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Greek history
spans centuries. It
is usually divided
into 2 stages, the
history of ancient
Greece and the
history of Modern
Greece is a
welcoming country,
with a warm,
friendly population.
The people of Greece
share a common
language, Greek, and a
common religion, Greek
Orthodox (Christianity).
Religious holidays hold
great importance for the
Greeks, who devote much
time and energy to their
These celebrations
include traditional Greek
Kourabiethes are traditional Greek celebration cookies served at Christmas,
weddings, baptisms, and other special occasions.
The Greeks
enjoy singing
and dancing,
large family
gatherings and
celebrations are
often occasions
for traditional
Greek dress and
folk dances,
which everyone
encouraged to
participate in.
Greek cooking
has a rich and
varied past.
Through the
groups of
people who have
through Greece
have brought
foods like lamb,
beans, olives,
grapes, pasta,
yogurt, coffee,
and fruits.
A number of foods
are basic to Greek
Greek cooks make
liberal use of lemon
juice, tomatoes,
green peppers, and
Avgolemono is one of
the most popular
Greek sauces, made
from egg yolks and
lemon juice. The
Greeks use it to
flavor soups and
stews. They serve it
with fish and
vegetables too.
Greek cooks use
many herbs and
spices to bring
out the natural
flavors of lamb,
fish, and
vegetables. The
most common
include cinnamon,
basil, dill, bay
leaves, garlic,
and oregano.
The Greeks serve eggplant as a side dish or add it to main
dishes. Moussaka (pictured) is made by layering slices of
eggplant, ground lamb, and cheese.
Sheep have been raised in
Greece since prehistoric
times. Greek cooks roast
lamb whole, or thread it onto
skewers and broil it.
A seven-week fast
characterizes the Lenten
season in Greece. When this
fast is broken, lamb is
served as mayeritsa
(pictured). Mayeritsa is the
internal organs of the lamb
cooked in a seasoned broth.
Early the next morning, the
rest of the lamb is roasted
whole and served for Easter
Because of Greece’s location, seafood is an important part of the Greek diet.
Greek cooks prepare freshly caught seafood simply by baking or broiling it.
Squid is particularly popular.
Taramasalata (pictured) is a pinkish pate made from fish eggs
Olives grow in abundance in
Greece. Their many sizes,
shapes, and colors often amaze
people in the US.
The flavor of olive oil dominates
Greek cuisine.
People throughout Greece eat
olives as an appetizer or snack.
Olives are also popular on salads
such as the popular salata
Greek honey is world famous.
The writings of Aristotle
describe the different types of
honey that were available in
ancient Greece.
Greeks use honey to sweeten
many of their desserts, including
melamacarons (honey cakes) and
Baklava, which is a dessert made
with phyllo dough.
Phyllo dough is a paper-thin
pastry made from flour and
water. Some Greek cooks still
make phyllo, but it is very time
consuming and available readymade.
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