Greek food is bound to be better if you eat it in Greece, but that doesn't mean you can't get delicious traditional Greek food in the U.S. If you've been to Greece, then you'll know just how good authentic Greek food can be. But if you haven't, you can still enjoy close to authentic Greek food in reputable local restaurants. Whether you're a foodie wanting to try some traditional Greek eats or an entrepreneur looking for Greek dishes to add to the menu, here are some of the best traditional Greek food that both natives and foreigners love:
1. Olives and olive oil
Greek mythology says that the goddess Athena gifted an olive tree to the city of Athens, symbolizing dedication and reverence. Today, olives and olive oil are a mainstay in Greek cuisine. You will see these ingredients in salads, pasta, stews, and many other dishes in Greek cooking. If you run a Greek restaurant franchise, then you'll know these ingredients make up for a big part of the food costs.
Even if you haven't tried a lot of Greek food before, you've likely heard of moussaka. Variations of this dish are found throughout the Levant, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Traditionally, this dish is made up of potatoes, aubergine, minced lamb, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, which are then topped with bechamel and baked in an oven.
Authentic baklava is a food that you shouldn't miss out on. This quintessential Greek dessert is a type of pastry comprised of crispy phyllo layers, nuts, butter, and sugar. Due to the flaky crust, it will remind you of a croissant, only crunchier and more flavorful.
4. Courgette balls
Courgette balls are flavorful morsels made from courgette (zucchini), feta cheese, and fresh herbs, which are then rolled into breadcrumbs and fried until crispy. The freshness of herbs and the flavor of the cheese all make for an unforgettable experience for your tastebuds.
Choriatiki or most of us refer to as Greek salad, is a dish that Greeks must eat with every meal. Traditional Choriatiki contains olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Choriatiki is usually served without a dressing; it's up to the diner if they want to add some olive oil or vinaigrette to your salad.
Gyros are not only famous in Greece but are well-known all around the world as well. The term 'gyro' refers to the meat that is roasted on a vertical spit, much like shawarma. When the meat is cooked and juicy, it is then sliced and stuffed into pita bread with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, potato chips, and a variety of sauces.
Craving for a big juicy meatball with a Greek twist? Try a generous helping of keftethes. Keftethes is a savory meatball flavored with garlic, onions, parsley, and mint. You can eat it with some tasty basmati rice or a serving of Greek salad.
If you haven't tried authentic Greek food yet, these are just some of the best traditional Greek dishes that you can start with. As a foodie, you will love the unique flavor that Greek cuisine offers. On the other hand, as a business owner, offering these dishes in your menu will woo Greeks and non-Greeks alike.