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VIDEO

Fresh fish at a market - Summer 1998 (56K modems+).

What to eat, how, and where


VIDEO

Food for sale! (56K modems+).

The restaurant scene Restaurants in Greece can be described in two words: simple and great.

A restaurant (aka: Taverna) is a wonderful place to eat, meet the locals and pass the time. When thinking about food, remember these points:
  • Greeks eat late which means after 9pm. Some dont open before 11 pm!
  • Greeks finish eating late: not before midnight and not before 2am on weekends! In addition, kids which play an important role in Greek society, stay up with their parents way past normal bedtime (hurray for the kiddies!)
  • There are many tavernas spread all over the place, from the large cities to the tiny resorts, and in the summer, food is served outside, on tables setup for the purpose.
  • Food comes in small plates; the idea being that everyone shares in the cullinary experience.
  • The cost for a family meal (say 4-6 people) is about DRA10000.
The hamburger scene McDonalds is even in Athens. Do you really need to know that? Do you think that you will ever get desperate? If so, then go to Syntagma Square. It's right on it, in the center of Athens.
The fish scene Greece is and has always been a predominantly fish country where kids start to eat fish from very young age. Culinary skills are not required to eat fish: just clean it, scale it and either fry it or boil it in a soup.

To scale a fish: Take a knife (not very sharp) and holding the fish from its tail on a wooden working surface, slide the knife towards the head. The scales will come off easily.

To clean a fish: Using a sharp knife, cut from the mouth until the anal opening and remove all the stuff in it. Doing this near the sea will entice other fish to come near, thereby making your fishing even easier.

To fry a fish: Just out some olive oil or sunflower oil on a skillet, heat it, and put the fish in. Let it fry at hign temperature for a couple of minutes and then turn with a spatula. The fish is done,. Serve with parsley and some lemon. The skin should not be thrown away; it has most of the fish's proteins and vitamins!

To boil a fish: Greeks make a fish soup, called Kakaviá. Put every type of fish in a pot, throw in some greens, salt and pepper, and let it boil for about 30 minutes. When its done push it though a strainer to keep the bones in and you have very healthy, great tasting soup. Yam yam...

The fruits scene Greece has a large selection of fresh fruit. In the spring go for local apples and pears; in the early summer go for melons and strawberries. In middle summer go for watermelons. Fresh fruit is available everywhere at low prices and should be eaten raw. Alternatively, you can make fruit into compósta: Put 1 liter of water in a pot add 1 cup of sugar and set it on a hot plate. In the meantime skin and remove the pits (with a pit remover) of 3 apples, 3 pears and 3 peaches. Put them into the boiling water-sugar and add about 12 cloves. After about 10 minutes take it out and let cool. A great energy provider after a long hike!

The dairy scene There are many dairy products in Greece. Féta, cow's and goat's milk and many types of salty cheeses are everywhere. Some of my favorites include: Féta (the best one is called Dodoni), Kaséri (type of salty, swiss-type cheese), and Mizíthra, a type of soft cheese. In the villages, get eggs from the villagers rather than from supermarkets.

The souvlaki scene Now we are talking!. Souvlaki is the staple food in Greece. It's cheap, great and fills you up real quick!

But how can someone choose the good places from the duds? Well, look at the crouds waiting outside. The more, the merrier. And just about any 'souvlatsidiko' in Plaka is excellent eating!


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