In Greece, eating out is a way of life. Whether in a local taverna or in one of the most elegant restaurants, Greeks take their time over food. Breakfast is light; lunch is eaten in the mid afternoon; and dinner usually doesn’t start before 10p.m. There are also fast food restaurants. The warm climate allows for outdoor eating.

The parade of Greek food begins with: horiatiki (tomato, cucumber, olives and feta cheese salad), taramosalata (a fish roe spread), plaki (a bean dish), melitzanosalata (eggplant salad), dolmadakia (grape leaves stuffed with meat, rice and onions served with lemon sauce); then with a choice of grilled meats and a wide assortment of seafood. Choose Greek wines; topping it all off are rich Greek pastries and thick, strong coffee.

Typical menu:Mezedes (starters): keftedes (meat balls), oktapodi (octopus), garides (shrimps), kalamaraki (squid), feta (white goat cheese), dolmadakia (stuffed vine leaves), taramosalata (pate of smoked fish roe), tzatziki (yogurt dip with cucumber and garlic), melitzanosalata (eggplant dip) etc.

Main dishes : moussaka (layers of eggplant, minced meat and potatoes topped with cheese sauce and baked), youvetsi (a shrimp or veal casserole), pastitsio (macaroni with minced meat and béchamel, baked), gemista (either tomatoes or green peppers stuffed with mince meat or rice), dolmades (cabbage or vine leaves stuffed with minced meat or rice and served with an egg and lemon sauce), yiouvarlakia (stewed meat balls with rice), sudzukakia (meat balls with tomato sauce and garlic), giouvetsi (lamb or veal with pastry), fassolada (bean soup), gigantes (large dried beans with onions and tomato sauce), melitzanes (fried aubergines and courgettes), kokinisto (meat with tomato cause), stifado (meat with onions), frikase (meat, onions, herbs), kokoretsi (skewer of liver and kidneys), barbounia (red mullet), lithrinia (bass), ksifias (swordfish), glossa (sole), marides (whitebait), kakavia (bouillabaisse), katsikaki (kid), kotopoulo (chicken), etc.Dessert include pastes (sweet cakes with cream), baklava (syrup cake), kataifi (shredded what soaked in honey), pagoto (ice cream) and ‘spoon’ desserts.

©2006 Info Editions