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It's all Greek to me - adapting to Greek food - HowTo.co.uk

(EMAILWIRE.COM, April 07, 2009 ) Greece - To coincide with the online publication of “Going to Live in Greece” – a book about moving to Greece – HowTo.co.uk takes a look at what to expect from Greek food…

Moving to another country often means adopting new aspects of that country's culture. Food is just one of these, and you will often have to get used to completely new types of food in your new home. For those thinking of living in Greece, be aware that a typical Greek diet contain lots of meat or fish and fresh fruit and vegetables.


In the summer, horiatiki salad is a popular dish, especially in the summer. This is made using red tomatoes, olives, green peppers, onions, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a hint of oregano for flavour. The salad is topped with large chunks of feta cheese. During the rest of the year, lachano-marouli salata is one of the other salad specialities. This is a salad made from cabbage and lettuce. Lachano-carota salata is another popular type of salad, and this is made from cabbage and carrot.

The most common vegetable is usually the potato, which is the main ingredient in many types of stew. Yida contains beef and vegetables, and is eaten a lot in the winter. There are lots of different potato-based dishes, including potates sto fourno (oven roasted potatoes that are flavoured with onion, garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano and sometimes accompanied by lamb or chicken). Potato salata is along similar lines to American potato salad and is flavoured with parsley, onion and lemon.

Dips such as skordalia and sadziki often accompany meals, especially starters. These tend to use strong quantities of onion and garlic, so stay clear if you are not a fan!


Mousaka is probably the most famous meat-based dish in Greece. It is made from ground meat (either beef, lamb or pork) and accompanied by eggplant, potatoes and tomato sauce. As is typical of many Greek dishes, meat is not actually the main part of the dish. It is common for meat dishes to be cooked in a sauce containing tomatoes and red wine, but some dishes are cooked in lemon sauce (such as lamb fricasse).

Pastitsio is similar to lasagne but does not contain as much sauce. Brizoles (steak) are usually made from pork or beef, and are served with fried potatoes.

Whichever meat dish you choose, it is likely to contain lots of garlic, particularly in the sauce.

Fish / seafood

Sardeles (sardines), gavros (anchovies), kolios (mackerel), bakaliaro (cod) and soupia (cuttlefish) are common and inexpensive main course options, but seafood is often served as a starter too. Octopus is often eaten as a pre-meal snack, but can be expensive as it is sometimes imported from abroad. Sardines can also be eaten as a snack.


Seasonal fruits are often offered after meals. These include karpoozi (watermelon), peponi (honeydew melon), apples, pears, cherries and oranges. Other options include baklava, which contains ground nuts and honey. Yaourti me meli (yoghurt with honey) is another popular choice, and can feature fresh fruit and ground nuts, as well as honey.

If garlic and onions aren't your cup of tea, Greek food might not hold much appeal for you, as both feature heavily in many Greek dishes. You might also run into problems if you don't eat meat or fish, as these make up much of the average Greek diet. However, Greece also follows a traditional Mediterranean-style diet, so you can always stock up on fruit and vegetables, as well as the delicious desserts on offer!

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