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Greek Food Demystified

Greek food is my favorite. I love the flavors, I love the grilling of meats, I love the varied uses of lemon and oregano, I love the salty creaminess of feta cheese. Utah has its share of Greek restaurants yet it is surprising, however, how often people I talk to don't know anything about Greek food or are intimidated by it. There is a strong represenation of the Greek community in this state, but for the rest of us, the first thing that many find mystifying is the names of the various dishes. I cannot claim to be an expert, but at least I can offer some definitions for future reference.

Baklava

Rich, sweet pastry made of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with honey.

Dolmathes

Grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables. Meat is often included.

Fasolakia

Fresh green beands in tomato sauce.

Feta

An aged, crumbly cheese.

Gyro

Meat, tomato, onion and Tzatziki sauce, served in pita bread.

Kalamata Olives

Large, black olives with a smooth, meaty taste, names after the city of Kalamata, Greece.

Kefthethes

Baked meatballs with oregano, mint and tomato sauce.

Loukaniko

Greek pork sausage flavored with fennel seeds and orange peel.

Loukoumades

Similar to donuts. Fried balls of dough drenched in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Melomakarona

Cookies soaked in dilluted honey, then sprinkled with crushed walnuts.

Pastitsio

A baked pasta dish with a filling of ground meat and a bechamel sauce on top.

Pilafi

Fluffy and soft rice (not sticky) that has been boiled in a lemon and chicken boullion broth.

Souvlaki

Meat grilled on a skewer (typically chicken or pork), marinated in oil, salt, papper, oregano and lemon.

Souvlaki

Meat grilled on a skewer (typically chicken or pork), marinated in oil, salt, papper, oregano and lemon.

Spanikopita

Spinach, feta cheese (sometimes in combination with ricotta cheese), onions, egg and seasoning wrapped in phyllo pastry. (For a recipe, click here.)

Stifatho

Beef stew with pearl onlions, vinegar, red wine and cinnamon.

Tyropita

Cheese wrapped and banked in phyllo pastry.

Tzatziki

Cool and creamy cucumber dip flavored with garlic.

 

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     food·ie (fd)
     noun. Slang.  A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food; a gourmet.