5 Popular Greek Desserts to Try This New Year

You may have heard of rice pudding or baklava and not attributed it to Greek desserts, but they are two of the more available options. Although Greek desserts are less commonly known than in other cultures, there are many delicious sweets to choose from. This new year, consider trying one of these five popular Greek desserts.

 

Loukoumades

Loukoumades are a Greek dessert made of fried dough. It is often compared to a donut or funnel cake. The dough comprises flour, yeast, sugar, and water rolled into a small ball and fried in oil. Once the frying is complete, bakers typically top loukoumades with a honey sauce.

Cinnamon and chopped nuts are often an additional topping to Greek loukoumades. Other tasty topping options include chocolate, caramel, and Nutella. These delicious treats are usually found at festivals or celebrations.

 

Portokalopita

Imagine a cake with layers of phyllo dough and custard with a custard filling. This delectable dessert brings varying flavors and textures to create a popular Greek dish. Greeks make the custard of eggs, sugar, and semolina. 

Once baked, the cake is typically soaked in a sweet syrup made from orange juice and sugar. The orange flavor is strong in this dessert!

It’s also good to note that portokalopita is famous for even those that don’t often bake, as this is one dish where you don’t have to be gentle with the phyllo dough. 

 

Kserotigana

As with many Greek desserts, kserotigana features phyllo dough. The phyllo dough is deep-fried in this decadent dish and rolled into mixed nuts and cinnamon sugar. They are served in a delicate spiral shape, drizzled with honey or syrup. 

Kserotigana can be found at nearly any bakery or sweet shop in Greece but is also a common feature at weddings, baptisms, and other special events. Most commonly, kserotigana is associated with Easter.

 

Diples

Diples are a Greek dessert somewhat similar to Kserotigana, especially in preparation. Diples is a phyllo dough pastry that is deep fried and folded. It often includes extra flavors like cinnamon and vanilla. They are served in long spirals with a honey glaze and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  

 

Halvas

If you’re looking for the Greek version of fudge, it’s halvas. Halvas is created with tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds. It also includes nuts, sugar, and spices to make a delicious little sweet. A bit of honey or syrup adds to the sweetness of the dish.

This dessert is firm enough to form blocks, balls, or other shapes and is served as a standard dessert at special events and in cafes. 

FAQ: The Different Types of Greek Meats

Greek cuisine is renowned for its use of flavorful and unique meats. There is something for everyone, from lamb to beef, pork, and chicken! But what do you know about the different types of Greek roots? Read on and discover a world of traditional recipes sure to tantalize your taste buds.

 

Lamb

Lamb is one of the most popular types of meat in Greece and is used in various recipes. Souvlaki skewers, roasted leg of lamb, and pastitsio are all popular dishes that feature this delicious meat. Lamb can also be found in traditional dishes such as moussaka or pasticcio.

 

Seafood

The sea surrounds Greece, so seafood is essential to its cuisine. From classic dishes such as taramosalata (a fish roe dip) and grilled octopus to modern creations like shrimp skewers and fried calamari. Seafood is incredibly versatile and can be found in almost any Greek restaurant.

Beef

Beef also plays a vital role in Greek cuisine. It can be used to make dishes like yiouvetsi (a baked casserole dish) or gyros (a popular food item served with pita bread). Beef is also used in other traditional words such as kokoretsi (stuffed intestines) and pastichio (a pasta bake dish).

 

Pork

Pork has been a staple in Greek cooking for centuries, and it’s no surprise why! This tasty meat can be found in various dishes such as lahmacun (Turkish-style pizza), bifteki (meat patties), and kreatopita (meat pie). Pork is often served alongside potatoes, making it both flavorful and filling. 

 

Chicken

Greek cuisine offers plenty of delicious options when it comes to chicken dishes! Try classic favorites like spetsofai – sausages cooked with onions, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese, and oregano – or tavas – chicken baked with potatoes and vegetables. You can even experiment with modern recipes such as lemon-roasted chicken or grilled kebabs if you want to go beyond the classics.

 

No matter what type of Greek meat you are looking for, there is something to suit every taste. The possibilities are endless, from lamb and beef dishes to pork and chicken recipes!

Cozy Up With These Greek Comfort Foods

As the days grow colder and daylight fades, nothing sounds better than cozying up with some mouth-watering Greek comfort food. After all, what’s more, comforting and homey than a steaming dish of moussaka or a bowl of avgolemono soup? From classic to contemporary, here are five iconic Greek words sure to bring warmth to your winter nights.

