Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds
Enjoy Greek Food when you Travel
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 trying new things when you travel.
*contains affiliate links*
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 thought that French ate the most cheese, but not so! The French only eat 54 pounds per year and Greeks eat 68 pounds!
What is special about feta cheese?
Well, to actually 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.
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 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!
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.
So, why is the Turkish cheese 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 than 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 cheesecloth 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!
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!!
Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – Benefits of eating Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great source of all things good like:
** as much as twice as much protein as other yogurts,
**vitamins B6 and B12
**lower in lactose
Greece Food – Sightseeing with Taste Buds – Yemista
Of all the things we ate in Greece, THIS dish was my all time favorite. I ate it at least once a day – no kidding! This dish is THAT good.
Greek Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers
5 ripe tomatoes
5 green peppers
3/4 olive oil
About 1 T uncooked rice per veggie
1 large onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup spearmint, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
grass fed beef
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Brown the meat with garlic and onions in olive oil. Turn heat to low and add mint, parsley, salt, pepper. Stir.
Cut the tops off the peppers and tomatoes (keep the tops) and scoop out the insides. Stand the veggie up in a pan.
Stuff the veggies with one tablespoon rice and then the meat mixture to fill. Add the top of the veggie back like a little hat.
Add 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 cup water to the pan so the veggies are all sitting in this liquid.
Bake till veggies are soft when pierced with a knife.
You can serve this over rice or with toasted bread and feta! In Greece, it was served with french fries.
So much to enjoy about Greece! If your travels take you to Greece you’ll love these posts!
OPA!!! Happy Travels,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist