Summertime always make me long for fresh flavors: bright and sunny citrus and fresh herbs. Nevermind that citrus is actually a winter fruit, years of lemonade marketing has got me longing for lemons in the summertime. And lemons make me long for Greek food.
Over the past few years, I have really come to enjoy foods around the Mediterranean beyond just Italian food (which has always been a big part of my culinary background). Participating in the Zaar World Tour for all those years certainly helped, as has being an avid Food Network fan. The very first food I remember being offered that was Greek was dolmathes – very Greek, but not necessarily something the average 15 year old is going to enjoy. Later I discovered gyros, which I loved, and then I started to figure out what Greek food is really all about. It’s about tradition, yeah, but it’s also about freshness and seasonality.
So what flavors really sing “Greek”?
- feta cheese
- yogurt, especially thickened Greek style (duh)
- olives and olive oil
Freshness is key. Fresh herbs, fresh fruits, fresh veggies, fresh meat, fresh cheese are all a great way to make your meal really feel Greek. Do you have to use ALL of the above ingredients? No, of course not. On Friday, I will show you one way to use a few ingredients on the list to change a basic recipe into a Greek recipe.
Am I claiming this is the end-all, be-all of Greek food? Oh, heck no. Am I claiming to be an expert in Greek food? Oh, heck no. This is purely based on my own research and my own experience, but I hope it will help you explore different cuisines. 🙂