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Traditional Greek Cuisine and where to get it Page 4

Gyros and souvlaki

These are the fast foods of Greece, very inexpensive, often delicious , quite a filling snack. The gyros (pronounced more like 'yiros') is meat (pork or chicken usually) which is layered and tightly packed on a vertical spit which ( the name taken from 'yirizo', the Greek verb for turning, which describes the revolutions of the spit. It is usually served in a round toasted pita bread, with chopped tomato, lettuce, onion, etc. Mayonnaise is often added, but you can ask to have it without. Souvlakia (plural of souvlaki) are chunks of meat (usually pork, though they can also be made with lamb or chicken) grilled and stuck on a skewer, sometimes with chunks of grilled pepper, onion, tomato. Souvlaki is the Greek equivalent of the 'kebab' (though the Greeks use the word 'kebab' to mean something that more resembles 'bifteki', which is the same as hamburger). The souvlaki plate served in a restaurant is like to include more of the latter, along with fried potatoes and maybe a little salad.

Grilled chops

The most popular of these are the 'paidakhia' (lamb chops) and the 'brizol-ess' (pork chops), the latter with more meat on them. Chicken can also be found grilled.

Stifadho' (stew)

Greek stews can be made with beef, lamb, rabbit, etc. The rabbit stew is made with tomato and onion, and is often a house specialty. 'Yiouvetsi' (like the Russian, Giuvets) is a baked dish made with meat and a short pasta called 'kritaraki'.


A delicious Greek specialty is 'kokoras' (rooster), most often prepared as a stew, and often listed on menus with the word 'kokkinisto' following it, which describes the tomato sauce in which it is cooked ('kokkino' meaning red, in Greek). Soup is also made from the 'kokoras'. In smaller areas , the rooster will be of local origin, and is hence one of the types animals that is never caged or restrained during its life. A rather amusing transliteration of the word 'kokoras' from Greek to English often to be seen on Greek menus (or on placards placed on the streets outside of tavernas and restaurants), is 'Cock', or 'Cock soup', which, though linguistically correct, displays Greek unawareness of English slang, in which this word has another meaning (though obviously chosen by Greeks instead of 'rooster' because of its resemblance to the Greek variant, taken, like the English 'cock', from the French 'coq').

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