 

Moussaka

This layered eggplant dish is the jewel in the crown of Greek cuisine. Combining layers of eggplant, ground beef, vegetables, and a creamy béchamel topping creates an unrivaled flavor experience. No matter where you try it, you will surely be delighted by this comfort meal.

 

Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables)

Another famous Greek comfort food is genista – tomatoes and bell peppers filled with rice and herbs and baked until tender perfection. This tasty dish is surprisingly easy to make yet offers plenty of fragrant aromas from its mix of spices such as oregano, thyme, mint, or basil.

Pasticcio

This hearty pasta bake consists of layers of macaroni smothered in ground beef and tomato sauce, then topped with white béchamel sauce for that extra velvety texture. Za’atar or grated kefalotiri cheese often added on top, adds another layer of flavor, making this casserole one filling meal.

Avgolemono Soup

A cold winter night calls for something warm like Avgolemono soup, a traditional lemony chicken broth served with chunks of chicken breast and short grain rice (orzo). This classic has been around since Ancient Greece due to its simple yet unforgettable taste, which blends sweet lemon juice into a rich, brothy base made from chicken stock and eggs.

 

Bougatsa

The perfect way to end your cozy night is with Bougatsa – a dessert pastry made from phyllo dough rolled up around creamy custard or ricotta cheese filling, sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon on top. This delicious treat can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference, but either way, it will have you wanting more after that first bite. 

Your Guide to Popular Greek food

Greek food has a rich history and is renowned for its variety of dishes, from fresh seafood and sugary pastries to delicate grilled meats and tangy salads. Greece is the southernmost European country, and the mainland and the islands typically enjoy a Mediterranean climate that is excellent for agriculture and viticulture. 

Fish and seafood are a prominent and regular part of the Greek diet because 70% of Greece is made up of islands, and no section of the Greek mainland is more than 90 miles from the sea. The traditional meats for celebrations and holidays are lamb and goat (kid), although there is plenty of fowl, cattle, and pork.

Furthermore, for the past 10,000 years, connectivity to fresh fish has been made possible by its location in the Aegean. Top-quality ingredients, natural herbs, and tightly kept family traditions are the hallmarks of traditional Greek cuisine. 

 

Top Greek Foods

Some of the top Greek food includes: 

 

φασoλάδα (fasoláda)

Among the ingredients are carrots, tomatoes, celery, onion, and white beans.

This is a hearty and incredibly nourishing Greek soup made with fresh veggies and nearby white beans. The beans give the soup an exceptional thickness after they have been perfectly boiled until they are soft. This Greek food is a typical dish in contemporary Greek cooking, enjoyed by many Greek families, particularly religious households, during the Great Lent.

 

γεμιστά (stuffed)

Ingredients include minced pork, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, seasonings, and glutinous rice (optional).

The word γεμιστά suggests “stuffed.” With rice, herbs, and (alternatively) minced meat, tomatoes, peppers, and occasionally even zucchini are stuffed in this classic Greek food. Frequently eaten with baked potatoes, the stuffed veggies are roasted in the oven.

 

Greek salads

Greeks enjoy their meat. However, they also recognize the importance of a balanced diet. Without a substantial, tangy salad, no authentic Greek meal is complete. The “xoriatiki Salata” or “village salad” is a traditional Greek salad. The main ingredients in this popular Greek dish are typically cucumbers, vegetables, feta cheese, onions, oregano, and olive oil. Greece features a wide variety of vegetarian-friendly dishes, while the village salad is typically the default selection.

 

Sweets

The perfect traditional Greek food will conclude with a simplistic dessert to clear the palate. Many are simple, while others are labor-intensive and call for some expertise, mainly when working with meticulous phyllo dough. Each Greek bakery has closely-kept recipes for making sumptuous pastries and traditional Greek delicacies. Desserts are typically offered by weight and presented nicely in cardboard takeout boxes.

 

Here at Greco in Boston, MA, we provide you with the top Greek dishes to give you the utmost satisfaction.

The History of Gyros: Find The Best Here in Boston

The Greek word “gheereezo,” pronounced as “GHEE-ro,” signifies to turn, is the source of the English term “gyro.” It is a rotating tower of thinly sliced meat that can be lamb, hog, beef, or a mixture of those, with more recent versions adding chicken and fish. 

