I couldn’t do a series of travel posts without including a food one now could I? It just wouldn’t be right! This is meant to be a bit of a guide to Greek food in general, however there are a couple of things that are Santorini-specific, which are really obvious. If you’re heading to Greece on holiday later this year of next summer, here’s some if the digits you have to look forward to…
This is a thick, blended dish oh yellow peas – kind of like hummus texture, but I think it’s meant to be eaten as more of a soup than a dip as its served with a spoon. Personally for me there was a little bit too much to eat it that way, so I had mi e with a little bread, but it’s a yummy and refreshing way to kick off an authentic Greek feast.
Baked cheese is my idea of heaven! It melts into a lovely consistency that isn’t gloopy but makes the salty taste a littleess harsh. Served with local herbs, onion and peppers, this is utterly amazing.
Cheese pies and stuffed vine leaves
Well, more like a mini pasty than a pie, but they make a great snack as part of a meze (a selection of small dishes, a bit like a sharing platter or tapas). If you’ve never had vjne leaves and aren’t heading to Greece soon, the good news is you can pick up a great ready made version in Lidl. The leaves are stuffed with rice and seasoned with oil, and are ridicously moreish.
Souvlaki (soov-lar-kee) and Gyros (jir-oss) are pretty similar and pretty simple to recreate. It’s basically strips of cooked meat (usually chicken, pork or lamb) served with salad, tszatsiki (sat-seek-ee) and pitta. As you can see here, a side of fries is often added when it’s a sit down meal, if not everything is usually wrapped up inside the pitta to enjoy on the go.
Orzo and lamb
This dish does have a formal name, which begins with a P, but I’ll be darned if I can remember or pronounce it! It’s basically slow cooked lamb in parchment paper (which, when adding vegetables, is call kleftico) served on top of Orzo pasta, which is traditionally Greek and looks like risotto rice. The Orzo has been cooked in a sauce made of local herbs and fresh tomato and topped with a little crumbled feta. Not gonna lie, this is pretty much my perfect meal! The weekend we came, I cooked this for my mum and she also loves it.
This is a meat stew with a tomato base served with thin-ish sliced potatoes. It’s quite heart so feels like an odd choice for eating in summer heat, but it’s a really balanced dish that’s yummy and fills you up.
Opa! I made it my mission to get a great Mousakka (moo-sar-kah) as I’ve always liked it, and I managed to find 2 which was a bonus. This is meant to be served warm rather than piping hot, so don’t think there’s something wrong when it arrives at the table.
I heard about this before we went and I was excited to try it! An alternative take on a Greek salad, which I also adore. However, I’d heard it was made with sun-dried tomatoes when it’s actuary cherry, which I’m not quite as keen on. Much like the Greek this is oy made up of a few ingredients: local cream cheese (a variation of goats cheese), tomato, herbs, cucumber and olives, this one also had a little spinach thrown in. I tried this out alongside our wine tasting and just couldn’t finish it, the photo doesn’t show just how massive it was!
I was surprised this was a thing in addition to Orzo, but it’s widely available and great if you’re a pasta fiend like me. In the fresh tomato and herb sauce there’s olives, onion, sun dried tomato and feta swirled into spaghetti. Essentially, Greek salad in a pasta dish. Nom.
The Greek Mac
I had to as this one in for the sheer comedy value! Until we popped into Maccy D’s to grab a bottle of water and use the loo I had no idea this even existed, however once I spotted it I couldn’t NOT order one to try, could I? It ended up being pretty similar to a gyros with beef – the patties are smothered in tszatsiki on salad and wrapped in a pitta, so it still totally counts as traditional Greek fayre.
Whether is a full blown dessert or as a light nibble with a coffee, you have to try Baklava (back-lav-ah). It’s layers of flaky pastry laces with nuts, cinnamon and honey. Dee-lish. Usually they’re bite-sized portions but this massive specimen was served to me one evening, warm and with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side, which I wasnt mad at.
There seems to be somewhere to pick up frozen Yoghurt everywhere (don’t worry; there’s gelato and soft scoop ice cream too) and it presents the perfect opportunity to create a lovely little Insta-food masterpiece. As yummy as this was (we shared large pot of Yoghurt flavour and mango flavour topped with strawberry and coconut) it was charged by weight and ended up costing 10 frickin euros!
So that’s my whistle stop tour of Santorinian /Greek food, I hope this helps you when you visit or are next looking for new recipe ideas, and apologies for making you hungry! This is officially my last Santorini post (sob) coming up soon will be some more UK adventures as well as bringing things around to autumn a little. See you there.
Thanks for reading,