In Greece, each geographical region hides its own delicious secrets. From the variety of ingredients, to recipes and cooking methods. Every area of Greece is a different “small homeland”, with its own traditions and customs.
After a period of devaluation today, modern Greek chefs bring back to the fore the culinary traditions of each place, creating at the same time modernist and progressive interpretations of traditional recipes.
The global and modern Greek gastronomy goes through tradition and authenticity, but without exceeding current techniques or international trends, offering new taste experiences to anyone who tastes it.
But let us have a closer look at the main geographical areas of Greece and the taste characteristics of each:
Macedonia – Crossroads of civilizations
A variety of products and ingredients, since the landscape of Macedonia, consists of sea, valleys, mountains, lakes, etc. The rich and fertile land of Macedonia offers a variety of raw materials: it gives us generous hunting, wines, cheeses and meat.
Macedonian cuisine combines local ingredients and traditions of people that came here such as the Pontians, Vlachs, Sarakatsani, Asia Minor, etc. Typical of the Macedonian cuisine are the appetizers and the sharing, although the latter is characteristic of the Greeks in general. Today in the area there are many ouzo bars, taverns and creative cuisine restaurants with local references.
Epirus – Mountain cuisine
Basically “mountainous” cuisine of Epirus relies on livestock products due to the diversity of the soil.
There are many basic dishes with meat or fish and seafood such as mutton kontosouvli, grilled lamb, spit lamb, kleftiko or meat in casserole. Sheep and goat soups and of course hunting, like the hare or the wild boar, would not be missing.
Today the modern cuisine of Epirus combines traditional recipes and pure raw materials with modern techniques. For example saganaki sheep, smoked trout and smoked eel carpaccio and much more.
Crete – The epitome of Mediterranean cuisine
Cretan cuisine is mainly based on olive oil, wild greens, herbs, vegetables and legumes. In Crete, due to livestock production, many cheese products are produced from goat’s and sheep’s milk, such as kefalograviera, mizithra, anthotyro, xinomyzithra, cekhtogalo and many more.
Who has not heard the snails bourmouristos, the goat with stamnagathi, the scurvy macaroni, the haniotiko bureki, the antikristo or ofto and the gamopilafo (it is cooked mainly at weddings). Today in Crete, the visitor has the opportunity to enjoy traditional authentic recipes both by the sea and inland.
Dodecanese – The cuisine of the Aegean
The diversity of the islands in combination with the sun and the sea, created a series of excellent products characterized by taste, quality and uniqueness. Aegean cuisine consists of dishes made with ingredients, which one can find only in this area.
Aegean cuisine also has its own street food. The pies of Rhodes with vegetables, and the chickpea meatballs with rhodostamia (tomato jam), which are wrapped in tortillas.
Greece, in addition to fantastic landscapes, also offers a gastronomic tradition that can travel around the world through products and dishes that are unique in the world.