The History Of Greek Cuisine
Common Food, Spices, And Ingredients
A few foods and ingredients that form the base of the traditional Greek menu include bread, olives, olive oil, cheeses, oils, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables. Spices are also an essential part of Greek cuisine, the most popular being garlic, oregano, basil, mint, and thyme.
The Olive Tree
The olive tree held a significant place in Ancient Greece economically and in mythology. According to legend, the goddess Athena gifted the city of Athens with an olive tree. When the people of Athens chose her gift over Poseidon's gift of water, Athena became the Patron Goddess of the city. Olives were eaten, and olive oil was produced from the olives, highly prized, and traded to other countries — commonly referred to as “liquid gold.” Olive oil is one of the most common ingredients in Greek cuisine and is used for cooking, baking, and drizzling.
Ancient Greeks were passionate about wine, an important part of their table. Evidence shows that the Greeks produced the same varieties of red, rose, and white wines that we have today. They would mix the wine with water to make a thinner beverage to accompany meals. Not only did they drink it, but they also used it as medicine. Wine production in Greece dates back to 4500 B.C., and the wine culture of the Ancient Greeks is still hugely influential to our modern wine culture, worshipping Dionysius, the god of wine.
Ancient Greeks were known for their frequent entertainment. They would go above and beyond with the food choices for their parties, making it more elaborate than their regular, daily eating. It was common for them to eat meals with friends and family, but they also had two unique types of parties. A symposium was exclusively for men, and they would sit and drink after a meal. The other kind of party was a libation, an elaborate banquet that honored Dionysius and included a large quantity of wine being consumed.
The history of Greek cuisine is long and varied, and it’s easy to see why the country’s traditional dishes have become so popular. At Pita Shop of Miramar, we’re proud to serve the best Greek food and authentic Greek dishes in Florida. Visit our restaurant today or order now for pick up or delivery!