Tsipouro, Greek meze’s perfect companion

Photo By tsipouro.info
Tsipouro (τσίπουρο) is a strong, crystal clear, distilled spirit, an authentic Greek product, made from high quality grapes. It is served in short glasses with or without ice, to a group of friends, while having Greek meze (μεζές). It brings togetherness, cheerfulness and hospitality.
Photo By thecookbook

Tsipouro is produced in many areas in Greece with different names such as tsikoudia or raki in Crete. In certain regions aromatic seeds of anise are added in the still for flavored taste, completely different to the pure and plain one. If you haven’t tried tsipouro before, try both of them to see which one you prefer most. 

It is said that tsipouro made its appearance in the 14th centrury and was produced by the monks in Mount Athos. Since then, apart from its main use as a spirit, it has been used as a remedy or medicine. Keep some portion of tsipouro on the tooth that aches to numb the area and take the pain away temporarily. Rub the area on your body where you feel muscle pain to take the pain away. Or drink hot tsipouro with honey (also known as rakomelo) to relieve your sore throat. Read more...

Submarine desserts, the ideal dessert for a hot summer

Submarine dessert (ypovrichio) is a traditional Greek sweet spoon served in a glass of iced water. Once dipped into water it gets softer and easier to eat it. You lick it slowly and then you leave the spoon in the water for a little while, and lick it again, leave the spoon in the water and so on. Once finished you drink the water in the glass. The most popular flavours are the vanilla submarine and mastic (Chios Mastiha) submarine. These delicious sweet spoons are also sold online.  Tip: Dip a spoon of Submarine dessert in ouzo for an ultimate experience

Aegina pistachios variety is considered the best in the world

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Pistachio is a nut, delicious and with high nutritional value that comes from the pistachio tree. They are mainly found in Asia, America and the Mediterranean countries. There is one variety of pistachios in Greece that grows on the island of Aegina in Greece, named kilarati, which is considered the best variety in the world. The first pistachio tree in Greece made its appearance in Aegina in the late years of the 19th centuries and has been a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) product since 1996.  
Photo By funkycook
  The island’s dry climate, it’s poor soil composition and the proximity to the sea, give pistachios trees excellent conditions to flourish and to produce pistachio nuts  with extraordinary taste and fine quality.  Many European countries import large quantities of the Aegina pistachio variety which has boosted the local economy.   
Photo By agiaparaskevi-guide
Aegina’s pistachios are widely used in Greek cuisine mainly in desserts such as halva. It can also be cooked as a sweet spoon, if prepared fresh, still with its outer skin on.  You can buy Aegina’s pistachios from Yolenis.com website   Tip: If you visit the island in September, after the harvesting, do not miss the Pistachio Festival in Aegina with loads of events and happenings.

Zea or Zeia , the main grain of the Ancient Greeks’ diet

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One of ancient Greeks’ main diet ingredients was Zea flour (Triticum Dicoccum is the scientific name). They wouldn’t eat food containing wheat. They used wheat as animals’ food. The grain of Zea is probably the oldest in the world.
Photo By bachari

It looks similar to wheat’s grain, but its nutrition facts differ significantly. Zea flour (other names Emmer, Zeia and Spelt) is high in fiber, minerals and protein. Its products are considered to be more nutritious and palatable. Sometimes is confused with the German Dinkel grain. 
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Zea is two times richer in dietary fiber than wheat, two times richer in protein with a high amount of vitamins A, B, C and E. It is also high in magnesium and very low in gluten.
Until about 100 years ago, Zea was the most popular grain in Greece. But in 1928, according to Santorini Food Lovers, its cultivation was banned for financial reasons as the imported cereals crops of rice and wheat were more profitable. The revival of the ancient Zea grain has lately been taking place in few areas of Greece’s mainland.

Fenugreek, the forgotten Greek herb

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Fenugreek aka Trigonella is an aromatic Mediterranean plant that can be used as a therapeutic herb, spice in curry dishes or fresh as a vegetable. One of its many uses is as a spice in the flavored rub used in the making a pastourma, the Mediterranean type of pastrami. 
Photo Credit: John and Anni via Compfight cc

In many villages in northwestern Greece, women use fenugreek shoots in moderation in their pies (hortopitas) made of spinach and other greens to give an extra intense flavor. 
Tip: If you want to buy fenugreek in Greece, use the words trigonella or moshositaro or moshotrifillo. HappyGarden.gr is one of  the e-shops that sell fenugreek online.