It's been well over two decades since my first and only trip to Greece, but I can still remember with great pleasure the delights of the few dishes I actually tried during my fortnight traveling thorugh the Peloponese. Souvlaki pita, spit-roasted meat served with onions & tomato, tzatziki sauce and french fries in a fat, grilled pita bread, quickly became my favorite. It was delicious and cheap. My travelling companion and I were on an ill-thought competition for whom could spend the least amount of money in our trip, so we seldom ate anything but fast food - though I remember with particular fondness a dish of spaghetti with olive oil, eaten at a restaurant by the bus stop in Delphi, which achieved sublimeness in its simplicity. I do regret not feasting in more elaborate authentic dishes.
Be that as it may, I've been lucky enough to get a healthy dosis of exposure to Greek food in America. Not only do we have our good share of church-based Greek festivals, where church-going ladies regale visitors with their own homemade delights, but one of my best friends is actually of Greek heritage. As Greek is one of the great cuisines of the world, I consider myself quite lucky.
My exploration into cooking Greek food was not as successful as my solely gustatory adventures, but it was still fun. I particularly enjoyed making the pastitsio, which I recall eating in Egypt. I couldn't match the lemon chicken I often eat at Greek festivals or restaurants, but it just means I must keep trying. I will soon visit Greece again, when I cook Greek Jewish food, and perhaps I'll have better luck then.
Greece's version of lasagna
- Kota Riganati
- Kotopoulo Skorthato
Lemon Garlic Chicken & Potatoes