In Greece, people like to eat that one or that bit of appetizer before they eat. These can be cheese cubes, but also cucumber or tomato slices, olives, mussels or small fish. Are also typical octopus salad (octopus salad) and Dolmadakia which are rolled grape leaves with rice and spices.
Broad white beans in a spicy vegetable and tomato sauce are also typical. There is also aubergine salad, for which the aubergines are grilled and then pressed through a sieve and processed into a salad. The best-known is probably tsatsiki, the Greek garlic yogurt.
Gyros, Bifteki and other Greek dishes
When meat is on the table in Greece, it is often lamb or sometimes mutton according to globalsciencellc. There is less beef and pork, it has to be imported and is therefore more expensive.
Maybe you know gyros? This is pronounced “Jiros”. In contrast to the Turkish doner kebab, gyros consists of pork and not mutton. It is soaked in olive oil overnight, seasoned with onions, oregano and pepper and then cooked on a grill skewer. Then you put it in a bread called pitta and add onions, tomatoes, herbs and tzatziki.
Bifteki, which are meatballs, are also popular. Should be known and moussaka, a casserole of eggplant, ground beef, potatoes with a white sauce, is the béchamel. There are also souvláki, mutton or pork skewers that are grilled over charcoal. These are just a few examples, even in Greece every region has its own special cuisine.
How about fish
Fish dishes are also typical for Greece. You’d think they’d come straight out of the ocean. Often, however, this is not the case. The fish are often very expensive and are imported into Greece from abroad. Not always, but often or unfortunately more and more often.
Most likely there are fried squid rings, you may know them. Or mussels and scampi. In the restaurant there is something like mixed fish platters to eat.
All cheese or what?
As a cheese, you may be familiar with feta cheese, a soft cheese that can consist of sheep, goat or cow milk and is used for casseroles, pastries or even salads. The Greeks also like to eat delicious Greek olives with cheese.
Incidentally, bread is included with every meal in Greece, even if the meal already consists of potatoes or pasta. In addition to dark farmer’s bread, you can also get white bread.
And the desserts?
Anyone who eats something sweet in Greece has to be prepared for something very sweet. Maybe you know Baklavá? These are sweet pieces of puff pastry that are filled with almonds and nuts and poured with honey. The dish originally comes from Turkey. The loukoumades are also very cute. These are fried dough balls with cinnamon.
Family in Greece
In Greece the family is still very important. Especially in rural areas, grandma and grandpa, parents and children often live in one house. Then there are aunts and uncles, maybe cousins too. The family members help each other. If someone in the family becomes sick, a person from the family comes and supports the sick family member.
In Greece there is no such good pension system as in Germany, for example old age security. So the family often has to step in. Conversely, the grandparents may also help children and grandchildren when they experience financial difficulties. For example, poverty has risen in Greece since the financial crisis.
Poverty in Greece
Since that time there has been a higher number of poor people in Greece. This does not mean that the people in Greece have to starve to death as they do in many African countries. But one job is often not enough to support a whole family. Lots of people need to borrow money. Children especially suffer from this.
The proportion of poor people in Greece has increased steadily since 2012. In 2016, every third resident of the country lived in poverty. You can see people on the streets begging because otherwise they won’t know what to do. Many shops are empty because the shopkeepers can no longer pay their rents. In the end, they had to close their stores.
What is the “evil eye” and what can you do about it?
In Greece, many people still believe in the so-called “evil eye”, especially in rural areas. But what is that supposed to be? So some people think that one person’s gaze can cause harm and suffering to another. This belief is widespread in many countries. We also speak of a superstition, that is, belief in supernatural powers. In Greece you can buy Nazar amulets that are supposed to protect people from this “evil eye”. Nazar comes from Arabic and means “look”. You can see what such an amulet looks like in the photo on the left.