Greek tragedy

Well, after my initial enthusiasm, I’m afraid my love affair with Greek food seems to be more a holiday romance than a til-death-do-us-part kinda thing. At first the Greek salads had charm and I appreciated the gyros (doner kebab) because it was cheap, filling and tasty. But nearly three weeks in Greece and it’s all a bit… meh.

It may well be the case that I just haven’t found proper Greek food because the places we’ve eaten at have been aimed at tourists – but as tourism is one of the major sectors of the Greek economy (what’s left of it) and half the villages have been bought up by English and German retirees, all the places to eat are almost by definition aimed at tourists. This has meant prices more expensive than London for frequently very average, microwaved food. I’d say we only had three really good meals and it was rare to get away with less than 25 euro for the two of us.

Curiously, we’ve been to Thessaloniki (north), Corfu (west), Athens (south) and Rhodes (east) and the food is the same: souvlaki-moussaka-tzatziki-gyros. About the biggest difference was whether or not capsicum was included in the Greek salad. There seems to be very little regional variation and we didn’t discover any new kind of dish that we didn’t already know about. Even more puzzling, there was very little fish or seafood on the menu. Only on tiny Kastellorizo was fish dominant, but then at eye watering prices.

Maybe Greece isn’t an eating out kind of place. Everyone was out in the cafes and people seemed to sit on a thick coffee or frothy Nescafe frappe for hours, but there wasn’t much eating going on. Maybe they do their eating at home. It was frustrating from a self catering point of view also, because the fruit and veg weren’t up to much either.

We did have a few memorable meals. Taverna Agni in Corfu was fresh deliciousness. Most of the photos from my earlier post are from that meal. Their courgette fritters were a dream! I had a very satisfying moussaka at another taverna near our village on Corfu. The Man had outstanding fried calamari on Kastellorizo. But the fact that I can list them on one hand is disappointing.

Perhaps the ideal of a small beach side taverna offering a limited number of excellent local dishes at reasonable prices was an unreasonable expectation on our part. From an eating point of view, Greece was a bummer.

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2 Responses to Greek tragedy

  1. Demeter - Greek Goddess of Food says:

    All is not well on mount Olympus. Poiseidon is threatening to make certain food blogs swim with the fishes. Diana and Artemis are stringing their bows. Dionysus, pissed as usual, says that ‘when the Australian tourists follow the trail it is because they think barbequed food will be thrown on to the plate’.

  2. Demeter, could you have a word with Dionysius? Tell him that charging 9 Euro for a beer is an outrage and won’t lead to the appropriate level of drunkenness for proper celebration and veneration of His Pissed-ness.

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