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Greek food

The Greek cuisine (Greek: Ελληνική Κουζίνα) is Greece's traditional cuisine, a typical Mediterranean cuisine[1], sharing similar characteristics with the cuisines of Italy, the Balkans, Anatolia, and the Middle East.

Typical Greek food is simple, colorful and packed with robust flavours. Many dishes show influences from the Greek past, having a distinctive style of their own which has not changed much over the years. Greek cuisine has a long tradition of fine cooking and the full range of Greek dishes usually remains undiscovered by the tourist.[2] Contemporary Greek cookery is typical of Mediterranean cuisine, making wide use of olive oil, grains and bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including poultry and rabbit.[1] Typical ingredients in the Greek cuisine are the meat of the lamb or pork, kalamata olives, feta cheese, grape leaves, zucchini and yogurt. The desserts are dominated by nuts and honey. Some dishes use phyllo pastry.[1]

The most characteristic and ancient element of Greek cuisine is olive oil, which is frequently used in the dishes of the Greek cuisine. It is produced from the olive trees prominent throughout the region, and adds to the distinctive taste of Greek food. The basic grain in Greece is wheat, though barley is also grown. Important vegetables include tomato, aubergine (eggplant), potato, green beans, okra, green peppers, and onions. Honey in Greece is mainly honey from the nectar of fruit trees and citrus trees: lemon, orange, bigarade (bitter orange) trees, thyme honey, and pine honey from conifer trees. Mastic (aromatic, ivory coloured resin) is grown on the Aegean island of Chios.

Greek cuisine uses some spices more often than other Mediterranean cuisines do: oregano, mint, garlic, onion, dill and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil, thyme and fennel seed. Many Greek recipes, especially in the northern parts of the country, use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews. Greek flavouring is often characterised by the use of mint and nutmeg.

The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cuisine of Greece".