Greek Gastronomy

Ελληνική Γαστρονομία: Μια γευστική Οδύσσεια από ελαιόλαδα, λαχταριστές ελιές και πολλά άλλα!

If we consider the position of Greek gastronomy on a global level (ranked 2nd in 2022), we won't be particularly surprised, as we know first-hand the exceptional quality and purity of the goods that compose it. To maintain this reputation and affirm it on every occasion, our gastronomy must be presented in the smartest and most effective ways to our most powerful advertisers: the numerous tourists who visit our country throughout the year!

The best advertisement we can make is to showcase in every dish or traditional food, every precious ingredient generously offered to us by the Greek land and sea! To highlight the uniqueness of flavors and aromas, in a way that will remind the tourist of the beautiful memories they held from their visit to Greece.

Here, we will take a fleeting glimpse at our gastronomic treasure, and you will have the opportunity to taste a range of traditional products with the purest ingredients from the sun-kissed land of Crete. For those abroad who cannot visit Greece or have been here but couldn't take with them the unique imprint of scents and aromas reflecting its eternal gastronomy, don’t worry at all: We will ship to you the aroma of Greece with love and care!

The glorious olive oil

The glorious Greek olive oil

The olive tree's history in Greece predates that of the Greeks, evidenced by the discovery of petrified olive leaves estimated to be 50,000-60,000 years old on Santorini. Food traces from a bowl excavated in Crete’s Gerani Cave, reveal that as early as 4500 BC, the inhabitants of Crete were utilizing olive oil, initially derived from wild olive trees which later on, during the early Minoan period, progressed to organized cultivated varieties. It is thus suggested that Cretans were pioneers in cultivating olive trees, potentially making them the world's first.

Ancient texts and ancient tombs provide further proof of olive production, with Homer referring to the precious oil as "liquid gold" and Hippocrates considering it a "great healer." Legend has it that the goddess Athena bestowed the Athenians with the first-ever olive tree, the Moria Elaia.

The significance of the olive, however, extends beyond mere legend or storytelling, as it intricately weaves into the daily lives of people. Since Homeric times, Greeks have built their homes around olive trees. Beyond being a dietary staple, the oil served as medicine, preservative, lamp fuel, body rub, lubricant, and perfume. It also held significance in witchcraft rituals, religious ceremonies, and even in the care of the deceased.

In prominent olive oil producing regions, such as Crete and the Peloponnese, the olive is more than just a symbol; it holds a cherished place, revered across Greece. Olive oil stands as a source of pride, a trademark, and the primary livelihood for the predominantly agrarian communities there. Beyond a culinary delight, the oil serves as a medicine, a remedy, and an elixir that can transform any dish or salad with a simple drizzle. The careful harvest involves laborers using long poles atop ladders, gently shaking the olives onto protective cloths to prevent bruising. Subsequently, the fruit undergoes grinding with large millstones and a gradual extraction process called malaxation, drop by drop, to obtain the precious oil, which finds its home in sizeable steel tanks to safeguard against oxidization.

These glorious greek terrains, stretching from hills to plains, foster ideal conditions for olive cultivation. Good drainage, constant rejuvenation from favorable winds stirring the soil, proximity to the sea, and a temperate climate make numerous regions of Greece well-suited for olive trees to flourish.

The dominant olive variety is the Koroneiki, renowned for producing robust and slightly bitter oil. Along the eastern coast, the Manaki variety thrives, offering a more balanced yet full-bodied oil. In Laconia, particularly in Sparta and its surroundings, the widespread Athinolia yields a smooth, fruity, and fragrant oil. Each variety boasts its distinctive flavor profile. Typically, the varieties are expertly blended, often with a robust Koroneiki base. When combined with Athinolia, the result is a potent yet fragrant oil, while blending with Manaki achieves a harmonious, bittersweet flavor with a balanced character.

Table Olives & Olive Pastes: A Symphony of Flavors

Greece olive oil

Greek olives, plucked from their picturesque orchards, are nature's gems that embody the essence of the Mediterranean. Bursting with unique flavors and a delightful brininess, greek table olives are a delicious accompaniment to your cheese platters, appetizers, and cocktails.

In the present day, table olives have emerged as a robust sector within Greece's export economy, comparable to the success of the well-known export, feta cheese. The local production predominantly revolves around three types of table olives: the tangy green Halkidiki, the meaty black Kalamon, and the Konsorvoelia variety. Impressively, Greece stands as the world's second-largest exporter of table olives, accounting for 8 percent of the global production in this sector.

