Eat in Rhodes
Let’s tell the truth: just at the moment of leaving for Greece, we already know what we are going to head for. Starting from what we will find on the table, and that for the entire duration of the stay we will have the pleasure of tasting, in the typical local areas of the coast, of the islands and of the hinterland. And of course also of Rhodes: tzatziki, the Greek salad, the octopus, the baked feta and the spanakopita and many other typical specialties will be our daily bread.
But how is Greek cooking? Like everything that happens in those areas, even the cooking and the culinary art are rooted in centuries of history and traditions. In Greece as early as the second century b. C. cooking was worthy of an academic formation, and the worship of the Greeks for Adefagea, consecrated as a goddess of gastronomy, is the confirmation of how important the kitchen topic was. When the Romans occupied Greece, the cooking and culinary traditions also moved to Rome, whose recipes became almost completely Greek. And Greek was also the kitchen of the Byzantine Empire that conquered Italy and Europe, thanks also to the gastronomic imagination of Italians and French. And the influences of Greek cuisine can still be felt all over the continent today.
So, the roots are common, but often the substance is different. Just to start, sitting down at the table in Greece means taking a break, socializing and taking the time for enjoying everything on the table. In general, the rations are abundant, just to ensure the “break to eat” all the time and calm necessary. Usually there is no habit of serving the first course. The meal opens with a series of appetizers, called mezédes, or orektiká. The mezédes can be a series of pickles vegetables and black olives, or even real rich and complex dishes, such as rice rolls and minced or puffed meat stuffed with chicken, vegetables or cheese. After the appetizer, follows a main course that can be meat or fish, often grilled, or a salad and cheese. It is logical that in the islands and in the coastal areas fish, served in many ways, is almost always among the main ingredients, while in the hinterland the main dish is the meat. Finally the desserts, which can be baked or spooned. Certain during the meal is obviously wine, but also beer is among the most requested drinks. Not forgetting the distillates, such as the famous Metaxa or the Ouzo.
What is certain, to conclude, is that Greek cuisine is made of ingredients and appetizing specialties, rich in nuances and smells, capable of transforming any meal into an unmissable moment of conviviality and joy.