 

The layer is composed of the closely packed stack meld together because it roasts upright, allowing the griller operating the gyro rotisserie to cut off in thin slices, which are then fixed in pita bread wraps with red onions, tomatoes, parsley, Greek yogurt, and occasionally fried potatoes with a dash of paprika or cayenne pepper. Several Greek and Armenian refugees who came to Greece in 1922 brought the gyro as we know it today, present-day Turkey. Most of them were from Smyrna and Constantinople, Istanbul, and Ismir. 

 

According to mythology, Armenians were the greatest gyro masters. Many of the refugees became merchants once they settled in their new nation. They established a few modest businesses, among them the gyro-selling holes in the walls on each street corner. Following the migration trends of the Greeks themselves, gyro began to go west after WWII. As a result, stores started to spring up throughout Europe, the United States, and Australia.

 

The theory mentioned above is relatively simple regarding food transportation. There are various facts regarding the beginning of this very delicious wrap since Greek food is filled with a history far more detailed than a finely spiced or marinated gyro. According to some sources, gyros are the essence of a long and distinguished line of skewered meat feasts. These feasts have their origins in the days of Alexander the Great and his armies, whose soldiers used to roast different cuts of meat on long, sword-like blades across an open fire.

 

Gyros are debatably one of the most well-liked foods among visitors where there are Greeks. This tasty street wrap is now being sold online and in American chains, some of which are owned by Greeks and other establishments. Gyros continue to be a consistent representation of Greek fast food and casual dining both locally and abroad.

 

Gyros today are made by Greeks, Arabs, and Turkish people alike. This delicious street snack is known as ‘doner kebab’ in Turkey and is typically made with lamb or beef. It is also known as shawarma among Arabs and can be made with beef, lamb, goat, or chicken. Gyros, doner kebabs, and shawarma are sometimes served in the Arab world without yogurt but with a thin, delectable layer of seasoned pistachios. 

 

Visit Greco Truly Greek Today

Gyros have come a long way from many countries and parts of history to be present on our tables today. It is liked and eaten in many countries and cultures alike. Visit Greco in one of our locations across Greater Boston, MA, for a delicious treat if you are looking for the best Gyros in town. 

 

Celebrate Labor Day with Greco Catering

Labor Day Weekend is approaching, and what better way to celebrate with parties and cookouts amongst friends and family? To make your weekend party a bit easier, consider ordering catering through Greco in Boston, MA. Deciding to cater your Labor Day Weekend party is a great choice as it takes the pressure of cooking away so you can simply enjoy your time and indulge in food you didn’t have to make!

 

Continue reading this blog to learn about catering options for Labor Day Weekend from Greco Boston.

 

Catering

Make menu planning for your event easy! Cater with Greco Boston for your Labor Day Weekend cookout, party, tailgate, or more. We will serve you with our fresh ingredients and authentic Greek flavors! When catering, there are packages available for you to choose from to fit your event perfectly. Greco Boston offers Alpha and Beta packages which consist of different size meals for each person! When deciding on your catering options, think about how many people, how much food, etc. you will need.

 

Salads

Greco Boston also offers catering salads for you to have at your event! Bring some fresh flavors to your Labor Day Weekend gathering with our delicious Greek-flavored salads. The catering salads can feed up to 12 people, it is important to keep how many guests you’re having in mind when ordering catering! Three salad options to choose from are Horiatiki, Crete, and Santorini. View our catering menu online to learn more!

 

Sides

Everyone loves good side dishes! Greco Boston offers a large portion of sides when ordering catering. The sides we offer are Greco fries, zucchini chips, Greek slaw, and mixed beans. Find the perfect sides to cater to at your Labor Day Weekend event!

 

Sauces

When ordering fresh, delicious Greek food, you of course need mouth-watering homemade sauces! Greco Boston caters our homemade sauces in trays and is served with fresh pita. The homemade sauces available to cater are Tzatziki, spicy feta, and charred eggplant! Indulge in the delicious sauces at your Labor Day Weekend party!

 

Contact Greco Boston

Considering catering for your Labor Day Weekend event? Greco Boston has you covered with our catering options! Contact our team today at one of our three locations to order your catering. You can view our catering menu online at any time to plan ahead or give us a call at (617) 572-3300. We look forward to serving you!

What Kind of Meats Are in Gyros

The most common Greek dish that is served almost everywhere is the Gyro sandwich. This traditional wrap contains strips of meat and gets the name from the first letters in the phrase “gyro pou sto roasted,” which means for roasted meat to turn. 

 

Some of you may have had different varieties of gyros, and many people don’t know that gyros can be made up of different types of meat and fillings. Read below for the five main types of meat that are used to make gyros! 

