For me real Greek food, authentic Greek food, is simple Greek food. It is, well, as simple as that.
Imagine: grilled lamb and yogurt sauce generously finished with olive oil – perhaps some aubergine or tomato fresh from the market as a side? Does it get better than that? Simple, tasty and totally delicious.
The origins of Greek food go back thousands of years, and many of the ingredients that would have been common place to the ancient Greeks or the Byzantium are still very much the corner stone of simple Greek food.
Some dishes ancestry can be directly traced back to these great civilisations. Fasolada (a soup of beans, vegetables and olive oil) often referred to as the national food was a staple of the ancient Greeks. The Romas gave us loukaniko (dried pork sausage) and from Byzantium we get that most iconic of cheeses – wonderful, salty feta.
The trading and cultural exchange that goes back millenia has meant that influences from father afield have been instrumental in creating what we now consider to be Greek cuisine, especially from the Ottoman Empire that once encompassed the Balkans, parts of the Middle East and North Africa. We know this because the dishes names, moussaka, tzatziki and many more reveal Arabic, Turkish and Persian roots – Greek food is perhaps the original fusion cuisine!
Simple Greek Food – Hungry Donkey
If there is one ingredient most associated with simple Greek food then it is olive oil. An olive grove is as synonomous with Greece as the Acropolis. You’ll find olive oil used in almost all savory Greek food, it is used both to cook with and as a flavouring – being liberally dribbled on meat, fish and vegetables, as well as salads.
The meat; lamb, mutton, goat, traditionally eaten in Greece is a product of the geography and terrain – the mountains are not the best place to breed cattle – donkeys are quite at home though!
If you’re after an authentic taste of Greece, or your homesick for the simple Greek cuisine of ‘home’ then we are always here for you!