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Greek cuisine
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Not sophisticated

Most globe-trotting gourmets don't give high marks to Greek cuisine in terms of culinary sophistication. But Greek food becomes captivating when the meal is leisurely eaten and shared with family or friends in a convivial restaurant or taverna, or at home in a shaded outdoor patio. Without those ambiances, the pleasure of eating Greek food drops a notch or two.

Early influences

Greek cooking is a fusion of early Greek cuisine blended with foreign influences dating back to Roman times.

Ottoman Empire

The greatest influence was the cooking style of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Greece in the 14th to 18th centuries.

Greek and Turkish cuisines

The Ottoman impact explains why Greece and Turkey share many dishes. However, the two styles differ in, for instance, seasoning. The Turkish tend to use herbs and spices more intricately, the Greeks, more simply.


Fish was one of the popular mainstays of the Greek diet during my first visit in the 1960s. Today, fresh seafood is scarce and expensive due to severe overfishing. Much of the supply is now frozen and imported.

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Photo by Matthias Kabel - CC BY-SA 3.0




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