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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

Hostel in Thessaloniki, Greece Arabas Studios
Arabas Studios
28, Sahtouri Str., 54632 Thessaloniki, Greece

Being located in the historic part of Thessaloniki, so called Old or Upper Town (Ano Poli), Arabas hostel is an ideal place for backpackers, groups or individual travelers looking for budget and quality accommodation in a great location. The center of the bustling city of Thessaloniki can be reached within 15 minutes on foot. The train station is at 1.5 km, while the Thessaloniki Airport Makedonia is at 20 km. Many shops, traditional taverns, bars and the historic monuments located in the center of the town can be reached within short walking distance.

Appartment in Fourni, Greece Bilios Apartments
Bilios Apartments
Fourni , 83400 Fourni, Greece

Bilios Apartments is located in Fourni, just a 5-minute walk from the beach. Fourni Port is an 8-minute walk away.

Hotel in Chalkidiki, Greece Summer Dream Hotel
Summer Dream Hotel
Polychrono, 63085 Chalkidiki, Greece

Summer Dream Hotel is located just a 3-minute walk from the sandy beach in the popular summer resort of Polychrono. Thessaloniki Airport is 87 km away and the lively center of Thessaloniki is at 92 km.


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