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Greek Dishes and Ingredients

Get Him to the Greek: A Food Guide

Ancient Greek culture is the cornerstone of Western civilization. Not only is it home to some of mankind's most influential philosophers and artists, but it's also given birth to some of the most delicious food on the planet. Making use of fresh ingredients, age-old tradition, and fragrant spices, Greek flavors pack a powerful punch of Mediterranean flair to restaurants all over the world. Continue reading to get to know a few staples of Greek cuisine.

Traditional Dishes:

  • Souvlakia: Skewered cubes of lamb with onions, green peppers, and tomato wedges are marinated and then broiled to create one of the most celebrated Greek dishes. This top picture is a beautiful example of a traditional souvlakia plate.
  • Spanakopita: Buttery layers of phyllo with a center portion of chopped cooked spinach and feta are mixed with bechamel to create a spanakopita pie.
  • Hummus: This well-known dip, or spread, is made of cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic.
  • Moussakas: Fried eggplant slices layered with tomatoes, cheese, onions, and ground meat are finished off with a bechamel sauce. There's normally an unexpected, but seriously welcomed, hint of cinnamon incorporated into this dish.
  • Dolmathes: Dolmanthes are a traditional finger food of grape leaves stuffed with rice, dill, and mint.
  • Pilalfi: A fluffy rice simmered in butter, Greek spices, and chicken stock pairs perfectly with nearly every Greek dish.
  • Keftedes: The Greek version of meatballs uses either lamb or ground beef, with heaping amounts of onion, garlic, oregano, and mint thrown into the mix.

Ingredients:

  • Greek yogurt: There's a reason Greek yogurt is so trendy right now. Not only is it creamy, flavorful, and a great source of protein, if John Stamos loves it then it's got to be good.
  • Tzatziki: This staple of Greek cuisine is a tangy dip made from yogurt, minced cucumber, garlic, and mint.
  • Kalamata olives: The almond-shaped Greek olive is a dark shade of purple with an excellent rich and fruity flavor.
  • Feta: Feta is the most widely known and beloved of all the Greek cheeses. It's nearly synonymous with the concept of a Greek salad.
  • Phyllo: This paper-thin pastry usually made of egg, flour, and water is the basis of many delicious Greek dishes.
  • Tahini: A smooth puree of sesame seeds incorporated in both savory and sweet dishes.

Source: Flickr User Geoff Peters 604

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