5 Greek Foods You Don’t Want to Miss on Pilgrimage

jschaffnerGreece, Upcoming Pilgrimages

Food has been a unique aspect of the culture of the ancient Mediterranean world. Many of the common dishes that would have been enjoyed during the time St. Paul spread the gospel in the area are still enjoyed today. Traveling in the footsteps of St. Paul isn’t just an encounter with the sites of early Christian communities, but also an encounter with their shared culture through food traditions passed down over centuries.

Fresh Seafood

Just like Jesus’ first disciples, many of the men Paul preached to would likely have been fishermen. A few favorites you should try:

  • Sea Bass. At some restaurants you’re eating a fish that was caught that morning.
  • Savory Mussels cooked in tomato sauce with feta cheese.
  • For the adventurous, Taramosalata, a blend of smoked roe (usually Cod) blended with olive oil, lemon, and a base (usually potato) although different regions and different chefs have their own interpretations.

Kolokithakia Gemista

Insead of Dolma (stuffed grape leaves, a very common appetizer, even in America) try Kolokithakia Gemista, fried stuffed zucchini blossoms. Stuffings can be anything from a cheese blend, minced meats with spices, or rice with veggies.

Greek Wine

There are two things that the ancient Greeks knew much about: the ocean and wine, as Homer demonstrates in the Odyssey. Odysseus talks of his ship “sailing over the wine-dark sea…”, obviously a fan of red wine and not the lighter white varieties. There are many great Greek wines, red and white alike, to try while you’re there.

A Classic Greek Recipe

Chicken Soup Avgolemono is a family favorite in Greece and every mother has her own way of interpreting the recipe much like Chicken Noodle Soup in the United States. Try this recipe or make some creative changes for your own variation!