A Foodie’s Guide to Greece

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We get it—after all these months of snow and rain, you need a little pick me up.

You need to get the kids out of the house.

You need sun. You need fresh air. Most of all, you need fresh food that will knock your socks off.

Greek food is prized for being soaked in sunlight: think green olives, soft cheeses, lemon, roasted meats and exceptional seafood.

But did you know that Greek food varies widely from region to region?

It’s not all just feta cheese and kalamata olives and olive oil, you know! (Ok, we’re kidding with the olive oil part. Greece = olive oil, what can we say.)

The cool thing about these regional variants is that based on your taste preferences, you can check out a different region of Greece.

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The Aegean Islands

The Aegean islands are known for a rougher terrain than found elsewhere in Greece. Ingredients are simple and limited, grapes, grains, and olives of course. Fish plays a huge role in some islands, whereas others, like Sifnos and Rhodes, have a special attachment to the humble chickpea. Santorini is all about their yellow split pea. You will find salt-cured or wine-soaked charcuterie. In parts of the Dodecanese Islands, look to the seawater shellfish.

The Ionian Islands

These are the more experimental islands, drawing on Italian influences in dishes such as the rosemary and vinegar sauce used in seafood specialties. Look for trademark kumquat liqueur and homemade ginger beer. But it’s the desserts here that are the real stars of the show—pantespani, a syrup-soaked sponge cake, nougat and sesame and honey bars.

Crete

No island is quite like Crete—a massive stretch of land, home to one of the oldest civilizations ever in Greece. They’ve had time to perfect their specialties! Here you’ll find pilaf rice mixed with chicken or beef, fresh salads, and roasted baby goat. Don’t miss out on dakos, barley biscuits prepared with fresh tomato, feta (or mizithra) and olive oil.

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Dodecanese

Though in many ways a blend of Aegean and Cretan, the flavors of the Dodecanese stand out thanks to a delicious abundance of spices. Cumin yes, sesame seeds, and the oh so lovely tahini. They consume large amounts of sun-dried fish, sometimes served with its own intestines! Dried octopus, octopus roe, dried eggs are more delicacies that are a bit unusual. Truthfully, if you’re a curious traveler and want to taste seafood you’ll find nowhere else, head down to the Dodecanese.

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Mainland Greece

The mainland has perfected all sorts of pastry pies, whether savory cooked with veggies and meats, or sweet with milk, rice, cinnamon or yoghurt. Wash these dishes down with a glass of ouzo and you’ll find yourself “When in Rome”-ing before long!

Don’t wait – book your sun-filled vacation now! WIT Travel Agent can tailor an amazing trip for you and yours in the Greek Isles. Call 503-224-0180 or email inquiry@wittravel.com. 

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Filed under Europe, Greece

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