 

Lamb

Gyro meat initially came from the Turkish kebab, which uses lamb straight off a vertical spit. In this traditional kebab dish, the lamb is seasoned, pressed into a cylinder, and continuously rotated until fully cooked. When the lamb is too lean, layers of fat are sometimes added. Lamb is the most common and traditional meat used in Gyros. 

 

Beef

Beef is one of the most popular types of meat for gyros across the world. Restaurants and fast-casual cafes in England and South America use the gyro technique with beef because it’s similar to lamb and plentiful in most countries. Beef works well in gyros because it naturally has a high-fat content, which if you didn’t notice above is critical in gyro meats. If you’re looking for an entry point for gyros, beef is a great place to start.

 

Pork

Another typical meat to use in gyros is pork. Pork gyros are typically found in regions where there are more pigs than lambs. When making gyros with pork, it’s important that fat trimmings are added to ensure the finished gyro will have the right flavors. 

 

Chicken

Chicken gyros are a relatively new addition in Greece. As skinless chicken contains so little fat, many manufacturers will supplement lamb fat with cooked chicken. Chefs must take care to sear the chicken long enough that it cooks all the way through, as raw chicken carries a greater risk of bacterial contamination. The chicken lacks the popular flavor that many Greek communities enjoy in the lamb gyro. 

 

Mixed Meats

Lastly, and while it technically isn’t a type of meat, blended minced meats can also be used to make gyros in certain locations. All of the previously mentioned types of meats can be combined. Depending on the ratio of meat types, a gyro with this combination can have a distinctive flavor unlike any other.

 

Visit Greco in Boston MA 

With this information, you’ll be able to choose the best type of meat for your gyros. At Greco in Boston, MA, we have plenty of different types of meat for you to choose from for your gyro. Visit our menu and website to learn more, or visit one of our locations to order today! 

 

FAQ: The Different Types of Greek Sauces

Greek food is simple, but it is far from boring. This cuisine is set apart from its competitors due to its artful use of sauces. Greek chefs subtly use spices, and it can be easy to forget that they are even there. But many of them are the foundation of the dish – such as avgolemono sauce, and others are used as dips, such as tzatziki. 

Many Greek dishes have multiple different versions depending on where they are cooked. The island of Santorini is known for its tomato sauces, and Corfu uses tomato sauce due to its proximity to Italy. Using spices, Greek cooks can use sauces in unexpected ways. Here’s a review of some of our favorite sauces used in Greek cooking.

 

Avgolemono

One of the unique sauces in Greek cooking is avgolemono, made from egg and lemon. Greek chicken soup is one of the most common uses. Avgolemono is often used as a sauce in dishes such as dolmades, stuffed grape leaves, and stuffed cabbage. It’s made by beating eggs until they are frothy and then adding broth and lemon juice until it creates a sauce.

 

Tzatziki 

Tzatziki is mainly used as a dip, but it’s also a famous dipping sauce that accompanies meat dishes, crackers, pita, and other meze dishes. It is also most famously known for its place in gyros. In Greece, restaurants often bring homemade tzatziki to your table with bread as an appetizer. This is a prime example of a sauce used as both a dip and a sauce – the variety of Greek foods is genuinely endless.

 

Pepper Paprika

Pepper paprika is a Greek-style sauce made with Florina peppers and smoked paprika. It comes on pitas, salads, or plates – or even just as a dip on the side; you won’t regret it. Many paprika sauce recipes don’t contain ground paprika, but they will add color and flavor to the dish. Paprika sauce is versatile, so you can adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.

 

Visit Greco in Boston MA 

Greco proudly supports and works with the best local farms to offer authentic, genuinely fresh, and truly greek cuisine. With so many different Greek dips and sauces, Greek food can’t be beaten. If you are in the Greater Boston area, visit us at Greco for a truly authentic Greek experience. 

Your Guide to Greek Cuisine This Summer

If you want to try something new this summer, either to cook or eat out, look to explore other cultures and regions! For example, try out Greek cuisine this summer – it is delicious, healthy, and fresh. Here are some of our favorite options for Greek cuisine this summer.

 

Summer Mezze

There’s no better way to experience Greek cuisine than a delicious shareable mezze platter. This is a perfect option for friends and family filled with small bites that burst with flavor. Combining textures, colors, and temperatures is the foundation of making a mezze plate. Typical components of a Greek mezze plate consist of spreads, vegetables, cheese, and other small bites – imagine a Greek take on a charcuterie board. 

