Greek gourmet journey

One of the things I am most excited about when visiting a country is to try out local cuisine.

Day 4 in Greece and it’s been a fantastic culinary experience so far… I’ve not had Greek food too often, so it’s been a bit like meeting a few old friends and developing many new friendships.

But also a new love – moussaka! It’s a baked dish comprising layers of potato, eggplant/ zucchini, minced meat and a savory custard, and is absolutely yummy (also very filling).

Here’s a bit of a run down on some Greek dishes:

Haloumi: a type of cheese originally from Cyprus (info thanks to the commenter below) . A bit similar to paneer (Indian cottage cheese) but tougher in consistency and very salty

Fava: puréed split peas, usually garnished with onions

Tzatziki: A yogurt based dip with cucumber, garlic and dill

Loukaniko: Pork sausages flavored with herbs

Shrimp saganaki: Shrimp in a tomato and onion sauce, served with feta cheese

Giouvetsi: Lamb baked in a clay pot with tomatoes, served with potatoes

Souvlaki: Skewered lamb, beef, pork, shrimp, etc. usually served with pita bread, tomatoes, onions and tzatziki

Yiaourtlou: Beef (or veal) minced kebabs, served with a tangy tomato sauce and yogurt

If you are a bit more adventurous with your food choices (Hubby isn’t and insisted on staring at me and shaking his head as I scraped away at my plate), I recommend trying stifado, a rabbit stew (correction thanks to Tholos Santorini – stifado can be of lamb, beef, etc. too) made with pearl onions, red wine and vinegar. So flavorful that no amount of staring could dent my enjoyment of the dish 😉

Oh, and for the one Greek dish that a lot of us would be familiar with, thanks to small roadside vendors in big cities… The Greek pronounce GYRO as ‘yeer-rohs’. And no, the ‘s’ doesn’t make it plural.

P.S. For those of you, who may be in Singapore, the restaurant Blu Kouzina in Bukitimah area would be a good place to satisfy your Greek food cravings. Lovely decor (very reminiscent of the blue and white of Santorini), unpretentious and friendly service and fabulous food!

P.S.S. As you can see I haven’t been able to venture beyond savory friends as yet. Hope to rectify that before we leave. Any suggestions are more than welcome!