Greek History and
Food
Greek cuisine:
The Greeks usually eat 3 meals a day.


The first meal of the day is Breakfast. A typical Greek breakfast consists
of a piece of bread, some goat milk and strong Turkish coffee. The Greeks
do not eat a large breakfast typically. Their next meal of the day is Lunch
it is usually eaten around twelve to two pm. It is also a light meal like
breakfast. Dinner is usually eaten later at night than most people are
accustomed to. It is eaten between 8-9 pm. This is the largest meal of
the day. The most common meats are lamb and chicken. Fish and seafood are
found mostly on the coast and in cities and are inexpensive. Olives are
grown in Greece, and olive oil is used a lot in cooking. Salads are
usually eaten with the main meal. Main courses include souvlaki, a shish
kebab with cubes of meat-often pork or lamb-and vegetables, and stuffed
eggplant or tomatoes. Pasta is also popular. Fruit is often served for
dessert. Although Greek food is not "low fat" the primary oil used is olive
oil, which has been proven to be better for you that rendered animal fat.

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Cheese is another mainstay of the Greek diet. The average Grecian eats
50 lbs. of cheese a year. This ranks second in world cheese consumption
behind France. The most popular Greek cheese is Feta, which is a smooth
cottage type of cheese.


Greeks drink a lot of wine. If you are
a first-time visitor, you probably better order your wine aretsinoto (without
resin), or your mouth will pucker. Retsina, or resinated wine, has a distinctive
flavor and tastes better when chilled. Greek food has been influenced by
many sources. The area that Greece occupies was the ancient city-states
of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth. Their individual styles of
cooking helped shape Greek cooking into what it is today.


Undoubtedly baklava is the most famous
pastry, a multi-layered ribboned pastry with nuts and oozing with
honey syrup. A visit to a Greek pastry shop reveals the how many different
ways Greeks use fila dough many of them have aTurkish origin. The honeyed
fila pastries and buttery nut cookies compose a separate late afternoon
meal accompanied by thick Greek coffee. Fresh fruit -- generally figs,
orange, apples, and melon -- usually conclude the late evening dinner.


No part of Greece is more that 85 miles
from the coast. This is a good reason that Greeks eat so much seafood.


Another reason that the Greeks eat so much seafood is the land in Greece
is very poor for farming most crops. Also there is a lack of land in Greece.


Greece occupies a very small area only 50,962 square miles. This is ________.


Since the Greeks cannot farm a lot of their own food, they have adapted
a culture that doesnt depend upon farmed food. That is why Greek recipes
dont have a lot of flour or wheat in them. The Greeks have a love for
simple well seasoned food. In almost any tavern, restaurant, or bar you
can find a tasteful array of seafood and other Greek delicacies prepared
before your eyes. It is not uncommon for the patrons of a restaurant to
go back to the kitchen to look at their meal being prepared.


The olive oil tree has tree has been grown
in Greece for thousands of years and its oil has been used as a food as
well as for medicinal, cosmetic, lighting and sacred purposes. You would
think that the olive was specially made for Greeces harsh climate, it
thrives in most regions of the country. It loves the sea and the sun. The
coastal regions have the perfect conditions it needs and a suitable ecosystem
for the tree to grow and bear fruit.


Taste, aroma and color are all indications
of the quality of olive oil.


EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Virgin olive
oil with an extremely fine taste and an acidity of not more than 1%
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL. Also described
as "select". This oil has an exceptionally fine taste and its acidity level
does not exceed 2%.


OLIVE OIL: obtained by mixing refined
and virgin olive oil. It has an acidity of up to 1.5
In the Greek orthodox religion Olive
oil is a symbol of love and peace. Many Greeks have an oil lamp burning
olive oil on their homemade altars. Olive oil somehow seems to bring out
the true taste of the ingredients while adding its own personal touch.


When a recipe calls for olive oil, how
do you know what kind to use? Let your own taste preferences be your guide.


