavors in the entire world, but what is it about Greek food that makes it so exceptional? Well there are five features of Greek food that make it stand out. The first is, the basic ingredients in Greek dishes are usually nourishing. You'll find a lot of vegetables added to the mix, with fish, legumes and cereals being some of the other main ingredients in traditional recipes (S. Linda, 2012). Second, the food has a whole lot more flavor to it, simply all because the locals use a lot of herbs and spices, including dill, garlic, oregano, onion, bay laurel leaves and mint.

A few other choices consist of thyme, basil (S. Linda, 2012). Thirdly, Greek food is unique because the recipes are actually quite easy to make (S. Linda, 2012). The fourth distinguishing characteristic of Greek cuisine is that there is no beef. Lamb is the staple meat for most Greek dishes. This is because of the fact that the terrain and the climate have made the breeding of sheep and goat better than cattle (S. Linda, 2012). Greek dishes usually come with a few mezedes, or appetizers. Each region has their specialty, which makes the food rather varied so that you don't easily grow weary.

A lot of these appetizers are packed with so much flavor, and are the perfect balance of tradition, health and tastiness (Yao, B. H, 2012). Greek food has a few main components. Those components are cheese, fruit and vegetables, olives and olive oil, seafood and poultry, meat, and herbs and seasonings. The most common Greek cheese is feta. Other cheeses include Kasseri, a hard yellow cheese, Kefalotyri, a very salty cheese often served with pasta, Manouri, a soft white cheese often eaten on its own as an appetizer, and Mizithra, a soft, unsalted cheese used in pies and pastries (Binder, L).

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Greek cuisine follows the seasonal fruits and vegetables of the region (Johns, S). The warm climate of Greece makes it ideal for growing vegetables and fruits, and these are eaten in abundance. A multitude of colorful and flavorful vegetables form a fundamental part of Greek cuisine. These include tomatoes, garlic, onions, spinach, artichokes, fennel, lettuce, cabbage, horta or wild greens, zucchini, eggplant and peppers. Fruits are eaten either fresh or preserved by drying. Popular varieties include apricots, grapes, dates, cherries, apples, pears, plums nd figs (Greek Cuisine). Olive oil and olives are a major part of Greek food. It is the most common ingredient in Greek cuisine. The oil is used in most forms of cooking as well as in salad dressings and for dipping sauces (Johns, S). As well as being used for their oil, olives are also eaten whole. The most frequently eaten type is the plump kalamata olive which is added to stews and salads or eaten as part of a meze or appetizer dish (Greek Cuisine). Greece is almost surrounded by sea, so it is not surprising that fish and shellfish are eaten regularly.

The most popular types of fish and shellfish include tuna, mullet, bass, halibut, swordfish, anchovies, sardines, shrimp, octopus, squid and mussels. This fish and seafood is enjoyed in many ways. It can be grilled and seasoned with garlic and lemon juice, baked with yogurt and herbs; cooked in rich tomato sauce, added to soups; or served cold as a side dish. Chicken is also eaten regularly, as are game birds such as quail and Guinea fowl (Greek Cuisine). Meat doesn't play a prominent role in traditional Greek cuisine. It's usually reserved for festivals and special occasions or used in small amounts as a flavor enhancer.

When meat is eaten it's most often sheep or goat, but these animals aren't just used for their meat. Sheep and goats also provide a valuable source of nourishment from their milk (Greek Cuisine). Many of Greece's most famous dishes involve some sort of meat. Gyros, which have become a fast American favorite in the past few years, are made with meat, usually lamb, roasted on a spit, served with sauce and veggies on folded pita bread. Lamb and potatoes is another extremely common Greek dish, as is souvlaki, which comprises anything made and served on a skewer.

Chicken, pork and lamb souvlaki are the most common types (Binder, L). The spices and herbs in Greek dishes are garlic, basil and bay leaf. Mint, oregano and parsley are also often used in traditional Greek dishes (Johns, S). Greek desserts and beverages are also as unique as the culture. Dessert may be the most famous of Greece's culinary contributions, and Baklava, in particular, may be the most well-known. This phyllo-dough pastry is filled with nuts and covered in sweet syrup, and has become an American favorite.

Other Greek desserts include Loukoumi, a starch and sugar treat, Koulourakia, butter cookies and plain yogurt, flavored with honey or syrup (Binder, L). However, Greek dessert is often fresh or dried fruit are the usual dessert. The rich desserts and pastries are mostly reserved for special occasions or eaten in small amounts (Greek Cuisine). Wine is consumed regularly in Greece, but mainly with food, and in moderation. Ouzo, an aniseed flavored spirit, and beer is also popular alcoholic beverages. Strong black coffee is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages (Greek Cuisine).

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Features that Make Greek Cuisine Stand Out. (2016, Nov 27). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/greek-food/

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