The Italians have Pizza and The Greeks have Souvlaki, and according to Souvlakigr.com “The Souvlaki is often lovingly referred to as the hamburger of Greece, and Souvlaki is undeniably the signature street food item in the country”. With references of its preparation dating back to Ancient Greece, this perfect little sandwich has remained a constant in Greek food culture. As much as we all love Souvlaki, there is much more to Greek Food than just the Souvlaki.
Greek gastronomy has recorded history of about 4,000 years or so, and as a matter of fact, it was the Ancient Greek Poet Archestratos who wrote the first cookbook in history back in 330 B.C. where he frequently advised his readers on where to find the best food in the Mediterranean world. Greek cuisine has four basic building blocks; quality fresh ingredients, correct and abundant use of herbs, exotic spices and the 100 percent virgin Greek Olive Oil. Greek Olive Oil accompanies almost all Greek dishes and it is used abundantly in most of dishes. So forget about Margarine or butter and grab yourself some Greek Olive Oil to give your cooking a turbo boost.
Dozens of scientific studies have shown the positive effect of a balanced Greek Mediterranean diet on a person’s health, beauty and longevity. The Island of Ikaria has recently been found to have a large percentage of their population living way over 100 years old, and the diet has been attributed to one of the main reasons of this phenomenon.
The time of the day when Greeks gather around the table to enjoy a meal or various “mezedes” (appetizers) with ouzo or home made wine is a tradition that every Greek maintains with reverence. This social custom of sharing a meal with friends at home, in a restaurant or a tavern is deeply inbred in the culture and turns eating a meal into a feast. Recently we posted the Anthony Bourdain Episode featuring Greek Food on our blog that had Mr. Bourdain pleasantly surprised and satisfied that Greek Food was not just Souvlaki or Mousaka served in your neighborhood diner.