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traditional-greek-food-meals

Traditional food is one of the best ways to embrace a culture. Great traditional meals are the kind that you’ll be served if you are lucky enough to be invited into a Greek home or at a truly authentic taverna. They’re mind-blowingly delicious and have been passed down from generation to generation.

You probably have some of your own. Those recipes that you rely upon again and again. They’re crowd pleasers and carry a little bit of history that makes them all the more special!

As an experiment I typed in “Greek salad” into Google and the recipes I saw were far from traditional. Some had avocado, some had mint and some had lettuce (a big no no if you want to make the perfect traditional Greek salad).

While they may still be delicious, they’re missing a key element. Tradition. Even the small and seemingly insignificant details, like completely crumbing the feta through the salad or using pitted and chopped olives instead of whole makes what you’re eating just a little less authentic. Most of the recipes I saw were far removed from what you’d actually be served in Greece.

So, if you’re anything like me and love to replicate a cultural and culinary experience that’s Greek in every detail, here are some of the most traditional Greek recipes you can find. From main meals to desserts and baking, I have been grateful to have these accounts on hand when I’m in need of traditional Greek recipes. Who said you need to travel to get a taste of Greece? These incredibly talented cooks let you experience Greece in your own home!

Reminder: We have been allowed to share these photos with permission from their original owners. Show your support for these incredible Greek cooks by browsing their delicious recipes and connecting with them. #communityappreciation

Yemista

Yemista or stuffed vegetables is a vegetarian dish and it’s one of the traditional Greek recipes that everyone will love. It consists of stuffed tomatoes and peppers and Christina (Pieces of Greece), says that this is the perfect dish to have some fun with. Put in whatever vegetables you like and serve with a crusty loaf of bread and some feta. She says that it’s even better the next day as leftovers!

If you visit Greece in April you will be amidst Easter celebrations. About 40 days before Easter Sunday is when lent begins, and during this time many Greek people refrain from eating meat. This means there is no shortage of vegetarian options for travelers. And for those that do eat meat yemista is still worth trying regardless!

 

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Pastitsio

Kelly’s (The Hellenic Odyssey) recipe for pastitsio is another amazing traditional Greek recipe you need to try for yourself. Pastitsio is the Greek version of a pasta bake. This dish consists of pasta, mince and a cheesy bechamel sauce. While Kelly warns that this traditional Greek recipe takes a bit of time and preparation, she says that the end result is absolutely worth it! Just look at those layers! You can tell just by looking that this wholesome and hearty meal will be appreciated by everyone who tries it.

 

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Aunt Marina’s Roast Chicken

Diana’s traditional Greek recipe is one that came from her Aunt Marina who does a different twist on the traditional lemon chicken. While typically lemon chicken in Greece is cooked in lemon juice, oregano and plenty of garlic. This version includes citrus of another variety. Orange! And what a delicious combination. The orange juice and mustard dressing makes for some amazingly flavoured and melt in your mouth roast potatoes. Diana says that she’s never met anyone who doesn’t like it.

 

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Pappou Savvas’ Chicken And Peas

Andrea (The Traditional Plate) shared her Pappou savvas’ recipe for kotopoulo me bizeli (chicken and peas) and it is the definition of a ‘traditional Greek recipe’, passed down from one generation to the next. I personally love this recipe because not only is it the perfect meal for a cold night but it’s super easy and you can throw everything together into just one pot.

Don’t forget to serve this with a delicious loaf of bread to soak up all that zoumi (juice). Andrea said that as young children her and her siblings would clean their plates so well Yiayia thought they had done the dishes! She shares many of her Pappou and Yiayia’s recipes so make sure you check out her account.

 

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Greek Cheesecake

The Greeks were innovators and there are many Greek inventions that we still use today. What many people don’t know is that the cheesecake originated in Ancient Greece! Greek cheesecake or Melittouta is something you can still enjoy, and you can even make your own with Niki’s traditional Greek recipe.

This recipe contains anthotyros which is a Greek cheese similar to ricotta. While there are many amazing Greek desserts to try, this is one of amazing historical significance. Cheesecake was said to have been given to competitors in the Olympics in antiquity for energy. Niki says this dessert pairs perfectly with a sweet Greek wine like Mavrodaphne.

 

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Melomakarona

This is another of Kelly’s traditional Greek recipes, this time for melomakarona. This recipe is one that is usually made during Christmas time so if you visit Greece in December you can try this sweet treat!

Or even better you can make it at home for yourself, all year round. After they are cooked, they are covered in a honey syrup. They are deliciously sweet and the perfect thing to take to share with some friends, if not for your own safety so you don’t consume them all on your own! These biscuits have hints of orange and cinnamon and are topped with walnuts, Kelly says they go perfectly with a cup of Greek coffee!

 

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Marcia

Kia Ora. My name is Marcia Welch and I am a traveller from New Zealand. I have always dreamed of visiting and exploring Europe and have finally begun my overseas experience, or OE as we call it. I have always been drawn to the vibrancy and beauty that embodies Greece and I am excited to document and share my experiences. I am currently in Athens.

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