Greek cuisine – the knowledge of centuries

Greek cui­sine has a long tra­di­tion and its fla­vors change with the sea­son and its ge­og­ra­phy. Greek cook­ery, his­tor­i­cally a fore­run­ner of West­ern cui­sine, spread its culi­nary in­flu­ence – via an­cient Rome – through­out Eu­rope and be­yond. It has in­flu­ences from the dif­fer­ent peo­ple’s ethnic cui­sines, the Greeks have in­ter­acted with over the cen­turies, as ev­i­denced by sev­eral types of sweets and cooked foods.

greek food -

Greek food

It was Arches­tratos in 320 B.C. who wrote the first cook­book in his­tory. Greece has a culi­nary tra­di­tion of some 4,000 years. Greek cui­sine was then char­ac­ter­ized by its fru­gal­ity and was founded on the “Mediter­ranean triad”: wheat, olive oil, and wine, with meat being rarely eaten and fish being more com­mon.

Wine & Olive oil in Greece is a 4500 years old story!

Red wine -

Red wine

This trend in Greek diet con­tin­ued in Roman and Ot­toman times and changed only fairly re­cently when tech­no­log­i­cal progress has made meat more avail­able. Wine and olive oil have al­ways been a cen­tral part of it and the spread of grapes and olive trees in the Mediter­ranean and fur­ther afield is cor­re­lated with Greek col­o­niza­tion.

Olive oil -

Olive oil the homeric “liquid gold”

The Byzan­tine cui­sine was sim­i­lar to the clas­si­cal cui­sine in­clud­ing how­ever new in­gre­di­ents that were not avail­able be­fore, like caviar, nut­meg lemon and basil, with fish con­tin­u­ing to be an in­te­gral part of the diet. Culi­nary ad­vice was in­flu­enced by the the­ory of hu­mors, first put forth by the an­cient Greek doc­tor Claudius Aelius Galenus. Byzan­tine cui­sine ben­e­fited from Con­stantino­ple’s po­si­tion as a global hub of the spice trade.

An excellent video about greek food from youtube


This post is republished under license from, your guide for Delphi, the Navel of the Earth

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