greek food and drink

1. mousakas [musaˈkas] Aubergine and minced meat, béchamel, in some regions they add potato slices.
2. imam baildi [iˈmam bailˈdi] Turkish words, turkish dish. Aubergines again, stuffed with onions.
3. briam [briˈam] Turkish word. Courgettes, aubergines, potatoes in tomato sauce.
4. 'paidakia' grilled meat. [paiˈδacia] If you are french, you are going to hate it. It is practically burnt.
5. kalamarakia [kalamaˈracia] Fried squids. Do not be afraid. (deep-frozen is more tender).
6. grilled octapus [xtaˈpoði] Be bold! (deep-frozen is more tender).
7. peasant salad [xorˈjatici saˈlata] Tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, olive oil. Also: onions, capers and vinegar. NO LETTUCE! Lettuce is a winter vegetable.
8. dolmadakia [dolmaˈðacia] Small dolma (again a turkish dish).
Also look for tzatziki [dza`dzici] (made differently in Turkey) and taramosalata (these are appetizers, but keep in mind THERE ARE NO COURSES in greek symposia!).
SWEETS: Most are the typical Lebanese and Turkish recipes. One really greek sweet is the spoon sweets (VERY difficult to find a really good one).
WHAT IS SOUVLAKI? [suˈvlaci]
1. The greek-souvlaki's ancestor is the turkish kebab, but altered.
2. RULE: NEVER, EVER, NEVER eat souvlaki, kebab, etc. in tourist-places. Ask someone: Where does your family eat their souvlaki, please? I would like to try a really good one.
3. There are two main kinds of souvlaki in Greece.
a. souvlaki-kalamaki: Chopped lamb meat in small squares passed through a wooden reed. You eat it with bread. A little salt maybe. That's all.
b. souvlaki-pita. Pita = pie, i.e. flat piece of bread-like pie that enwraps the meat. You may add: tomato, optionally onions, optionally tzatziki (lots of garlic in it). Some people add french fries. Oh, well...
Now, the meat may be of two kinds:
        3.b.1. souvlaki-pita-gyros Döner-like.
        3.b.2. souvlaki-pita-kalamaki The chopped meat as in 3.a. I strongly recommend this kind.
4. CAREFUL: souvlaki-pita should not be served in a plate.
Just for fun, some ouzo [ˈuzo] with water and ice cubs necessarily accompanied by little dishes of meze. (Just olives and tomato will do).
Greeks, mostly drink lager beer.
Wines can be interesting if they are of Appellation contrôlée.
Greek coffee in a small cup (is what the greeks insist on calling the classic turkish coffee). BUT THE REALLY GREEK THING TO DO is to drink a Nes Café frappé.
7ish: wakes up in the morning and takes a Greek Breakfast (that is coffee and cigarette).
10ish: at 10 he snacks his dekatiano (=tenish).
12ish: at 12 it is time for ouzo and meze.
2ish: the meze will gradually evolve to lunch around 14:00 (In London, people asked me to meet 'lunchtime' and I always turned up 2 hours later than everybody else).
3-5ish small siesta. Note that 3-5 is considered 'midday' in greece.
5:30ish around 17:00 wake up, another coffee and of course a little sweet.
10ish: big meal around 22:00 or later. Preferably at a tavernaki (small taverna).
chat chat and chat.
12ish: go to bed around 24:00, 1:00, 2, 3... at night.
oh dear! we have to go to work tomorrow?
NOTE: I am not a good cook, and I cannot recommend recipes. Most young women in greece buy cookbooks by Vefa Alexiadou. The older women, consult books by Markou (Μάρκου) or Skoura (Σκούρα).
The genius recipie writer was Tselementes (Τσελεμεντές). His book was written in 1910, in old greek language. He 'europeanized' greek dishes. His name became a synonym to the word: manual (e.g. a greek would say: I need a Tselemendes to fix my car.)
As for today's chefs and restaurants..., the greek palate is not as 'educated' as the french. So, the public is not demanding high quality food. Still, I have heard that Lazarou (Λευτέρης Λαζάρου) is seriously good, especially with fish.
It is much better to go to a humble tavernaki rather than some fancy restaurant. The food is more greek, no pretentions here.
Of course, as in all countries, the best food is cooked by our MOTHERS.
GREEK COOKING LINKS this looks good. Unfortunately it is in greek only. in greek, english, german
greek cuisine and links to recipes by wikipedia

links checked in Aug 2007, Oct 2017.