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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 in Kalambaka, Greece Hotel Kaikis
Hotel Kaikis
146, Trikalon str., 42200 Kalambaka, Greece

Hotel Kaikis is located in the centre of Kalabaka. The town of Trikala is a 20-minute drive away.

Appartment in Agios Nikolaos, Greece The Traditional Homes of Crete
The Traditional Homes of Crete
Mavrikiano, 71202 Agios Nikolaos, Greece

Combining rustic and modern features, The Traditional Homes of Crete are situated in the peaceful village of Mavrikiano, just a 5-minute walk from the center of Elounda and from Elounda Beach. Nikos Kazantzakis International airport in Heraklion is at 70 km. The port in Agios Nikolaos town with a ferry connection to Piraeus, Athens is at 10 km.

Hotel in Kastoria, Greece Keletron Hotel
Keletron Hotel
52, 11th November Str., 52100 Kastoria, Greece

Keletron Hotel is built in a central location in the town of Kastoria, close to many important sights. Vitsi Ski Center is 24 km away. The International Airport of Thessaloniki is 220 km away.


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