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 Loukoumades, the Greek Donut

Loukoumades have a long history that dates back to the first Olympic Games. Greeks revered the Gods, and the reward was in the form of “honey tokens,” which were pieces of fried dough dusted with honey. Al-Baghdadi first identified the dish as luqmat al-qdi in the 13th century.

Greek doughnut holes are prepared by deep-frying yeasty dough and drizzling or soaking it in honey. Each moment you bite into one, the sweetness explodes in a syrupy sweet way. These delectable snacks, now routinely offered at Greek restaurants and events around the nation, were created more than 2,000 years ago.

The term “charisoi”, which translates to “charisma” in modern English, was once used to refer to loukoumades. Their more recent name is derived from the Arabic word “luqma,” which means “small bite.” It was prepared by palace chefs in the Ottoman Empire for centuries and affected by the cuisines of other former Ottoman Empire nations in the Caucasus, Middle East, and Balkans. 

Since then, the recipe for loukoumades has been passed down through Turkey, Egypt, Persia, and even Italy. As a result, zeppole and then donuts have spread throughout the world. Therefore, when you order that doughnut for your Facebook timeline, take a moment to consider where these glazed delights come from and that, when you chew into one, you’re also eating into a historical relic.

 

History of Loukoumades

They were one of the original awards given to champions of the Olympic Games, which debuted in 776 B.C., as stated by the ancient Greek poet Callimachus. The first mention of any type of pastry or dessert in literature from around the world is made by Callimachus in his works, where he refers to them as “honey tokens.” Therefore, donut holes and loukoumades are the first desserts documented in human history.

In the tale “The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad” from “One Thousand and One Nights“, Loukoumades is also discussed. During his travels through medieval India, the adventurer and philosopher Ibn Battuta first tasted the meal he would later come to know as Luqaymat al-Qadi at a supper in Multan, where his hosts referred to it as al-Hashimi.

Today’s Olympic competitions may not give out loukoumades, but this pastry is still revered in Greece. You may visit any city in Greece anytime and discover stores selling loukoumades.

 

Visit Greco in Boston, MA Today

Our Loukoumades, which come in various flavors, is undoubtedly our favorite dessert at Greco Truly Greek. As we have mentioned, loukoumades are fried doughnuts coated with cinnamon and honey syrup and served warmly. It may occasionally have walnuts or another topping of your choice. At Greco Truly Greek, we are open to giving you the best Loukoumades you’ve ever come across – visit us today.

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! 

 

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!

Check Out These Fun Facts About Greek Cuisine

We put together a list of facts about Greek cuisine. Keep reading below to learn more about why Greek food is unique and why it is popular around the world! Visit Greco in Boston, MA to try our authentic fresh Greek cuisine.

 

Champions of Olive Oil

Olive oil consistently receives praise for being a star of the Mediterranean diet. Many scientists have proven that olive oil helps to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer if consumed regularly. 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!

 

The Story of Potatoes in Greece

The Greek story of potatoes states that Greece’s first governor, Ioannis Kapodistrias, wanted to introduce potatoes into the beautiful country. Legend has it, he ordered potatoes that were to be given for free, but the Greek communities showed no interest in this exotic crop. He thought of a trick. He ordered potatoes that were to be unloaded in public display and guarded by security. They instructed the guards to turn a blind eye if any of the locals tried stealing the potatoes. The plan was crowned with success. The Greeks saw the potatoes as valuable, and soon began stealing them all – quickly, they fell in love with the new exotic crop.

 

Little Meat, Lots of Vegetables

Greek cuisine can be associated with tender meat dishes, such as lamb skewers and kleftik, and tangy cheeses like our favorite, feta. The rocky terrain and arid climate of Greece made it much easier for sheep and goats rather than cattle, so the most traditional meat and dairy products originated from those animals. For many centuries, pork, poultry, rabbit, and seafood were seen as luxuries and typically only used for a special occasion – or in the old times for the high-class. Vegetables, therefore, were the primary menu options across Greece. With plenty of vegetables growing in the region, the fresh vegetarian dishes are priceless. For most dishes nowadays, meat is a side dish or an extra add-on.

 

East Meets West

Lastly, ss with most famous cuisines, Greek food is full of influences from around the world, but mostly from its neighbor Turkey. Most of Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire for almost 300 years, and as a result the dishes you find in modern Greece you may also find through the Mediterranean. These dishes include stuffed vine leaves, tzatziki, and many more. It is difficult to say where each of these dishes originated, though it seems that most sweets delicacies of the region such as baklava, came from Greece with strong influences from the middle east and Turkey.

 

Visit Greco Truly Greek Today

At Greco Truly Greek in Boston, MA, we have plenty of vegetarian and meat options for you to try. If the winter blues have been getting you down, try something new! Our authentic and fresh Greek cuisine can’t be beaten – not to mention you can just grab and go!

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