What to eat when you’re in Greece

As far as we know, the world’s first cookbook was written by a Greek (Archestratos in 330 B.C).
When I think of Greek food I think of the ripest tomatoes, salty feta, crispy Gyros, red onion…mouthwatering flavours. During a picturesque summer spent on the island Paros a few years ago, I got an expert introduction to Greek Food. My Greek friends laboriously sought out the best Taverna‘s where they’d treat me to plate after plate of satisfying Meze and lots of Ouzo.

The bold simplicity and flavours of Hellenic cooking are interesting and intense, just like Greeks themselves. This is such a good line, isn’t it? Further adjectives that I’d like to use to describe Greeks and their cuisine are: unrefined, earthy and passionate. Passionate may sound odd, but I relate this back to the sheer amounts of fat involved in Greek cooking. Although, technically speaking the Greeks enjoy a Mediterranean diet, eating their food is not a ‘diet’ as such. Greek food actually makes you seriously fat, if not obese.

Moussaka, Pastitsio, Kleftiko, Saganaki, Tsatsiki, Stifada and so on… this is really hearty and rich food.
My Greek friends pointed it out more than once, Greece apparently has an issue with obesity.

This doesn’t matter when you’re in Greece. Eating near the seaside helps to elevate the flavours of the food to a new and much improved level. And in Greece, the seaside is never too far away.
The sea and the wind make you hungry, so it is only natural and right to eat plenty of food at the nearest Taverna and overlook the ocean in all its glory. Here’s what we ate and what you should try when in Greece:

1. fried squid sprinkled with Oregano and drizzled with lemon and olive oil.

2. grilled Octopus, marinated in Ouzo.

3. Horiatiki – Greek Salad

4. Baked lobster Saganaki with feta cheese, oregano and tomato sauce

5. Skordalia, Grilled Fish (not on the picture), beetroot and more Greek Salad

6.  Tsatsiki