 

This summer, try spicing up the mezze platter with fresh vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers with Greek Kalamata olives for those traditional flavors. Add some marinated eggplant and feta cheese, and you’ll have the perfect Greek platter! If you don’t feel like preparing it yourself, explore our side dish options at Greco Truly Greek here in Boston, MA! We do catering, takeout, and more. 

 

Traditional Greek Seafood and Meats

Greece is well-known for its seafood due to its proximity to the ocean. Greek cuisine relies on locally sourced, fresh seafood. If you visit Greece, you will find plenty of options such as shrimp, octopus, fish, and shellfish on almost every restaurant menu. It is a big part of the cuisine year-round, especially in the summer months. Calamari is a fan favorite in Greek cuisine that has become popular worldwide and is typically served with lemon and fresh parsley. Simple Greek seafood dishes include Bourdeto, and Astakomakaronada is a pasta dish filled with lobster meat and will likely remind you of Italian dinners with a Greek flair.

 

If you prefer traditional meats over seafood, Greece has plenty of dishes with fresh meats, including chicken, beef, pork, and more. Greek meatballs made with feta cheese are one of the most common dishes. You’ve probably heard of Gyros, which come with various meats, including lamb and pork. Souvlaki is also a fan favorite for Greek cuisine lovers. Consider trying beef and lamb souvlaki at your next dinner party – or order Gyros catering from Greco! 

 

Greek Desserts

Lastly, finish off your summer Greek cuisine list with delicious Greek desserts. Most people are familiar with baklava, a phyllo pastry with pistachios and honey. There are lots of other Greek desserts, not just the favorite baklava. Kataifi is similar to baklava; it adds almonds instead of the traditional pistachios. Almond lovers will also love the conventional shortbread cookies, kourabiethes.

 

Visit Greco Truly Greek This Summer

With a plethora of options for Greek cuisine, fill your summer with fresh seafood, locally-sourced vegetables, and Greek herbs if you have a busy schedule or would prefer the professionals to visit Greco Truly Greek at one of our locations across Boston, MA. Even if you aren’t in Greece, you can still get your food pretty close by coming to Greco! 

History of Gyros and Where To Find Them in Boston, MA

When you first think of Greek food, Gyros are typically one of the foods that will come to mind. Once you eat your first gyro, one will not be enough. Have you ever wondered what the history of gyros actually is, and where they originate from? Many other cultures have a similar type of sandwich, so what makes a Gyro different? 

 

What is a Gyro?

The name “Gyro” itself comes from a Greek word meaning “round,” due to the round shape of the rotisserie the meat comes from. The slabs of meat, anything from beef, pork, lamb, or chicken, are seasoned and wrapped around a spit. The meat slowly cooks while rotating, and it is then sliced and placed into the sandwich. Traditional gyros include meat, tzatziki, chopped onion, chopped tomato, and sometimes even fries. These ingredients are all encased in a round of pita bread.

 

There are plenty of different variations out there, the uniqueness of Greek Gyros includes fries – however, these can be optional. In Athens, there is a version of this sandwich known as “Kalamaki.” All the elements of the sandwich are the same except the sliced meat is replaced with souvlaki.

 

Where can you get Gyros in Boston, MA? 

In Boston, MA, we are far away from the authentic Greek street foods that offer fresh gyros wherever you turn. However, we have a few hidden gems that may offer you a great escape right here in Boston. Here are some of our favorites in the city: 

 

Committee: This contemporary Greek restaurant is located directly at the Seaport. Cool crowds don’t just come for the food, with delicious gyros and spanakopita “grilled cheese” with feta and kasseri. They also come for the craft Greek cocktails, a kicky bunch with unique names that will always have you guessing. Visit us today to take a dive into Greece. 

 

Greco Truly Greek: There’s the American version of Greek food, then there’s the true blue GRECO experience. Indulge in our classic gyros with your choice of fillings and sauces. Add a delicious side of Greek salad or zucchini crisps. And finish off your meal with legendary loukoumades. At our modern eatery, you’ll experience authentic street fare, made with Greek love. Take a step off of the Boston, MA streets into a Greek experience. 

 

Visit Greco Truly Greek Today

Greco Truly Greek has a variety of different locations throughout the city, offering authentic Greek street fare made with fresh ingredients. We may not be around the corner from the beautiful country of Greece, but you can definitely get a good taste of the experience right here at Greco in Boston, MA. Visit us today!

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