Although Greeks use similar ingredients to other countries, vegetables, fish and meat, it’s the way they cook them and the methods they use that define them as Greek cuisine.
Liberal use of olive oil while cooking or drizzled over salads and toasted bread will make you think of Greece. It’s the first ingredient we think of when we think Greek cooking. Plenty of garlic, lemons and oregano are used in abundance and delicious aromas fill the kitchen and often the neighbourhood!
The secret with Greek dishes is they are kept simple and rely on good quality fresh ingredients. They are not smothered with gravies or sauces which change the taste of the meal. The flavour of the main ingredients should come through and be the dominant taste.
Souma is a traditional drink made from grapes. After the grapes are pressed, their pulps which are called the “tsipoura” are used to make “souma”. The pulps of the grapes are put into large barrels with sea water and are left to ferment. At the end of October these grapes are boiled in traditional distillers and the steam is collected in tanks. Souma consists of more than 40% alcohol so take it slow when you try!!
There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than driving into the mountains to find a small local Taverna with the most amazing home cooked food from ‘Mama’, getting a few cooking ideas and then recreating those dishes in your own kitchen.