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Greek cuisine: the art of roasting

Greece ● 24 April 2018
 

If you have booked your accommodation in Greece for amazing vacation, be prepared for a great gastronomic experience thanks to the culinary culture of the Greek cuisine. Meat had always a starring role at Greek feasts for centuries, and you will realise that when you come to Greece and taste the delicious meat Greek dishes, cooked with various ways.

From whole animals grilled on long spits to delectable morsels cooked on small skewers or clay pots, the art of roasting the meat in Greece has a long tradition.

Greek roasting

The residents of Crete, and especially the shepherds have been roasting for centuries using a technique called ofto, which is used until today. The warmth, the hospitality, the wonderful landscape, the captivating flavours, the wine and the local drink tsikoudia create a one of a kind feast. Preparing ofto requires certain skills. The animal is cut into four pieces, passed onto spits and get salted. Large stones are places on the ground to form a square around a pit, and the wood fire is lit in the middle of the pit. The meat is placed on both sides of the flame rather than above it, and the process of roasting takes several hours.

Spit-roasted meat is one of the greatest culinary things you will taste in Greece. It is served only on special occasions, such as Easter, and thus it is considered as a force that unites families. The concept of ovelias, a whole animal, which is roasted on a spit, comes from the antiquity and can be found all over Greece. On the spit, are prepared also other local dishes, such as kontosouvli (chunks of pork and peppers) and kokoretsi (offal wrapped in intestines). This souvlaki-style of cooking is the characteristic of the Greek cuisine, which distinguishes it from other cuisines.

Another way of cooking the meat is gastra, a sealed clay pot or casserole. The gastra is put in a regular oven, a wood oven or in sand beneath a fire. The gastra is designed to cook the meat slowly in a vessel that keeps flavours trapped inside. The meat is stuffed with ingredients, such as herbs, rice, fresh cheeses or eggs and accompanied by vegetables or potatoes.

Ladokolla is another form of sous vide, meaning several layers of baking paper. The meat is cooked in wood oven covered by hot coals. The dish can be made with lamb, goat, beef, pork or a mixture of different meats, seasoned with garlic, thyme or oregano and cheese.

Want more information about the Greek cuisine? Check some tips here!

Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Heraklion, Greece Dimitra Hotel & Apartments
9 10
Dimitra Hotel & Apartments
Kokkini Hani, 71500 Heraklion, Greece

Dimitra Hotel & Apartments is located in the village of Kokkini Hani, 11.7 km from the city centre of Heraklion. Heraklion International Airport is an 11-minute drive away and Heraklion Port is a 20-minute drive away.

Hotel in Evia, Greece Artemis Hotel
Artemis Hotel
8, Ellispontou Str., 34006 Evia, Greece

Artemis Hotel enjoys a great, beachfront location in Amarynthos, close to shops and restaurants. Eretria is 10 km away. The center of Athens is 104 km away.

Appartment in Agistri, Greece Aquarius Village
Aquarius Village
Skala, 18010 Agistri, Greece

The traditional Aquarius Village is located only 10 minutes walk from the main port of Skala, in Agistri, and 8 minutes walk from the beach. This family-run property is located in a quiet area within a short walking distance to the center of Skala with all the bars, restaurants, shops and the summer nightlife. Agistri island can be reached from Aegina or Piraeus port in Athens.


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