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This site not work anymore .I have a new site and you can go there visit me. I dont go put more post here anymore ... If you like this blog go there .. I will be there for you ... Olá meus queridos amigos ... agora tenho um novo blog Este site nao funcionará mais , tive alguns problemas. Agora tenho um novo endereco de blog. Nao irei mais colocar post neste blog .. Todas as atualizacoes e novidades estarao no outro endereco .. Acessem... estarei lá pra vcssss Se vcs gostaram desse blog irao amar o outro .. mais atualizado e lindo ... Vamos láaaa .... visitem-me lá .. Beijinhos Lili

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segunda-feira, 25 de janeiro de 2010

Greek Food and Drink


Greek Food & Drink

Greek cooking offers an incredibly rich and diverse array of foods and beverages that are the culmination of literally thousands of years of living, cooking, and eating. While each Greek meal is fresh and inviting, it is also a trip back through Greece's history.



Ingredients

The names of foods, cooking methods, and basic ingredients have changed little over time. Bread, olives (and olive oil), and wine constituted the triptych of the Greek diet for many centuries, just as they do today.


Greece is a nation of small farmers who produce an incredible array of mainly organically produced cheeses, oils, fruits, nuts, grains, legumes, and vegetables.

These are the foods that form the base of the traditional Greek regimen, to which they add both variety and nutrition. Greece's climate is perfect growing for olive and lemon trees, producing two of the most important elements of Greek cooking. Spices, garlic and other herbs such as oregano, basil, mint, and thyme are widely used, as are vegetables such as eggplant and zucchini, and legumes of all types.

With 20 percent of Greece made up of islands - and no part of the Greek mainland more than 90 miles from the sea - fish and seafood are a popular and common part of the Greek diet. Lamb and goat are the traditional meats of holidays and festivals, and poultry, beef, and pork are also in plentiful supply.

Vineyards cover much of Greece's hilly terrain and the country has become known for its array of fine wines and spirits, most notably ouzo, an anise-flavoured liqueur that is the national spirit.

History

Over the centuries, Greek cooking has been influenced by many other cultures.

* In c.350 B.C., when Alexander the Great extended the Greek Empire's reach from Europe to India, certain northern and eastern influences were absorbed into the Greek cuisine.

* In 146 B.C., Greece fell to the Romans which resulted in a blending of a Roman influence into Greek cooking.

* In 330 A.D., Emperor Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to Constantinople, founding the Byzantine Empire which, in turn, fell to the Turks in 1453 and remained part of the Ottoman Empire for nearly 400 years.

With each successive invasion and settlement came culinary influences - from the Romans, Venetians, Balkans, Turks, and Slavs - and many Greek foods have names with origins in those cultures, most notably the Ottoman Empire. Dishes with names like hummus (the Arabic word for chickpea) and dolmades (from the Turkish "dolma"), that can be found in kitchens from Armenia to Egypt, have also found a home in Greek cooking, and been adapted over hundreds of years to local tastes and traditions.

While Greek cooking has been influenced by other cultures, as have the cuisines of most countries, of all of those countries, Greece must be foremost in the ranks of having a "fusion" cuisine which is easily traced back to 350 B.C.

* The first cookbook was written by the Greek food gourmet, Archestratos, in 330 B.C., which suggests that cooking has always been of importance and significance in Greek society.

* Modern chefs owe the tradition of their tall, white chef's hat to the Greeks. In the middle ages, monastic brothers who prepared food in the Greek Orthodox monasteries wore tall white hats to distinguish them in their work from the regular monks, who wore large black hats.

* Many ingredients used in modern Greek cooking were unknown in the country until the middle ages. These include the potato, tomato, spinach, bananas, and others which came to Greece after the discovery of the Americas - their origin.

Famous Greek dishes

* Moussaka. There are other variations besides aubergine/eggplant, such as zucchini or rice, but the aubergine version ("melitzanes moussaka") is most popular, so "moussaka" alone is assumed to mean "with aubergine/eggplant".

* Kleftiko: lamb slow-baked on the bone, first marinated in garlic and lemon juice.

* Stifado: beef-onion stew with red wine and cinnamon. Rabbit or game (e.g. hare) are also cooked stifado-style

* Souvlaki, lamb and vegetables grilled on skewers, or in general, anything grilled on a skewer (chicken, pork, swordfish, shrimps).

* Gyros, meat roasted on a vertically turning spit and served with sauce (often tzatziki) and garnishes (tomato, onions) on pita bread; a popular fast food. Sometimes confused with souvlaki served in a similar way. The same dish is called döner kebab in Turkish.

* Boureki, similar to kreatopita, from Turkish börek.

* Pastitsio, a macaroni, meat, and Bechamel sauce casserole

The time of day when the Greeks gather around a table to enjoy a meal, or some appetizers (mezedes) with ouzo, is a time held in reverence by all the inhabitants of this country. For the Greeks, sharing a meal with friends, either at home, at a restaurant or a taverna, is a deeply rooted social affair. The Greek word symposium, a word as ancient as the country itself, if translated literally, means drinking with company. The atmosphere in typically Greek restaurants and tavernas is very relaxed, informal and unpretentious. Food preparation, on the other hand, has its own sacred rules. Good amateur cooks are held in great esteem in their social circles. A good housewife, in Greece, means a good cook. And a good cook can spend days preparing a meal for his or her friends.

Greek wines

Apart from giving birth to Dionysus, patron god of wine, Greece is the birthplace of the first VQPRD wines in history. They were the wines of the islands of Chios and Thassos, renowned in the entire ancient world. Due to various historic and social reasons, as well as natural disasters, the art of wine-making was neglected from the middle of the nineteenth century until the early sixties. It was then that the ancient traditions of wine-making started being rediscovered and today one can find many excellent Greek wines produced all over the country. When tasting Greek wine, bear in mind that it is a product of a distinctive environment and of grape varieties unknown to western wine lovers. The wines of Greece are divided into 4 distinct categories: 1) the Controlled Appellations of Origin, 2) the Appellations of Origin of Superior Quality, 3) local wines and 4) table wines.

fonte: www.menumagazine.co.uk/.../ feature_greek.html

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