During my 20’s, a good proportion of my closest friends were Greek. So I was no stranger to Greek food, wines, raki and so on. In fact, going to Greece and eating the local fare has always been high on my life “to do” list.
Our breakfast was always light in Greece, as soon after we would head down the beach or pool to cool off. Strong coffee was always on hand.
Lunches involved a greek salad or gyros, like a kebab in Australia except wrapped in thick pita bread not a wrap. And more Tzatziki, much more tzatziki was involved! Dripping down your hands and arms was always a good sign!
The local tavernas were so cheap that most days we dined out and dinner would always include but not be limited to: lamb meatballs, dips, cheese pies, prawns, calamari, squid, dolmades, greek salad, grilled feta, hand cut chips, fresh fish, souvlaki and lots of very cold beer.
The children were always doted on, food was cooked fresh and served promptly with bread and dips. Fruit and grapes free flowed after dinner as well as raki or ouzo. The whole dining experience was always enjoyable. Often during our meals in the tavernas, the families who owned them would come to talk or sit with us, to converse in stories about food and life and travel. It was so humbling and welcoming and lovely.
On my birthday, James organised a chef to come to our villa and prepare us a feast. It was nothing short of heaven. We watched him cook fresh calamari and I wish I’d written down his recipe for batter, it was so light and crispy! We had leftovers in the fridge for days.
I couldn’t pick one meal or dish or tavern that was my favourite, because they were all my favourite. From picking our calamari hanging off the wire outside the restaurant, to being seated at a table so close to the water you could feel the ocean spray. From cold beers served in frosted glasses, washing down souvlaki to strong Greek coffee served hot as can be in the morning. And the fresh fruit, always grapes on hand with every meal.
If you ever get the chance to visit Greece, don’t think about it, just order it all. You won’t regret it!