Athens Street Food: The Culinary Revolution in Greece
Residents of Greece prefer to drink strong black coffee. Not a single morning of a real Hellenic can do without a cup of a fragrant drink, and to it – kuluri or boogets. Do not know the original Greek dishes? Get to know the Greeks’ favorite street food – the hot dogs we know and new interesting goodies.
Interested in gastrotourism? Read about the delicacies of other countries here!
Have you ever wondered what distinguishing features characterize the culinary art of Greece? If you look at the nearest grocery store in Athens, the traveler will be greeted by a variegated variety of products. Numerous fruits, olives, dried strips of meat, raisins and nuts in all kinds of variations – hazelnuts, pistachios, roasted peanuts, salted almonds and more are waiting for the buyer on the shelves.
But the main ingredient in the Greek diet is olive oil.
According to legend, the gods fought for patronage over the city-polis. Poseidon, the lord of the seas, gave the Greeks a horse, and Athena, the goddess of wisdom – an olive tree. The goddess won, and the Greek capital is not in vain bears her name – the gift was so useful.
Greeks add this product to almost all dishes. After all, olive oil is not only healthy, but also tasty. Freshly baked flavored bread and butter is a simple snack between meals.
The product of the first cold pressing is very popular. For salads and grilled fish, agourelaio, a bitter product from unripe olives, is often used. It is this oil that makes Greek dishes so recognizable.
The second most popular product in Greek cuisine is honey. It is of three types: pine, thyme and flower. Thyme is considered the most expensive: the grass blooms for only two weeks in July, so bees do not always have time to collect enough pollen and nectar. The Greeks use honey constantly, instead of sugar, and also as a sweetener for yogurt.
How to start the perfect morning in Athens
For breakfast, try the traditional Greek Lamb cake. It is cooked with custard, but there are also recipes with minced meat, cheese and spinach. Bougatsa Thessaloniki (see on the map) – here you can taste a dish created according to the classic recipe and drink real Greek coffee.
Thessaloniki gave Greece another landmark dish. These are baguli kuluri. Real Athens street food worth one dollar. Bagels are sold from the earliest morning, becoming a favorite snack for late revelers.
In March last year, a new institution Oven Sesame was opened, where they began to experiment with traditional delicacies. Here you can taste kuluri with fillings from cheeses, salads and even ice cream.
True, the traditional dish now more closely resembles simple sandwiches. Angelos Rentulas, editor of the popular gastronomic publication, explains the new trends in Greek street food culture. Noting that street food was not always of a high standard, he believes that low cost stimulates the development of this market share.
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Going back to the classics
When you think about street food, the hot dog comes to mind first of all. This is a truly international dish. Try creative hot dogs at Chef and the Dog. Here, low prices and a wide selection of dishes – German, Japanese Katsu, Korean, Mexican and even buns with lobster meat. They constitute the main competition for kuluri.
Kyoftes (keftes) is the Greek equivalent of falafel, the local favorite street food and main dish for the Athenians. It all started with the use of the “old grandmother’s recipe of 1904”, which reminded the Greeks of their own migration from the Middle East 100 years ago.
The institution has become so popular that now the owners are going to open a full-scale restaurant. They will offer a wide selection of smirniot dishes such as molassia (Burek pastries with cheese honey and sesame seeds), aplosi (eggplant with cheese and tomato), and, of course, meatballs.
Some street food dishes have revived again. Souvlaki (grilled meat) regained popularity. Try the most delicious kebabs in Costas. This is a family-run establishment where visitors also order takeaway dishes. Delicious fresh pita bread and sweet tomato sauce perfectly complement the taste of meat.