As a general rule, cook with normal olive oil and season or drizzle with"extra virgin" Light and delicate dishes like poached or sauteed
fish, chicken or veal, go well with a milder, less fruity olive oil. Dishes
such as hearty stews, soups or tomato-based sauces welcome a more fruity,
flavorful olive oil, as do steamed vegetables and salads. For roasted,
barbecued and braised dishes, which require high or prolonged heat "olive
oil" is, best because it is less expensive yet has the same health benefits
as virgin olive oils. In frying, a crisp caramelized crust is formed that
will allow but a small amount of oil to soak into the food. In vegetable
dishes, its herbal hues blend excellently with the greens. Pies are best
made with sweet olive oil.


Greece is the southeasternmost region
on the European continent. It is defined by a series of mountains, surrounded
on all sides except the north by water, and endowed with countless large
and small islands. The Ionian and Aegean seas and the many deep bays and
natural harbors along the coastlines allowed the Greeks to prosper in maritime
commerce and to develop a culture which drew inspiration from many sources,
both foreign and indigenous. The Greek world eventually spread far beyond
Greece itself, encompassing many settlements around the Mediterranean and
Black seas and, during the Hellenistic period, reaching as far east as
India. The mountains, which served as natural barriers and boundaries,
dictated the political character of Greece. From early times the Greeks
lived in independent communities isolated from one another by the landscape.


Later these communities were organized into poleis or city-states. The
mountains prevented large-scale farming and impelled the Greeks to look
beyond their borders to new lands where fertile soil was more abundant.


Natural resources of gold and silver were available in the mountains of
Thrace in northern Greece and on the island of Siphnos, while silver was
mined from Laurion in Attica. Supplies of iron ores were also available
on the mainland and in the Aegean islands.


The Mediterranean Sea moderates Greece?s
climate, cooling the air in summer and providing warmth in the winter months.


Summers are generally hot and dry. Winters are moderate and rainy in coastal
regions and cold and snowy in mountainous areas.


An estimated 97 percent of the country's
population identifies itself as belonging to the Greek branch of the Eastern
Orthodox Church of Christ, commonly known as the Orthodox Church of Greece.


Though Greeks became independent of the church in Constaniople,a close
relationship remains among most branches of Orthodoxy . In many respects,
church and state are not separate in the Western sense in Greece. In spite
of reforms in the 1980s and a loss of some influence since World War II,
the Orthodox Church remains the officially established religious institution
of the country, and from that position it exerts considerable influence
in secular matters. The largest non-Orthodox religious groups in Greece
are Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim.


The country of Greece has had a varied
history. At about 2600 BC Greek civilization was founded. This is an educated
guess because most records succumb to time. Greek civilization started
with a group of people called the Minoans. Minoan civilization reached
a peak during 1400s-1300s BC Homer wrote the Oddesy and the Iliad during
the Ninth century BC During the eighth century BC Athens, Sparta and other
city states develop. During 800 BC Alexander the Great conquered the Grecian
Empire of city-states and Greece became part of the Macedonian Empire.


After the downfall of the Macedonian Empire, Greece enters a lull, which
lasts for almost a thousand years. During this time a numerous number of
empires conquered Greece. The Greeks fought a war of independence against
the Ottoman Empire and won. The first president of Greece was Ioannis Kapodistrias.


In 1829 the Treaty of Adrianople places Greek under British, French, and
Russian protection. In 1832 the Treaty of Constantinople places Greece
under British, French, and Russian protection, defines its boundaries,
and names Otto of Wittgenstein ruler. The first constitution establishes
democratic parliamentary government system, reducing Otto's power.


In 1862 after series of coups, Otto forced
to resign. After this Greece was an independent country. Greece played
a small part in World War 1. It was on the side of the Allied forces. This
brings the history of Greece to the present.


In conclusion Greek food is heavily influenced
by the climate of the Mediterranean, and the other countries surrounding
it. Greeks also eat a very healthy diet rich in seafood and lean meats.


Olive oil is a major part of the Greeks daily diet also. Olive oil is also
much more healthy than animal fats and oils.