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Traditional Greek Cuisine and where to get it Page 2

Before dinner drinks

The Ouzeri and Tsipouradiko while not tavernas exactly are also traditional Greek restaurants you should be aware of and patronize especially if you feel like drinking STRONG ALCOHOL. In an Ouzeri the emphasis is on Ouzo and appetizers rather than a full meal.

In a Tsipouradiko the emphasis is on Tsipouro (another very strong greek liqueur rather like moonshine) and appetizers rather than a full meal.

In fact tsipouro is the Greek cure for the common cold. One makes tea, very hot, with lemon and puts a jigger or so of tsipouro in it and downs 2 or 3 cups. Then you sleep and wake up feeling on the mend! Different localities in Greece offer many varieties of digestifis/Liqueurs some of which are really exceptional after dinner.

Chios Mastika liqueurs comes to mind, Syros has some good ones too!

Tsipouro can be purchased just about anywhere and is inexpensive. A lot of old timers make their own with stills which can be purchased on Athinas Street in Athens just off Omonia square or on the internet.

These two types of Greek establishments are much like a Tapas Bar but less expensive compared to American ones I have eaten in. Appetizers include most of the same things one would find in a taverna all though things may be spicier than your usual bland Greek palate can stand. In Greece even Mexican mild hot sauce is considered strong.

Mayeirefta (Casserole/Oven-baked dishes)

The Greeks use the word Latin based word 'casserole' (which they pronounce 'katsarola') to mean a pot for stove top cooking, quite the opposite of the English use of the word, which means an earthen ware pot used for oven roasting or baking. Food cooked in the oven is called 'sto fourno' in Greek, (lit., in the oven). In any case, cooked food in general (as opposed to fried or grilled food) is referred to in Greece as mayeirefta (from the very, mayeirevo, 'I cook'). These dishes are often cooked earlier in the day and then left to cool, deepening their flavors. Greeks often eat such dishes lukewarm, having a belief that very hot food and drink are harmful to the stomach.


This famous dish is made with layered eggplant/augergine , potato, and minced lamb with a b├ęchamel topping).


Another favorite baked dish made with long tube-like noodles and ground beef).

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