Greek culinary regions

A myriad of dishes and flavours.

13 May 2010

This is a city of restaurants and tavernas where eating out is a part of daily life.

Fish is superlative and cooked with expertise in a host of different ways.

Mezédes (mezze) are popular with both locals and tourists and provide extremely healthy, tasty and satisfying meals that are inexpensive.

This is a well known wine region, the land of Retsina  and ouzo (liquers), pistachios, Greek noodles, stockfish with skordaliá (potato and garlic dip), stuffed sea urchins and desserts like Kadéfi (syrupy nut rolls) and Galakto-boúreko (the classic milk cake).

Wine, home made feta cheese made from sheep’s milk, the best pork in Greece and potatoes are on offer here.

Nobody uses lemons like the Greeks, and patátaes lemonades (lemon potatoes) has to be the emperor of potato recipes as well as the perfect dish to serve with almost any kind of meat or fish.

These island are truly blessed and beef and lamb are plentiful.

Orzo (a rice shaped pasta) features in many dishes, mullet (though expensive) is still found on many menus, and this is the home of Avgolémono (egg and lemon sauce that’s used in so many recipes), Pastítsio (minced beef and Greek macaroni baked in the oven), Youvétsi me arnáki (a baked orzo and lamb dish so often found on Greek menus), Poutínga (a bread pudding made in Corfu), Robola wines and honey.

Beef and sausages are heavenly and are often cooked in communal ovens known as Gástra. Tripe is also a popular meal here.

Phyllo pastries and pita are often handmade and venison is plentiful.

Fruit, herbs (often also used for medicinal purposes), vegetables and chestnuts are plentiful.

Plums feature in many recipes and Khtapódi me Damáskina (octopus with plums) and Moskhári me Damáskina (veal with plums) are a speciality.

Lamb and goat are spit-roasted with typical Greek expertise and almond and walnut cake is a classic dish.

The menus feature honey, fish, figs, cherries and wine.

Kakaviá (Greek fish soup), Kolií me Rígani (mackerel with oregano) and boiled fish are popular.

One of the most interesting delicacies of this region is the Petimézi. Grapes are simmered and filtered until a thick, clear syrup is formed that is often used as a basis for desserts (sun-dried fish cooked in syrup until soft and juicy, then left to cool down and served with cheese or ice-cream).
Is referred to as 'The fruit bowl of Greece'.

Peaches in red wine are typical, Revaní (Syrup cake), a huge variety of salads, saffron, tomatoes, aubergines, fish and glorious wines are commonly enjoyed here.

Their chickens are legendary and are known as Persian birds.

Roast chickens, chicken with wheat, bread, maize cakes and semolina are plentiful.

A truly modern Greek cuisine.
It’s a gourmet’s dream and seafood (including crayfish), wine and especially ouzo is typical of this region.

Skate wings are cooked in tomatoes and garlic and served with Skordalia. They are also turned into the famous Kítro liqueur.

Seafood, snails, ham and pork are plentiful and the citron (a type of citrus fruit) grows here.

Vanilla plays a great role in local food and a spoonful of vanilla in icy water is a beloved summer treat.
Dissolve 600g of sugar in 125ml water into which 2 tbsp of lemon juice has been stirred. Boil with a large pod of vanilla that has been split in two until the syrup is thick and white in colour. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool place until needed.

Pomegranates thrive and soups are firm favourites with the locals.

Fish, vegetables and meat cooked the Greek way are available everywhere.

Kléftiko (roast lamb) is a delicacy on the island and typical mezés (mezze) are available everywhere at really good prices.

You can enjoy beetroot and walnut paste, paphos cheese made from pure sheep’s milk or steamed carrots, celery root and onions.

Tsamaréla (the only ham in Europe made with goat’s meat).

Khaloúmi (originally an Arabic cheese, is made from sheep, cow and goats milk).

syrup (from the carob trees that are native here).

Rose water;

Fruit preserves (even baby aubergines are preserved in syrup);

Crunchy peanuts and local wine.

Throwing a Greek-style bash? Click here for Food24's Greek party menu! publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.