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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.

Seafood

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!

Meze

Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Patmos, Greece Pico Bello
9.1 10
Pico Bello
Grikos, 85500 Patmos, Greece

Built in a beautiful, traditional white and blue building, the family-run Pico Bello complex offers accommodation in spacious, bright studios just 50 m from the awarded Grikos beach. The distance from the main port of Patmos in Skala is 3.5 km, while Chora (Patmos town) is at 4 km. The property offers free transfer from/to the port upon request. Patmos island can be reached with a ferry boat from Piraeus (Athens), Lipsi and Leros islands.

Hotel in Pelion, Greece Hotel Votsala
Hotel Votsala
Chorefto, 37001 Pelion, Greece

The seafront Hotel Votsala is located 500 m from the beach in a quiet village of Chorefto in beautiful Pelion region. The village center, shops and restaurants are a 5-minute walk away. Zagora village is 7 km away, while Volos town is at 47 km.

Hotel in Thassos, Greece Diamond Hotel
Diamond Hotel
Limenaria, 64002 Thassos, Greece

Diamond Hotel is located in Limenaria, just a few minutes' walk from the beach. Limenas, the port of Thassos, is 37.4 km away.


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