Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds

Food can be a wonderful part of any vacation! Not all sightseeing is done with your eyes!!  Try new things! Explore with your taste buds.

If you are traveling with the kids, it is a great idea to start early! Try to find some examples of what you’ll encounter on your trip. Giving your kids a hint at what to expect they’ll be more open to try new things when you travel.

Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds

boat in the water off Greek island, Greece food, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – Feta cheese

Cheese has been around since the time of Homer and his epic poems, The Illiad and The Odyssey and Greeks eat more cheese per person per year than anyone else on EARTH!

Of the cheese that Greeks eat….70% of it is the feta type. Are you surprised at that? I sure was. I guessed that French ate the most, but not so! The French eat 54 pounds per year and Greeks eat 68 pounds!

What is special about feta cheese? Well, to be called FETA, the cheese has to be made in certain parts of Greece. Otherwise it is called ‘white cheese’. Feta has to include 30% goat milk in the sheep’s milk mixture. The cheese is stored in brine and depending upon the age of the cheese it can be creamy or crumbly dry. You’ll find it as large slabs on salad.

You can try it at home before you go! Let the kids feel suspicious about a ‘new’ cheese at home without any pressure. While there are many, many varieties of feta – each with a different salt level, different types of milk, different region of grass eaten by the animals who gave the milk, and length of aging.

I have it on good authority, from a dear Greek friend, that Dodoni Greek Feta cheese from the  is one of the BEST. Order here through Amazon and have it shipped for a wonderful present! Forget giving something that will need dusting. Everyone loves cheese!

Cheese that is the type feta but doesn’t come from the official feta producing areas of Greece must be called ‘white cheese’. It will taste different for a lot of reasons I’m sure, but also because of the grass the animals eat! You can order a white cheese and taste the difference.

Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – Greek Yogurt

There has been a LOT of ‘greek’ yogurt in the news and you can find lots of ‘greek’ yogurt on the shelves in the stores. BUT, is that yogurt really greek?

For example….Chobani, which is a super popular Greek yogurt is actually….Turkish. Go figure. The owner and creator of Chobani grew up in Turkey on this yogurt. When he came to the US and found the yogurt to be thin and runny, he recreated the yogurt of his youth and named it Chobani after the Turkish word ‘coban’ which is the Turkish word for shepherd. Why is it called Greek? The owner said he thought ‘Greek’ yogurt would sell better than ‘Turkish’ yogurt. Considering Hamdi Ulukaya is now worth 1.92 BILLION $$, I guess he is on to something.

Still Chobani yogurt is similar in style to Greek and is really tasty.

Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – What makes Greek yogurt Greek?

What makes Greek yogurt ‘greek’? The yogurt is strained of the extra whey, extra liquids, and some minerals so it is thicker, creamier, and higher in protein that the US yogurt.  It is also has a tarter taste. “The acidity makes it easier for your body to absorb other nutrients,” says Healthline. It makes a great substitute for ice-cream, too, for those trying to cut back.

Greek yogurt has less lactose (which makes some tummies unhappy) because a lot of the lactose is in the whey which gets strained away. You can make your own Greek style yogurt by putting regular yogurt in cheese cloth over a glass for a few hours to drain off the whey.

If you are really daring you can make your own greek style yogurt from scratch! I like the recipe for Easy Homemade Greek Yogurt from  The Daring Gourmet. Get the kids involved!! You’ll need a few things for this recipe like…

An instant read thermometer because milk must be heated to 180 degrees.

A slow cooker makes Homemade Greek Yogurt an easy and fun project!

Read about Greek mythology and have fun while the yogurt cooks! See the detailed

reading list of books about Greece! 

Santorini, Books on Greece, www.theeducationaltourist.com

 

In Greece, yogurt is most often used in the tangy form for a dip like tzatziki. It is tart and crisp! Give it a try before you go to wake up those sleeping taste buds! It makes a great dipping sauce for veggies and we all need to eat more veggies, right?

Recipe for Tzatziki Sauce

2 – 8 ounces containers of plain Greek yogurt

2 cucumbers – peeled, seeded and diced

2 Tablespoons olive oil (For more information on Greek olive oil  READ HERE.)

1/2 lemon, juiced

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill

3 cloves garlic, peeled

Toss all in a blender and process till combined. Let chill for an hour for best results. Dive in!!

 Total by FAGE

Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – Benefits of eating Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great source of all things good like:

**calcium

**potassium

** as much as twice as much protein as other yogurts,

**zinc

**vitamins B6 and B12

**probiotic cultures

**lower in lactose

So much to enjoy about Greece! If your travels take you to Greece you’ll love these posts!

Read about Greece before you go – books for the kids’ and cliff notes for the rest of us!

Get ready for Greece – olive oil, tea, and more! 

The Educational Tourist and kids in Turkey, Travel Activities for KIDS using paper, www.theeducationaltourist.com

 

OPA!!! Happy Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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13 Responses

  1. Sandeep says:

    Great article, Natalie. Food can certainly be a wonderful part of any vacation and Not all sightseeing is done with your eyes. Trying new things and Exploring with your taste buds is really important. Also, If you are traveling with the kids, it is a great idea to start early! Feta cheese is a new discovery for me and I’ll definitely check it out.

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