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Greek Food

Eating on holiday in Greece

Whatever your base, breakfast is easily put together, Greek style, with creamy yoghurt, local honey and fresh fruit – nectarines, peaches, figs – while eating out in local tavernas makes perfect sense lunch-time and evening, unless perhaps you fancy the occasional evening BBQ chez vous.  Why slave in the heat to do more than simple shopping when it’s so enjoyable – and so inexpensive – to spend the evenings amidst the buzz of restaurant life, people-watching and soaking up the atmosphere?


For the basics of eating well at home in Greece, you simply need fresh fruit – perhaps a melon, grapes, nectarines and peaches – chilling in the fridge, some of the plumpest, reddest tomatoes imaginable, exuding the sort of flavour and rich colour that is seldom found in a tomato bought in the UK,sitting in a bowl on your kitchen worktop, some local cheese and yoghurt in the fridge, together with fat black Greek olives and locally-grown cucumber, and some local olive oil and honey in the cupboard, with perhaps some oregano (again, locally-harvested).  


And, of course, importantly, visit a local bakery for delicious freshly-made bread, cheese pies (each island has its own version of this Greek staple), and maybe a slice or two of spanakopita (spinach pie – delicious!).  All bakeries have honey-soaked desserts (some look like Shredded Wheat –kateifi in Greek, pronounced kat-ey-eefi, which hails originally from the Lebanon) and almond and orange flavoured delicacies galore – try one of each, and decide which ones you prefer having sampled them all.


In the heat of the summer months, a simple salad with feta cheese and a sprinkling of oregano and olive oil over the sliced tomatoes and cucumber, plus a glass of chilled local beer (Mythos is a well-known Greek brand) or dry white wine (it’s come a long way since the early days of Greek retsina, back in the 1960s, when it was ‘resinated’* in the taverna’s casks to keep it fresh!),along with some goodies from the bakery, will work brilliantly for a light lunch by the pool or a picnic on the beach.

(*The ancient Greeks used pine resin to seal the amphorae in which wine was stored and shipped, keeping the air out and thus stopping the wine from oxidising, before glass bottles and corks came into use.  By the early 1800s, there were some 6,000 tavernas in Athens adding resin to the local wine in casks to give it that distinctive taste.Retsina is now drunk more by foreigners than by Greeks.)

For early-evening drinks, as the sun goes down, local rusk-like sesame-seed bread sticks are great as an accompaniment to dips.  You can try making your own taramosalata by buying ‘tarama’ – cod’s roe – at the supermarket’s cheese counter, and mixing it to your preferred taste and consistency with a little boiled potato, yoghurt and lemon.  

Read Sunvil Supper Club blogs for recipe inspiration