The Artful Wanderer

Greek food: a story of love and lust

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I’m not only writing a post, I’m actually baring my heart with this and I hope my other half doesn’t mind if I say that I’m desperately in love with Greece. Like I passionately want to make love with her islands, one by one. And send them flowers and open the car door for them and spoon with them at night. Ok stop, weirdo.

Before writing about my two favourite Greek islands, Rhodes and Santorini, the food lover in me wants to dedicate a special post to the Greek cuisine, because no travel experience can overlook the importance of the food component. I’m Italian, and I know it might sound clichΓ© but I love good genuine food and all the memories I have of the places I’ve been are tightly intertwined with my gastronomic experiences.
I don’t how many of you are familiar with Greek food… so, before exploring the wonders of the two pearls of the Aegean Sea I’ve mentioned earlier, here is a quick gastronomic guide which includes some of the dishes I madly stuffed my face with during my Greek days.

Tzatziki. It’s an entree dip, usually served with pita bread or sourdough bread, prepared with Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, extravirgin olive oil, mint and dill. I’m literally salivating like Pavlov’s dog while writing this, I think I might have to wipe dry my laptop keyboard. Anyway, tzatziki is delicious and sexy. Even though it gives you a garlic breath that can linger for days, compromising your social interactions, but it’s a risk worth taking.
Taramosalata. A pink (but the colour can be paler, it depends on the type of ingredients used) paste made of fish eggs (carp or codfish, usually), lemon, olive, garlic and onions. Another one of my favourites. This kind of appetizers in Greece are called “mezze“, and you can often find restaurants that serve a mix of mezze including tzatziki, taramosalata and other dips like hummus, aubergines paste, feta and peppers paste, etc..
Talking about appetizers and small bites, make sure you try Saganaki (a slice of gruyere cheese battered and fried, often finished with honey and sesame seeds. Holy Mary mother of Christ.) and Tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters with a delicate taste of origan and mint, that will literally serenade your tastebuds before disappearing and leaving you heartbroken like your best Tinder date).

Main dishes. Definitely the MoussakΓ  (the stress is on the second ‘a’ if you want to pronounce it correctly) is a must: a bake of layered sliced eggplant and potatoes, a rich tomato sauce, pork minced meat and bechamel sauce. You can even choose to indulge in any kind of Souvlaki (marinated and grilled meat on skewers) or try the Stifado, a beef stew with shallots and wine. If you are on the go or you’re looking for a filling snack, the Pita Gyros is the answer: a rolled pita bread filled with pork or chicken meat, tzatziki, onions, tomatoes and french fries. It’s highly addictive. No joking, I once had three in a day. ‘Cause I’m worth it.
Of course you always have the light option of a traditional Greek salad, made with feta cheese, black olives, tomato, cucumber and onion, which drizzled with a robust cold-pressed Greek olive oil is simply heavenly.
While in Greece, make sure you don’t miss the amazing seafood, even just some simple fried calamari sprinkled with black pepper and a few drops of lemon juice. So good.

Dessertwise, you can’t end a meal without a taste of the house’s Baklava or Halva (both desserts are originally from Turkey)… and make sure that all your meal is accompanied by several glasses of Retsina, a delicious white wine flavoured with natural pine resin. (I don’t want to be the one who encourages alcohol consumption, but may I suggest a sip of Ouzo or Metaxa as well, at the end of the meal? There’s even a version of both spirits blended with coffee, what more can you ask for?)

Ok, now I’m hungry like a fasting sumo wrestler, so I’d better stop. Hope I made you curious to try this gorgeous cuisine, keep watching this space for my travel experiences and tips about Rhodes and Santorini!

12 Replies to “Greek food: a story of love and lust”

    1. It’s one on my favourite cuisine in the whole world, so full of flavours πŸ™‚ I recommend you a holiday in Greece, it’s stunning! Thank you for passing by πŸ™‚


  1. My Dad had the chance to visit Greece when he was in the Air Force back in the 80s and said it was a beautiful country. It’s on my bucket list! I LOVE Greek food so I can’t wait to try it IN Greece πŸ˜€ Now I’m hungry πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you have the chance to explore more than an area don’t miss Santorini, Rhodes, Mikonos and Crete πŸ™‚ I’m literally in love with the Greek Islands. .. ❀


  2. As an adult, I like almost all of the Greek food I’ve tried. When I was about 9 years old, I visited some of the small islands of Greece. Although I don’t have specific memories of the islands, it was a wonderful trip! Since I was a picky eater, I probably didn’t like much of the food besides Baklava, but that was true no matter when I went.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to go next time! πŸ™‚ food is amazing and the Greek culture is one of the richest in the world, full of history, colours, traditions… Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚


  3. Hi Carlo, I just discovered your blog and I love it. Like you, I worked on cruise ships and traveled the world for ten years, for which I am so grateful. Santorini is one of my favourite places in this world, rivalled only by Italy, which truly is my favourite country in the world, I think. πŸ™‚ Keep up the great work and I hope to reach out to you soon, to ask about your aqua painting series, which I adore………..Warmly, Peter

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Peter! Thank you so much, I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚ please, feel free to reach out anytime if you have any further questions about my art or chat about any other matter, and have a good day!


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