Flavours of Greece > Entertaining Greek style
In Greece, it’s not uncommon for aperitifs to be served at 8 or 9 in the evening. If you live in Athens, sitting down to dinner in a restaurant at ten o’clock is normal. Things are different in the islands, however, where people work the land and fish the sea – there they have to get up early to set their nets!
Everything starts with a glass of ouzo, an anise-flavoured aperitif that is mixed with water. It quenches the thirst and stimulates the appetite. Greeks can go through an entire meal drinking ouzo diluted with water.
A Greek meal is a blend of frugality and abundance. It includes the famous egg and lemon soup, mezes (hors d’oeuvre served in small dishes with good country bread), the famous Kalamata olives, salads, fried and stuffed vegetables, traditional tzatziki, stuffed vine leaves, cheese (served at the beginning of the meal), hot flaky pastries, and copious plates of grilled meats or fish. On the other hand, Greeks prefer to end most meals with a piece of cheese and save sweets for special occasions or as afternoon snacks.
A carafe of wine on the table (Greeks prefer it to bottled wine) and Greek coffee at the end of the meal are traditional. The table is convivial and unpretentious, but rich with products from the land.
Hints & Tips