Greece is known for having one of the tastiest cuisines in the world. Many people who plan on visiting this beautiful European country wonder what is the national dish of Greece and which food they must try while on their vacation. In today’s article, we will introduce you to some popular facts about Greek cuisine and the culinary scene’s main star – moussaka.
Greek Culinary Scene Is Known for the Most Tastiest and Interesting Food
Suppose you’re planning a vacation on Mykonos or another famous island in the Aegean Sea. In that case, you’re probably eager to learn as much as possible about their authentic food and the most popular dishes. Like most Mediterranean countries, Greece is known for tasty meals made from organic ingredients and products grown on local farms.
Their dishes generally include vegetables, olive oil, seafood, meat, cheeses, olives, yogurt, and lots of delicious pastries. Their cuisine typically continues the traditions of Ancient Greeks but also includes some tastes inherited from Ottoman cuisine and influences from the Middle East traditions.
The cuisine is well known for its fresh tastes and is generally thought to be very healthy and nutritious. If you’re visiting Greece and some of their well-known restaurants, there’s not a doubt that you won’t be able to enjoy their meals, because their cuisine has a little bit of something for everyone’s taste.
What Is the National Dish of Greece and the Star of Every Greek Table?
The culinary scene of this beautiful country is very diverse, and plenty of different dishes are considered the nation’s signature meals. However, one specific word keeps outshining all the others for the past centuries and holds the title of being the signature national food of the Greeks.
That delicious and exquisite meal is called moussaka. It is a meal that you will find in almost any taverna you enter, no matter what part of the country you are located in. This unique dish has an extraordinary taste. Greeks consider it their best national dish despite being popular among nearby countries as well.
How Did the Greek Moussaka Build Its Reputation and Became So Popular?
This delicious meal was introduced to Greece’s culinary scene in the early 20th century. Around the 1920s, Nikolaos Tselementes, a famous chef, created the best-known version of moussaka, which many locals immediately loved. Before that, there were plenty of different versions of this popular meal made by other countries in the Middle East and Southeast Europe.
The version made by Tselementes is the favorite meal among Greeks, and there can be no arguments about that. So if you’re looking for some things to do while on your vacation on Mykonos or any other popular spot in this gorgeous Mediterranean country, trying out this meal should be on top of the list.
How Is This Iconic Dish Prepared According to the Traditional Recipe?
Whatever taverna you enter on the coast of the Aegean Sea, you will most likely get the most traditional version of this iconic meal. There are different types of recipes and ways of preparation. You can even find plenty of vegan recipes if you don’t eat meat. However, one is predominant.
The meal itself is not complicated to prepare and can be made in the comfort of your home. Greek dishes are generally simple to prepare, and the same goes for this incredible meal. So if you’re willing to learn more about preparing it, here’s a recipe that could help you.
There Are Plenty of Different Recipes, But This One Is Loved and Used by All Professional Greek Chefs
The recipe for this particular meal is simple and doesn’t require hard-to-find ingredients. It’s made in an oven pan by layering meat and vegetables. After you’re done with layering, pour some rich white bechamel sauce with cheese on top of it and place it in the oven. The ingredients you need for preparing for different layers are:
- The vegetable layer – three potatoes, two zucchinis, 2 eggplants, and some seasoning.
- For the meat layer – onion, garlic, cloves, tomato paste, ground beef, canned tomatoes, seasoning, and some olive oil
- The bechamel sauce – butter, flour, milk, parmesan cheese, egg yolks, and some salt and pepper
There are plenty of variations when it comes to ingredients, and you can even adjust them to your own liking. If you need a little bit more help with learning how to prepare this incredible meal, you can always lean on some videos. Below you can find a video on how to make this dish, step by step.
Where Can You Eat the Best Moussaka on Mykonos?
What Mykonos is quite famous for is good and tasty food. If you plan to travel to this popular party island, you’ll most likely add tasting this authentic meal to your itinerary list as the food you must eat in Mykonos. However, this island has numerous different restaurants and food spots, and it might be hard to decide where to eat.
Plenty of spots compete to make the best version of this authentic meal. However, some places are considered better than others. If you’re wondering what to do while on Mykonos, put tasting moussaka in some of these places on your list:
- Reeza Restaurant,
- Avli Tou Thodori,
- Nikos Gallop,
- Fisherman Giorgos & Marina Taverna.
What to Order With Moussaka?
This meal is considered a main dish in Greece but is often paired with other traditional foods. If you ever find yourself sitting in some local taverna and thinking about what to order as a side dish, there are plenty of good answers.
Typical things you should try eating with moussaka are flatbread and yogurt sauce, a salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, or a Tzatziki salad, Avgolemono soup, and of course, for a sweet finish – authentic baklava.
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