Another prominent use of table olives are the olive pastes that harmonize the distinct taste of olives with a medley of ingredients. Known in greek as pasta elias, this Greek olive spread bears resemblance to the Provencal French tapenade. However, unlike its anchovy-inclusive counterpart, this delectable Greek appetizer embraces a vegan composition. The key components comprise black/green olives, garlic, olive oil, and a touch of lemon juice or vinegar for a delightful tang. Some variations of the recipe may incorporate capers and dried herbs like oregano, rosemary, or thyme to enhance its flavor profile and make a perfect complement to your gourmet delights. Spread them on crusty bread, use them as a dip, or embellish your dishes with a touch of Mediterranean charm.

Honey: Ambrosial Nectar of Greece

Honey: Ambrosial Nectar of Greece

For countless millennia, honey and bee products have held a significant place in Greek culture, serving both as sustenance and remedies. Presently, an astonishing array of premium Greek bee products awaits discovery, encompassing raw materials like honey, pollen, royal jelly and honeycomb, as well as refined supplements, foods, and cosmetics derived from these gifts of nature.

From deluxe, gold leaf infused honey to the charmingly "homemade" offerings found at the local street markets from the beekeepers, the availability of these exquisite and highly nutritious products is one of the cherished blessings of life in Greece.

While many Greek products are easily accessible abroad, certain flavors demand to be savored at their origin. Greek yogurt and honey constitute the quintessential breakfast combination and their divine pairing often transcends into delightful desserts. Regrettably, while Greek yogurt has found its place in supermarkets globally, genuine Greek honey remains more elusive. When in Greece, seize the opportunity to indulge in an array of local honeys.

There is an abundant selection of various honey types made by producers across Greece. Seek out organic and pure honey from small producers. It is our aim as a brand to reach out to as many small-scale producers as possible, in order to provide you with the finest pure quality of all our product categories with just a few clicks, so we are constantly seeking new collaborations that can be done in the most effective and sustainable way. In our website you can find some of our top products currently available for shipping.

Marmalades: Heavenly Fruit Preserves

Marmalades: Heavenly Fruit Preserves

In ancient Greece, to ensure a year-round supply of fruits after a bountiful harvest, they turned to fruit preservation techniques. One such method was making melimilon, a precursor to modern marmalade, which involved boiling fruits with wine and preserving them with honey.

Among the popular early marmalades were varieties crafted from peaches, nectarines, figs, and apricots, all abundant fruits in Greece. While nothing compares to the freshness of eating strawberries, mandarins, and figs straight from the source, marmalades prove invaluable when these fruits are out of season or not readily available.

Marmalades offer a way to supplement your fruit intake, and they boast a significant nutritional value, such as high Vitamin C, antioxidant and fiber content and a lower sugar content, compared to conventional jams.

Greek marmalades, crafted from the purest and healthiest raw materials, have gained immense popularity and are now sought after worldwide. They pair perfectly with morning breakfast breads, pancakes, waffles, or delectable toppings for ice cream and can even be utilized in cooking to create sophisticated dishes. Savor the burst of summer's bounty all year round!

Herbs & Spices: Aromatic Euphoria

Herbs & Spices: Aromatic Euphoria

When it comes to transforming the essence of a dish, dried herbs and spices such as oregano, thyme, boukovo chili flakes, dill, and mint play a pivotal role, but their freshness and quality are of utmost importance. Each possesses unique health-enhancing properties and distinct flavors, capable of either enhancing the dish's taste or becoming its shining star. Moreover, many of these herbs can also serve as delightful teas. Notably, oregano and thyme are rich in antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral compounds, rendering them particularly beneficial for the respiratory system, while mint proves to be excellent for aiding digestion.

Awaken your senses with the aromatic euphoria of Greek herbs & spices and elevate your dishes with their soul-soothing magic!

Alcoholic Beverages: Toast to Greek Spirits

If you've ever visited Greece or received a souvenir from the country as an adult, chances are you're acquainted with at least one of Greece's traditional spirits. Ouzo, with its distinctive anise flavor, holds popularity not only among tourists but also among the locals. It may be tempting to stick with ouzo whenever you crave a drink during your time in Greece, regardless of the occasion or season. Other famous Greek spirits include the tsipouro which is a more versatile drink, particularly suitable for the winter. Rakomelo, crafted from raki, honey, and spices, offers a delightful warmth and is perfect for cold days. In contrast, during the summer, local spirits and liqueurs can be mixed into refreshing cocktails, providing a cool respite. Don’t forget to say ‘yamas’, which is the greek word for our toasting!

As for the greek wine, to be fair, a whole new article needs to be dedicated to them, not only for its immense history in our lands and its special high-quality varieties, but also for the true potential of the vineyards, production process and branding, which are still unfairly underrated and require special global attention. We may devote an article in the future, especially when we are able to provide you with some of our favorite varieties from remarkable local wineries. Until then, we’ll repeat here the shortest and most effective marketing sentence that we heard once from a saleswoman of a prominent winery of Nemea: “All Greece’s sunshine in a bottle”.

Alcoholic Beverages: Toast to Greek Spirits

Don’t miss them. Yamas!

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