THE WONDERS OF LOCAL CUISINE, Introduction

Audio File length: 3.02
English / USA Language: English / USA

Hi, my name’s Rick, and I’m your personal guide. Along with MyWoWo, I’d like to welcome you to the wonderful flavors of Athens.

If you want to enjoy an authentic taste of Greece, I suggest you take a seat in one of the city’s many taverns and order some classic mezedakia, an array of tasty starters that will give you an idea of what the local cuisine has to offer.

Let’s start with the sauces: tirocafterì, made with feta, the most famous Greek cheese in the world, flavored with genuine olive oil and chili pepper; tzatziki, fresh and aromatic, prepared with creamy yogurt, cucumber and garlic; taramasalata, fish roe in brine with onion, garlic and lemon juice, or the distinctive melitzanosalata, made with eggplant, all accompanied with some hot, tasty pita, the light, thin Greek bread served with oil and oregano. And don’t forget the famous, mouthwateringly simple Greek salad, horiatiki, with tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, olives and feta cheese.

From these starters, you can move on to moussakà, a baked dish with eggplant, fried potatoes, ragout sauce and béchamel; or something lighter, such as octopus, prepared in a variety of ways: roasted, grilled, with vinegar or stewed with red wine.

In a country surrounded by the sea, you will of course find plenty of fish, mainly grilled, as well as mollusks and shellfish. The real specialty dish in Athens is meat, however.

The most classical dish – and the most economical – is souvlaky, or skewers, or gyros, not to be confused with kebabs! The cooking method is the same, but the type of meat is different: chicken or pork, with the addition of spices.

If you ask for a gyros pita, you’ll be served with a pita bread wrap filled with meat, tomato, French fries, fresh onion, tzatziki, salt and paprika: it’s a meal in itself!  

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love Greek pastries, made with dried nuts and honey: kataifi, baklava, kourabiedes, melomakarona, diples and many more are a triumph of sweetness. You might also like to try the distinctive koulorakia cookies, flavored with cinnamon, bergamot and rose petals.

I suggest you look for one of the rare places that prepare loukoumades, delicious hot fritters served with honey and chopped walnuts – a sublime experience. You can also try them with other sauces, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

An interesting fact: in Athens, and in Greece in general, meals are not divided into starters, first courses and main courses, so don’t be surprised if everything you order arrives together.

What else can I say but…Enjoy!

 

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