Cultured Palate: Dishes from Greece

What we in North America know as Greek food is a paltry imitation of the rich flavors and textures of food that actually come from Greece. Real Greek food is a celebration of fresh ingredients, flavored with the traditional spices of thyme, oregano, olive oil, and lemon juice.

The Greek culinary tradition goes back centuries – the use of thyme in cooking was even mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey – but never really centralized. That means that each unique area of Greece – all the way from Thrace in the north to Crete in the south – has its own specialties. See how many of these unique dishes you can find on your next trip.

Kolokithokeftedes

This is a popular snack food in Greece, often served on the island of Crete as part of a meze course –  diners are served lots of small dishes of different foods, often to accompany alcohol and a social gathering.

Kolokithokeftedes are made of grated zucchini and feta cheese, two staple ingredients in Greek cuisine. The batter is formed into balls and fried until the outside is crisp and the inside is deliciously creamy. These are traditionally eaten with tzatziki, a popular dipping sauce made out of yogurt with cucumber and garlic.

Image via In the Kitchen with Zoe