From 'sweet gold' honey to the perfect pie, we reveal Greece's finest foodie experiences – and where to find them...
1. Yoghurt with Kythera thyme honey and nuts
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos championed Kythera honey for its medicinal qualities – and we reckon he was onto something. Made with pollen from the island's wild thyme bushes, it's nutritious, fresh, and not overly sweet – and is the perfect foil for creamy Greek yogurt. Honey and yoghurt (Shutterstock)
Breakfast like the locals with a bowl of honey and strained natural yoghurt (ideally from a small local dairy), sprinkled with just-toasted walnuts. A pinch of cinnamon or a splash of vanilla extract in the yoghurt complement the thyme honey perfectly.
Every Greek family has its own version of this dish: tomatoes, peppers or aubergines stuffed with rice, olive oil, herbs and vegetables, then roasted in the oven until they're soft. Gemista
means 'filled with' – and it's the stuffing that makes them so tasty.
You can add minced pork or beef to the filling, or leave them vegetarian – this really is a versatile dish. Recipes are closely-guarded, but it might be worth sweet-talking the chef to see if they'll share their own...
3. Santorini fava
Santorini fava beans are versatile, nutritious, and easy to cook – so you'll find them in dishes all over this pretty Aegean island. Fava beans with olives (Shutterstock)
Try the peas freshly-boiled with grilled meats, in rich stews and soups, or served puréed with capers and onions as part of a meze platter
. Drizzle the thick sauce with extra virgin olive oil, and scoop up with flat bread – a tasty light lunch, perfect with a glass of chilled Santorini Assyrtiko white wine.
This smoky dip is a Greek spin on Middle Eastern baba ghanoush – a surprisingly creamy combination of garlic, onion, parsley and baked aubergine, with a spritz of lemon juice and olive oil. Proof, yet again, that Greece does veggie-friendly dishes
very well – it's popular all over the country.
Order with other meze bites for a tasty dinner – strong feta cheese, warm pita bread and plump black olives work particularly well with this flavoursome dip.
5. Epirus mushroom pie
The mountainous terrain of Epirus demands hearty fare
– flavourful, energy-packed dishes made from locally-grown produce. Creamy sheep's cheese, fresh vegetables and meat feature on most menus – and if you love a good pie, you're in for a treat.
It's said that in Epirus, almost anything can be made into a pie – and the mushroom variety is a local favourite. With chunky mushrooms, sweet onions, and crispy phyllo pastry, it's a substantial snack whether you're hiking, wildlife watching, or simply eating your way around this beautiful region.
6. Cretan Dakos salad
This veggie snack showcases Greece's finest fresh produce: for a dish so flavoursome, it's ridiculously simple to make – it’s a Cretan speciality
but you'll also find it all over the country.
Moisten large barley rusks with a drizzle of water and olive oil, and top with generous mounds of grated uncooked tomatoes (you may wish to strain out the juices beforehand). Cover with a big handful of crumbled feta cheese, a few capers and a sprinkle of oregano – and devour immediately. Use top-quality ingredients for the best results: vine-ripened tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and traditional Greek feta cheese.
7. Trigona panoramatos
Flaky buttery phyllo pastry, thick custard cream, sweet honey syrup... What's not to love about Thessaloniki's signature dessert? It's a speciality of this picturesque city – and most pastry shops will offer two sizes of trigona: a 'small' version (which is usually on the large side), and an even larger version that's practically a meal in itself.
For more Greek traditional dishes, see visitgreece.gr This article was produced in partnership with the Greece National Tourist Office. For more information on Greece, see visitgreece.gr Main image: Stuffed paprika with meat, rice and vegetables (Shutterstock)