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Things we love about Greece: 2. the FOOD

by Véronique and Mike

27 May 2015 • You probably already guessed it. We just cannot get enough of it. For those who know me a bit, they know that I love pure, healthy food with mostly veggies and sometimes fish. This is a dream destination for somebody like me but also Mike loves it, especially the tzatziki and the octopus.

Every meal we found ourselves ordering way too much food.  Every time there were so many gorgeous options on the menu that we always ordered more than one appetizer before attacking the main course. 

TzatzikiDinner with George in the Agkyrovoli tou Sotiri restaurantFava

We discovered fava – made of yellow split peas and almost ordered it at every occasion. But also okra (green vegetable) prepared with tomato sauce and olive oil. Olive oil! They use it for all their preparations and it is delicious. We tasted yummie homemade dolmades (rice and herbs wrapped in wine leaves). We discovered the difference between squid or calamari (the latter has long tentacles), cuttlefish (flat head), and octopus (eight tentacles and a round head) and tried different versions of it (fried, cold, grilled)… 

At the Katina Fish Tavern in Oia we saw the fresh fish arrive, the chef approved the load and in the evening we could go in the kitchen and make our choice. The chosen fish was then grilled in the wood oven outside. 

Catch of the day

At home we always have halloumi cheese in our fridge. Nevertheless it tastes so much better when having it in Greece. Grilled, on top of a salad. In Ios we ate one evening at Lord Byron. The Greek chef and his American wife welcome their guests in a cosy, bric-à-brac interior. Next to tourists it seems to be the get together place for expats. The kitchen is inspired by their many travels across the globe.  We enjoyed the beet humus, feta fondue, avocado with tarasamalata (made from fish roe) and our halloumi salad. The portions are large so don’t do like us and order too much.

Halloumi saladTaramaBeetroot hummusfeta fondue

Another Greek cheese we like is Manouri, made from sheep or goat cheese. In Oia we tasted a dish with Manouri covered in local honey and nuts, in the Pelekanos restaurant. One of the best places we ate with a very friendly service and a beautiful view on the caldera.

Mike – our coffee lover - often went for a Frappé, made in a shaker with cold instant coffee and sugar. It is very popular with the Greeks and tourists. 

A "frappé"

We loved the Donkey beers from the Santorini Brewing company. An American, a Serb, a Greek and an Austrian got together and created this business. The beers are unpasteurized, preservative free and yum!

We are wine lovers and the Santorini wine did not disappoint us. The vines are kept low to the ground and are forced to grow in round baskets with the grapes facing toward the inside of the ring. This way the leaves will protect the grapes from the heat and the Aegean wind. We also tried some of the famous sweet Santorini wini Vin Santo, perfect to accompany a dessert.

In Greece you got to have at least once ouzo with its typical anise taste as an aperitif. 

Every single time we ordered too much food and did not have room for dessert. In Greece they often bring you a small dessert amuse anyway. So we got to taste Halvas with ice cream & orange and baklava.

The only possible problem I can find with Greek food is that it is impossible to find those great tastes out of Greece. On the other hand reason more to plan a new trip once again to one of our favourite countries. 

Lunch in Santorini

Text: Véronique

Photos: Mike