Greek Meze Dishes (Mezethakia) Appetizers
~ In Greece and Cyprus the appetizers are called mezethakia, mezes or mezethes.
~ As a general rule, Greek people will order mezethes in a restaurant as an appetizer.
~ At the same time, there are special places called “Tsipourathika” where they serve Tsipouro with mezethes.
~ Mezethes are usualy ordered with the local drink witch it could be Ouzo or Retsina wine anywhere in Greece, Zivania or Cyprus brandy in Cyprus, Raki or Tsikouthia in Crete.
~ Anywhere you go in Greece or Cyprus you will find people enjoying their drink at the neighborhood’s Kafenio (coffee shop) or by the sea accompanied with mezethes (appetizers).
~ In many Greek restaurants, are offering some mezethes in small dishes accompanied with some fresh bread or pitta bread so people can choose what to order.
~ The most famous mezes in Greece is the Grilled Octopus, but there are many other mezethes you can find in different areas of Greece.
~ Some of the most common mezethes served all over Greece are Tzatziki, (Garlic Sauce) Taramosalata (Fish Row Dip), Green peppers, Olives, Feta cheese, Tyropitakia (small cheese pastries),Spanakopitakia (small Spinach pastries), Htapodi Ksithato (Octopus boiled in vinegar dressed with olive oil), Soupies Krasates (Cuttlefish cooked with wine) , fried Kalamarakia (Squids), fried Shrimps and many kinds of Greek sausages (Loukanika horiatika).
~ If you happen to be in Crete in the spring the best mezedes are also very simple, all you need is a bottle of the local drink witch is Tsikoudia or Raki with fresh broad beans, grilled potatoes on the coal and the local cheese Anthotyro or Mytzithra.
~ In most Greek traditional Kafenia (coffee shops), ouzo is served with a small plate of tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, anchovies and a few Kalamata olives.
~ Another famous mezes is Spetsofai (fried sausages with green peppers)and Bekri Mezes (the drinker’s meze).
~ In Cyprus, mezethes can be fried or grilled Cyprus wine Sausages, grilled Haloumi cheese, Lountza (smoked pork loin), Tsamarela (Sun dried goat meat), Talattouri (Cyprus Tzatziki), Taramosalata (Fish Row Dip), Hummus, (Chick pea dip), Elies Tsakistes (cracked green olives) and many fresh vegetables (sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, green peppers, green onions etc.) and if you are by the sea, many deferent seafood dishes are served.
~ In any way, the Greek Mezethes and the local drink are part of the Greek life, Tradition and Culture.
~ The Mediterranean night sea breeze opens the appetite for a drink and something to nipple on along with it.
Mezethes & Wine
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