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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 in Argos, Greece Morfeas Hotel
Morfeas Hotel
2, Danaou str., 21200 Argos, Greece

Morfeas Hotel is in a central location in Argos, 14 km away from Mycenae and 12 km away from Nafplio. The property is close to supermarkets, shops and restaurants. The International Airport of Kalamata is 128 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Alma Hotel
6.8 10
Alma Hotel
5, Dorou str., 10432 Athens, Greece

Alma Hotel is located in the centre of Athens, just a 2-minute walk from Omonia Metro Station, offering easy access to Athens Railway Station and Piraeus Port. Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos is 36 km away.

Hotel in Messinia, Greece Francisco Hotel
Francisco Hotel
Agios Andreas, 24010 Messinia, Greece

Francisco Hotel is located in the village of Agios Andreas, Messinia, just a minute's walk from the beach. The town of Koroni is 12 km away. Kalamata International Airport is 35.3 km away.


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