Friends, what is your association with greek cuisine? Let me guess: olives, feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, olive oil, fragrant spices, tomatoes, honey and nuts?
This typical Mediterranean cuisine (that I adore) is filled with the easy dishes consisting of salads, season fruit and vegetables. In short, it’s freedom for ladies and gentlemen – vegans and vegetarians.
We’ve chosen for our one-week vacay quite cheep hotel on the island of Rhodes, municipality Kalithea. That was 10 minutes driving from the charming Rhodes city (medieval architecture and Castle of the Knights prove it). Of course, we didn’t expect to have delicacy or a lot of exotic fruit but we’ve tried different local seasonal food items.
Month May isn’t rich with special variety. In the hotel restaurant (better to say – in the eatery) were a lot of local foodstuffs like pears, apples, strawberry, citrus and divine tomatoes! Yes, tomatoes were tastiness: big pink and sweet. Local salad greens weren’t tasty and juicy. Possibly it’s because of a season.
OLIVES. They ripen in October and are picked till December. This means that you’ll eat up last year’s harvest in May. I prefer medium green Chalkidiki olives. It is better to buy olives in at the local supermarkets like Carrefour or Zeus (it’s in the Kolymbia municipality ). There you can find different variations of olives: dried, with spices, stuffed. The average price of one pack, 350 grams, is 2-2.50 euros.
OLIVE OIL. We consulted with local Greeks – all of them recommend to buy extra virgin oil from Crete island. This sort of oil has dark shade and is very fragrant. We were lucky to buy 5 liters (approx. 1,1 gallon) of such oil only for 20 euros.
For lacto-vegetarians and people, who has traditional diet. Feta cheese and tzatziki sauce (yogurt, cucumber and garlic) you can eat in unlimited servings for breakfast, lunch and a dinner. Quality of dairy products is very high in Greece.
DESSERTS. Greeks were long time under the power of the Ottoman Empire (hi, Suleiman the Magnificent !), so their cuisine was increased with Turkish delight (lokum), baklava and honey-nut sweets. Try all of them and buy as a gift! Dear vegan, we can enjoy only lokum. It is also possible to try local honey.
Puff pastry is very popular in Greece, especially puff pie with soft cheese and spinach.
P.S. Near hotel grew the neglected lemon tree. So,we couldn’t help eating fresh and juicy lemons. What aroma and tasty that lemons had! If you visit Rhodes and also meet alone standing lemon tree, don’t hold you back, eat up the lemon!