Greek Food

I am part Greek, and I have grown up knowing that hummus, pita, tzatziki, and spanakopita are only a small portion of a wide array of Greek food, and that they are all delicious. Strangely enough, most of my friends don’t seem to know what Greek food actually is.

I even had a friend argue with me that hummus was in fact Jewish.

So for those of you who don’t know, Greek food is absolutely delicious. The appetizers, which could arguably be the best part, are amazing. Spanakopita, one of  the most famous ones, consists of fill dough wrapped around spinach and feta cheese. Similarly, and if not even better, tiropita is spanakopita without the spinach. My family has been eating dolmades since we were real little, which are stuffed grape leaves. Often they are stuffed with a rice of sorts, but sometimes a bit of ground lamb is added in as well.

And then, of course, there is the famous pita bread and dips. You can’t go wrong with pita bread, especially when it is fresh out of the oven and perfectly seasoned. But when you dip it in hummus, or tzatziki, yogurt mixed with cucumber, garlic, and other herbs, the pita becomes even more heavenly.

As for the entrees, the Greeks cook with a lot of seafood, octopus in particular, and lamb. My favorite dish is lamb souvlaki, skewers of lamb often accompanied by potatoes or vegetables. Contrary to the more American way of cooking lamb, which tastes rather gamey, the Greeks smother the tender meat in lemon and garlic, making it irresistibly delicious.

And then the desserts. Baklava is my favorite. It’s wonderfully messy, and is made of chopped nuts wrapped in fill dough, and coated in either honey or syrup. Another all time favorite are kourabiedes, which are similar to what we most often know as mexican wedding cookies. They are butter cookies with walnuts in them, and disguised by a generous coating of powdered sugar.

Caution: when eating, do not inhale.

Greek food is possibly one of the most hidden and underrated forms of cooking in America. I have decided to drag my friends to try Greek food, and I encourage you to find a local Greek restaurant near you and give it a try. It’s definitely worth it, and I can promise you won’t leave without feeling like you need to unbutton the top button of your pants, it’s that good.


2 thoughts on “Greek Food

  1. My fencing coach at William & Mary was Greek, and we often ate at Greek restaurants on road trips. This was usually appreciated and certainly much better than the fast food alternatives. All of the above dishes were favorites. However, on one notorious occasion in Lexington, VA (home to Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute), coach enjoyed a private meal with the owners, who were longtime friends of his, while I and the rest of the team ate family style in the restaurant. We were served pastitsio (Greek for Hamburger Helper), which was new to all of us. I enjoyed it, but many teammates were confused and turned off by the cinnamon and nutmeg flavoring of the meat sauce. For years afterward,whenever the team van got anywhere near Lexington, the freshmen were threatened with being served pastitsio.

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