Greek fine gastronomy in the international tourism sector

Hotels in Greece are famous for their quality and warm hospitality they offer. In addition to excellent service, comfortable rooms and contemporary services, food is always an excellent indication of true hospitality, especially if it is a really good food.

Greek gastronomy has recorded a history of around 4,000 years, with especial characteristics based on pure and unique quality goods produced on Greek land. In fact, it was Archestratos who wrote the first cookbook in history (330 B.C.). If you were to travel all over Greece, crisscrossing it from coast to coast – east, west, north and south – you’d be astounded by the abundance of exceptional foods and the unique traditional products that you’ll discover.

In Greek nutritional tradition the gustative result blends harmonically with the high nutritional value. Dozens of scientific studies have shown the positive effect of a balanced Greek diet on a person’s health, beauty and longevity. In addition, the nutritional culture of the Greeks has traditionally added an extraverted social dimension to the table, combining gustative satisfaction with recreation and communication, and thus maintaining even today some overtones from ancient feasts.

Greek fine gastronomy in the international tourism sector

Over the past years, the Greek Hoteliers have been working really hard to become the "promoters" of Greek culinary culture to the world, investing in the development of the "Gastronomy Character" of Greece. Greece’s leading chefs have made their mark. They are constantly experimenting with new techniques, utilising the freshest ingredients and are committed to authentic and innovative gastronomy.

Greece is an agricultural nation with premium, world-renowned products and produce, many with a protected designation of origin (PDO). Greek products are among the most pure, natural and delicious in the world and their great variety is ideal for creating original dishes based on traditional Greek recipes. Modern Greek cuisine is constantly evolving. The alliance of the latest culinary trends with authentic Mediterranean cuisine is what makes dining in Greece so unique. Greek restaurants today offer authentic Mediterranean cuisine, made with pure and organic produce. Dishes are prepared with eggs and cheese from the nearby farm, vegetables grown in their own gardens and freshly-caught fish brought by the fishermen at dawn and then paired with wine from the local vineyard.
In contrast to what many people believe about Greek cuisine, you will discoverer that “moussaka”, “souvlaki” and “choriatiki” (Greek salad) are not the only worthwhile Greek dishes. Greek cuisine consists of a large variety of dishes that can fully satisfy the gastronomic quests of both vegetarians and meat lovers.

Basic ingredients

Greek cuisine has four secrets: good quality fresh ingredients, correct use of flavourings (herbs) and spices, the famous Greek olive oil and simplicity.

Traditional Greek Soup (Fasolatha/Greek bean soup)
Traditional Greek Soup (Fasolatha/Greek bean soup)



Greek olive oil deserves a special note. The world’s third-largest producer of olive oil, Greece leads in extra-virgin, its olives are of such high quality. You could think of the country as one big olive grove. The best oils are those from Crete (the areas around Chania-Kolymbari in the west and Sitia to the east) and the Peloponnese (Lakonia, Messinia and the Argolid). Made from koroneiki, athinolia and mavrelia or hondrolia olives, each PDO designation has a different character. Greek virgin olive oil accompanies almost all Greek dishes, it is used abundantly in most of them, it is of excellent quality and it is very good for your health. It is also known that artificial cultivation of vegetables is not carried out due to the mild Greek climate. Consequently, most vegetables are cultivated in natural ways and they therefore maintain their aroma and their flavour. You will be happy and content after tasting a Greek tomato, cabbage, carrot, onion, parsley and garlic. At the same time, you should not forget the rich flavour and aroma of fresh Greek fruits, such as grapes, apricots, peaches, cherries, melons, watermelons, etc.

Herbs, which almost every Greek gathers from the hills and the countryside, they are renowned for their gustativeness, aromas and curative properties. As you taste some of the many different dishes, you will be mesmerized by the amazing aroma of oregano, thyme, mint and rosemary. Do not forget to also try the Greek cheeses, especially feta cheese and Greek Graviera. Taking as fact that the sheep and goats are free-ranging and the pastures are especially lush and green, Greek meat has a unique taste that cannot be compared. Mediterranean seafood is much tastier than those from the oceans. The Aegean and Ionian Seas are crystal clear and rich with fish. Fresh fish on the grill is considered to be a true delight.


Greek Virgin Olive oil with herbsGreek Virgin Olive oil with herbs

Greek philosophy

The Greek word “symposium” -a word that is as old as Greece itself- literally means “drinking with friends”. The atmosphere in an ordinary Greek restaurant is relaxing, simple and informal. The preparation of the food on the other hand has its own sacred rules. Good amateur cooks are highly respected in their social circle, while a good housewife in Greece mainly signifies a good cook. And a good cook can spend days preparing a meal for his/her friends.

The atmosphere
Greek fine gastronomy in the international tourism sector

Greece and Greek summer it’s as simple as a mouth-wateringly sweet slice of watermelon, crimson-red against a blue-eyed sky. Summer in a bite…
Sip a glass of ouzo or wine with grilled octopus or any other Greek dish while sitting by the sea on an Ionian island . When you return home, try to repeat this experience by preparing the same meal and serving the same drink. Wherever you try to repeat this, you will soon realize that it does not taste the same. It’s not that something is wrong with your culinary skills; it’s that the Greek ritual when eating a meal –mainly a combination of what you are eating and where you are eating it- cannot be repeated, extracted or copied. It is simply something you can only find, taste and enjoy in Greece.

 

Apart from olive oil, these are the basic traditional products of Greece

Fresh fish and seafood

Fresh fish and seafood

If you are a fish lover, Greece and Greek islands is your place to be! Along the Greek coastline and around the islands are bays and coves, reefs and abysses that form ideal habitats for schools of fish and other sea creatures humans find delectable. 

This exceptional fresh fish should be top of your list of Greek products to try during your holidays in Greece. The catch is proportional to the size of the area fished and harvested generally by small-time fishermen but the taste is concentrated and as clear as the waters of the seas themselves.


Greek meat

Greek meat

Herds watched over by proud shepherds produce first-rate meat and milk, reflecting the rain-fed grass they grazed on. Nutritious milk is used to make internationally prized Greek yogurt with its unique silky texture and a range of cheeses is becoming available in delicatessens around the world. With so many animal farms in Central Greece, it’s no surprise that the savoury, tender and pampered lamb and kid from Elassona have won PDO status.

 

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