Traditional food, which while for many Greek people it is normal to eat, foreigners find completely strange.
Andrew Zimmern, the presenter of the American show Bizarre Foods, has said that in our country we eat some very strange food. Okay, for us Greeks it is fine because we have grown up enjoying all these delicacies, but for the rest of the world, they seem from very special to very strange!
Below we have collected ten famous Greek dishes that foreigners find unusual.
1. Lamb on the spit
There is no Greek family that does not cook a lamb on a spit at Easter, but also at weddings and generally happy events. And for the Greeks it may be a favorite dish, for the rest of the world, however, the sight of an entire animal spinning on a spit is disgusting. Nia Vardalos has also said this in the finale of the first film ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, explaining that her Greek family may have quirks, such as skewering in the yard, but at least they always stand by her side.
The EU, on the occasion of the disease of mad cows, had issued a directive to ban the consumption of certain organs of sheep and goats and cattle (such as the spleen, brains, and heads), with the result that the kokoretsi is also banned! However, as you might have guessed, Greeks have never stopped preparing this ‘meze’.
We assume that in their eyes they look like mini kokoretsi bites, which instead of being baked on a spit or in the oven, are put in a pot.
Also known as the ‘night owl’ soup, since it is a classic choice of many in the early morning hours and after a long outing that entailed a lot of drinking. You usually make it with pork belly and legs and it is not surprising that foreigners find it strange.
It is the way invented by the old divers of Kalymnos to keep for a long time the insides of the sea fig that with such difficulty came out of the sea. Therefore, they sterilize bottles in which they keep the food from the sea figs together with seawater, a little extra salt, and a little olive oil which covers the juices and does not allow air to enter the water and alter the sea figs. These sealed bottles with spinach are kept in the refrigerator for a long time.
Yes, it is a fact, Greeks are not the only ones who eat snails, the French also love them. Nonetheless, only we call them ‘kochlioi’ (in Crete at least) and we cook them in our ways: boubouristos, yahni, with zucchini in the pot or with rice.
As the EU considers kokoretsi a forbidden delicacy, so is the cooking made with lamb liver and in fact, in some areas of Greece, it boils together with the head of the lamb, sometimes with the legs or the belly, even with pigtails from the intestines.
Another traditional recipe is the tzigerosarmades or dolmas with entrails. Their peculiarity, apart from the filling, is that they are wrapped in lamb or goat caul fat, that is, a large membrane of thin tender fat, that looks like lace.
Like a huge sausage, this local specialty of Pelion is nothing more than an intestine stuffed with rice, livers, herbs, and spices, baked in the oven and ideally accompanied by red wine. If you have not tried it, put it on your list for the next time you go to Pelion.
Kourkoutzelia are nothing but wildflowers that instead of putting them in the vase, we throw them in the pan with garlic and fennel and they become an exquisite meze. In addition, some people boil them and serve them as a salad, fry them with eggs or make them pickles. According to those who have tried them, they are not very tasty.
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