Greece

Greece is one of my favourite places in the world. We’ve visited the Greek islands many times and have always been impressed with the genuine hospitality of the Greek people. Taverna owners always welcome you in like one of the family and we’ve always been given free food to try. I remember one old man a few years ago on Corfu – I had no idea how he stayed in business due to the quantity of food he kept giving us. I love the freshness and flavour of Greek food – they have the juiciest tomatoes, cucumber that actually tastes like cucumber and salty delicious olives. I’ve never understood why the bulk of Greek dishes are slow cooked stews given the heat of the islands – I can’t think of anything worse than having the oven on for hours in the middle of a Greek summer, but the results are delicious. I’m pretty sure we’ve sampled most Greek dishes during our travels, such as stifado, pastitsio, moussaka, kleftiko, not to mention the amazing sea food of the islands and grilled meats such as souvlaki. I love a trip to a Greek bakery to sample a range of delicious honey soaked, walnut covered treats.

This morning we had one of our regular breakfasts of Greek yogurt and honey with chopped nuts. There are a lot of brands of Greek yogurt around but in my opinion there’s nothing like FAGE. It’s so incredibly thick and high in protein so keeps you full until lunchtime.

One of our favourite Greek dishes has to be Gyros. Kebabs in the UK have a bad press – they’re made out to be post-pub, dodgy meat, fat-laden monstrosities, whereas in actual fact a good kebab is really healthy and delicious. The best kebabs have marinated meats, grilled over charcoal, stuffed into a freshly made pitta alongside juicy tomatoes and tzatziki.

I also made a traditional village salad, commonly called a Greek salad to go along side my gyros. I used vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, cucumber, feta, oregano, black olives, all mixed up with some salt and olive oil. The best Greek salad I ever had was on a boat trip on Kefalonia. We moored up the boat and washed the tomatoes in the sea water, roughly hacked them up and mixed them in with the other ingredients in a plastic bucket. It tasted like heaven sat on the hot beach in the sun.

We chose pork tenderloin to make the kebabs and marinaded it in olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion, salt, pepper and oregano before grilling it. I made some tzatziki using FAGE Greek yogurt, garlic, cucumber, lemon juice and paprika.

Unsurprisingly, this was a delicious meal. Mythos tastes as good as I remember. If I closed my eyes, pretended  it wasn’t freezing and dark outside, I could almost be back on the islands…

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