Greek Cuisine: Tradition, Civilization & Culture

One of the most authentic cultural elements of a civilization is gastronomy. The specifics of cuisine taste of a region are often related to the characteristics of a society, and they “reveal” elements of cultural and economic history. At the same time, food and flavor seem to have a strong way of communication. Greeks would say, food is a way of “talking heart-to-heart with someone”.

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The Greek gastronomy has a history of about 4,000 years, with an emphasis on pure, domestically grown products. In fact, Archestratos (330 BC) wrote the first cookbook about Greek cuisine in history. Greek cuisine has four secrets: good fresh ingredients, proper use of herbs and spices, the famous Greek olive oil, and its simplicity.

The moment Greeks gather around the table to enjoy their meal or appetizers (meze) with ouzo, is a time held in reverence. Sharing food, whether at home, restaurant or a tavern is a deeply ingrained social habit; it is a habit that reinforces their social identity. The Greek word symposium is literally translated as  “drinking with companion”. The atmosphere in typical Greek restaurants and taverns is very relaxed, casual and informal. Food preparation, on the other hand, has its own sacred norms. Good amateur cooks are held in high esteem by their social context, and a good wife in Greece means a good cook. It is not surprising  or strange for a good cook to spend days preparing a meal for his/ her family and friends.

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