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Greek Cuisine Essay

1612 words - 7 pages

“Greek Cuisine”

There are many things that when combined, make up what we call the Greek cuisine. The mysterious Minoans were among the first residents in Greece and they arrived in 2700 B.C bringing along with them, domesticated grains, sheep, and goats. The Minoans adopted almonds, the nuts of the mastic bush, and the yellow pulses that were being refined by more ancient peoples already in Greece, while finding wild grapes. The wild grapes were used to make wine. The people of Greece also found a bitter berry which they began to cure and press which turned out to be an olive, with its liquid lucre and olive oil basically was their economic foundation of their civilization. The Greeks invented bread. They developed wine like no there did before, they refined fruit and nut trees, goats, sheep, cows, and they raised poultry like chickens and swans. They grew a lot of vegetables and greens. Fish became an important part of their diet, they enhanced dishes using oregano and sage and they invented games of strength and expertise for which victorious athletes won “trophy” which in modern and ancient Greek it means food.
The Greeks brought their culinary alterations to the provinces into which their culture grew and we now call: Italy, France, Spain, the Levant, North Africa, and India. In 146 B.C the Romans took over them. Romans made the thin phyllo pastry dough used to make Spanakopita and sweetened pies. Then the Ottoman conquerors brought in things like rice pilaf. In the 1800’s, exotic fare came from the New World. Things like tomatoes, squash, potatoes, and beans were given a Greek tone. In conventions that hark back to antiquity they go together with savory meats and vegetables. They stuff peppers with things like raisins, mint, and rice, they braise wild game like rabbit. They fold nuts and fruits into sheets of dough and bathe it in syrups of honey or brandy a technique that was passed on from the Byzantine chefs. The deep rooted healthfulness of Greek meals only adds to their appeal of wild garden vegetables, beans, chickpeas, fish, dairy, and not too much meat. Hearty pies and stews made from lamb and the river eel that are abundant in the Epirus.
In the Greek cuisine many concoctions such as breads, salads, dressings, and sauces are flavored with herbs, greens, and spices. The herbs and spices used in this cuisine are oregano, mint, dill, basil, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander. Most flavors work along with olive oil. Other flavors that are used are citrus flavors like lemon which is used a lot with seafood dishes. Most often you will find fresh herbs being used instead of dried herbs in the Greek cuisine. Since the Greek cuisine is more so savory then spicy, you will not find chervil, chili peppers, paprika, saffron, and tarragon used a lot.
Although there is many ways to cook certain types of foods, some Greek cooking methods are as follows: Ladi is Greek for olive oil which...

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