The Mediterranean diet has caught on in recent years, with celebrities and regular folks alike taking a cue from the Greek Isles when it comes to their food choices. Greek food, like the food in almost all nations on the Mediterranean Sea, is well-balanced and offers a number of health benefits. Head to Krasi in Boston for Greek cuisine!
However, even if you know a bit about Mediterranean fare – like the fact that the diet is heavy in olive oil and fresh seafood – there are still some things that may surprise you about visiting the Med (at least in your mind at mealtime!) Here, we’ll discover five fun facts about Greek cuisine.
Olive Oil Reigns Supreme
As noted above, olive oil plays a key role in Mediterranean food – Greek food, in particular. Greeks take great pride in the fact that their ancestors were, in all likelihood, the first people to plant olive trees in the Mediterranean region, including France, Italy, and Spain. Greek cooking utilizes olive oil in just about everything, adding rich flavor to every meal!
Heavy on the Veggies
Greek people, on the whole, eat very little meat and a lot of vegetables. When Greek dishes do include meat, it is typically lamb or seafood, though some dishes also involve rabbit. These meat choices are due to the fact that cattle are historically difficult to raise in the Grecian landscape.
Vegetables, however, can be found in droves and many Greek dishes are heavy on olives, tomatoes, and more.
Food is Part of the Greek Lifestyle
While modern American culture often encourages eating on the go, the Mediterranean lifestyle is more laid back – and families still truly take time to savor their meals. Generally, Greeks eat their primary meal around 2 p.m., with dinner occurring around 9 p.m. or later! This is a lifestyle choice shared with other European nations, particularly Spain, which is famous the world over for its traditional post-lunch siesta.
Many travelers who visit Greece don’t realize that Greek cuisine has a heavy Turkish influence. Since much of Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire for over three centuries – into the 19th century, in fact – a number of staple dishes, such as stuffed grape leaves and tzatziki, were originally developed in Turkey.
While modern Greeks typically throw flowers to celebrate, rather than smashing their dishes, the symbolism of smashing plates is said to have started in ancient times. While nobody knows precisely how this custom started, it is widely believed that it either had to do with keeping evil spirits away or to commemorate the dead who could not be physically present for a feast.
Visit Krasi Today
Next time you’re craving amazing Greek food, join us! We can’t wait to serve you and your loved ones, and help you make wonderful memories around the table that you will cherish for years to come.