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What is meze, the best the Greek cuisine has to offer

Greece ● 10 October 2018
 

A great excuse for meeting friends, going out for a meze also means experimenting with exciting tastes and flavours. Greeks associate the meze concept with carefree entertainment with good friends around a table for several hours to enjoy alcohol and small dishes with distinct aromas.


There are mezedes for tsipouro, ouzo, wine or beer. The philosophy of meze is the exact opposite of a meal, where everyone orders their own food. When you eat mezedes with your friends, there are no pauses between the dishes and no main dishes or appetizers. The riutal of mezedes is to sit with your friends, discuss, laugh and eat small quantity of food all together.


Salted fish, pickled vegetables, salad, potatoes, roasted cheeses, meat in tomato-sauce or melted cheese, these are some of the Greek mezedes, where each plate is different that the other. 

In the islands of northern Aegean, the main drink is ouzo, and it comes with olives, spicy cheese, rusks, grilled vegetables, courgette blossoms, cherry plums, sardines and fennel fritters. In the Cyclades, raki (aka tsipouro) is served with rusks with tomato and white cheese, sun-dried fish fillets, smoked pork, baby artichokes, fava, tomato fritters, octopus with wine and local sausages. In northern Greece, the favourite drink is anice-flavoured tsipouro served with smoked mussels, aubergine salad, grey mullet, tomato-baked shrimps, pickles, Florina peppers, fried cheeses and green peppers.


In the Dodecanese islands, the drink here is usually ouzo and tsipouro, and most mezedes come from the sea. Sea urchins cooked in sea water, grilled octopus, little shrimps, whitebait pie and fried anemones are among the most popular dishes. Crete is renowned for raki, and the best raki mezedes include crushed olives, dakos salad, cured apaki pork, small pies stuffed with wild greens, snails cooked in tomato sauce or stuffed vine leaves. 

In fact, mezedes is a Greek custom that is not the same thing with Italian antipasti or Spanish tapas. In no other country, a meal starts and ends with meze in such a vast variety of flavours and aromas. Everywhere else the idea is to serve an appetizer before the main dish. The concept of meze comes from Asia, but there the dishes are never accompanied by alcohol due to religious reasons. Thus, you should visit Greece in order to understand this happy and delicious ritual!


Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Athens, Greece Cybele Guest Accommodation
Cybele Guest Accommodation
49, Aharnon str., Kifissia, 14561 Athens, Greece

Cybele Guest Accommodation is located in Kifissia, just a 15-minute walk from Kifissia Metro Station. Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 30 km away. #

Hotel in Delphi, Greece Nidimos Hotel
Nidimos Hotel
10, Dimou Fragkou Str., 33054 Delphi, Greece

Nidimos Hotel is built in an excellent location in the village of Delphi, just 1.7 km from the Archaeological site and 1.2 km from the Archaeological Museum. The cosmopolitan town of Arachova is a 15-minute drive away.

Hotel & Appartment in Kyparissia, Greece Irida Beach Resort Suites
Irida Beach Resort Suites
Kalo Nero Beach, 24500 Kyparissia, Greece

Located in front of the long, sandy beach, Irida Beach Resort Suites is an ideal place to spend your holidays in a quiet location in south western Peloponnese in beautiful Messinia region. Kalo Nero village is at 700 m, while Kyparissia town is 7.5 km away. The famous archeological site of Ancient Olympia is 50 km away from the hotel. Kalamata International Airport is at 60 km.


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