Bread has always been important to the Greeks. Bread played a very
important role in the everyday lives of people in ancient Greece.
The flour was kneaded with water, or with water and honey, and
sometimes with oil, honey, and wine. We have different kinds of
bread. Some are made on a special occasion like a party of
anniversary. Some can be served as appetizers and some just to
accompany a main course. At Milos the bread is made fresh
Olive Bread - Christmas Bread - Koulouria
- Lefko - Politaleas
- Laganes - And much more.....
Milos Estiatorio Authentic Herbs & Spices ~
Anything that can give a dish added taste and aroma is important,
but it should not change or spoil the dishes natural taste. It
should enrich it and underline it. All my recipes contain some of
the herbs and spices in small but very important quantities. There
are a lot of herbs and spices which grow wild or are cultivated in
Greece. Let us look more closely at them. They have more to give
us then just an added taste.
The ancient Greeks used thyme in their baths and burned it as an
incense in there temples believing it was the source of courage. It
was thought that the spread of thyme throughout Europe was thanks to
the Romans as they used it to purify their rooms and to give
aromatic flavor to cheese and liquors.
Thyme is a good source of iron and widely used in cooking. Often
used to flavor meats, fish, and primary for lamb. It is also used
in the medical field.
2. Tarragon; Greek name for Tarragon is Drakon:
Tarragon is used in cooking for chicken dishes, in Béarnaise Sauce,
vinegar, and in seafood dishes.
Clove can be used in cooking in both the whole form and the ground
form. Its used in lots of different dishes, Syrups and spicy Greek
foods. It also has cosmetic and medical uses.
Anise is a sweet and very aromatic. It is distinguished by its
licorice like flavor. It is used in seed, ground, and whole
form. They are used in a wide variety of Regional Ethnic Culinary
uses. Anise is used to flavor famous Greek liquor Ouzo and others
around the world.
Fresh dill is used as a herb. Its fernlike leaves are aromatic and
are used to flavor many foods such as cured salmon Borscht and other
soups. The Greeks use a lot of fresh dill in Tzatziki, sauce,
dolmades, Prasini Salad and many other dishes.
The plural of tomato is Tomatoes not Tomatoes. Tomato is fruit; the
most popular is Heirloom tomatoes which is used in our famous Greek
salads. We used tomatoes in a variety of different way such as
Barbecue sauce, Bloody Mary, fried green tomatoes, Ketchup, salsa,
tomato juice, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and tomato soup.
7. Sea Salt:
In my cooking for all my seafood dishes I use sea salt. Gourmets
often believe sea salt to be better than ordinary sable salt in
taste and texture.
8. Feta Cheese:
This is the most famous Greek cheese and the most ancient and
historic cheese. It is made from sheep’s milk in round or square
‘’heads’’ which are then stored in wooden barrels or large tin
cans. Feta is a white cheese which can be piquant or tart variants
and come in hard or soft form. Used in salads like the Greek salad
and use in dishes like spanakopita, shrimp santorini and many other
The bad smell of garlic does an injustice to a plant with many
properties. IT is used in lots of dishes for today’s cooking.
10. Black Pepper:
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae,
cultivated for its fruit
which is usually divided and used as a spice and seasoning. The
fruit is known as a peppercorn when divided. Varieties include
white pepper, green pepper, orange pepper, and red pepper.
Lemons are used to make lemonade and as a garnish for drinks like
ice tea and water. They are often used in cooking for seafood
dishes, marinating meats before cooking such as chicken and lamb.
The acid provided by the juice partially hydrolyzes the tough fibers
in the meat. Also when lemon juice is sprinkled on food its tends
to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced open like apples and
bananas. The acid acts like a short term preserver by destroying
the enzymes that cause browning and degeneration.
Greeks Use Lemon On Everything ...
This is a family recipe for breadcrumb soon seasoning, it is made
for broiled lobsters, broiled scallops, broiled shrimp and broiled
fish. You cut up the lobster then, place butter on it, sprinkle the
seasoning and place the lobster in an oven, and bake.
Olives are use abundantly in Greek cuisine; they are eaten as a
mezades, made into bread, and cooked with main dishes. Greeks
sometime describe their friends as people they share bread and
olives with because those foods are so essential to the lives. A
vital asset to the Greek economy and diet, they are a finically
stable business with each person consuming on average 30 pints of
olive oil in a year.
Greek olives have a history dating back to at least the third
millennium B.C., when the Cretans traded their olive oil around the
eastern Mediterranean obtaining great wealth. By the 6th century
B.C., the Greeks had become the major experts of the oil. The olive
was recognized as scared, and even today the olive is still tied to
folk and religious rituals and used at christening ceremonies to
anoint the child’s head.
There are several types of olives; the principal verities are black,
green and cracked. The island of Thasos produces small, black,
wrinkled, dry-cured olives with a strong flavor. Ionian Islands
produce a variety of large and crunchy green olives with a mild
Tasty cracked green olives are produced by cracking unripe green
olives and then placing them in water for several weeks to remove
their bitterness, and then they’re stored in brine.
Types of Olives: Kalamatra probably the most famous of Greek olives is the
purple-brown kalamata olive from the southern Peloponnese. The shape
is elongated with a tapered bade. The skin is perfectly smooth and
regularly has a superior, rich flavor.
Amfissa, this round, and black olive is from Antal, Greece,
has a lovely nutty sweet taste.
Halkidiki- A large and succulent pale green olive. Halkidiki is
harvested when young and brine-cured, it is suitable for stuffing
with pimentos, especially for martinis.
Maonias, these dark olives are grown through macadonia are
usually cured in brine.
Thassos Throumba is a black wrinkle olive that is matured on the
tree, it is cured in dry salt.
The History Of Olive Oil ~
As scientists tell us, the
exact place where olive trees started to grow for the first time is
the greater Mediterranean Basin. The first cultivation of the olive
tree worldwide took place in Greece, and more specific in Crete.
This happened about 3500 BC
in the Early Minoan times. In this period the olive tree was in a
wilder form in comparison to the tree we know today. After 2000 BC
the cultivation of the olive tree in Crete was very intense and
systematically played the most important role on the island’s
economy. Crete started the first export of olive oil, not only to
mainland Greece, but to North Africa and Asia Minor as well. Very
soon the cultivation passed to mainland Greece and the olive tree
and its blessed product, the olive oil became synonyms of the Greek
nutrition through out the centuries.
The Mycenaean civilization
(c.1600-1150 BC) followed the Minoan in mainland Greece. The olive
production was very important in the economy of this society. The
decipherment of the “Linear B” script brought to light valuable
information about the production, the commerce and the export of the
olive oil in Mycenaean Greece as we can see in the palace records of
Mycenae and Pylos.
In the 6th
Century BC, Solon, the great Athenian legislator drafted the first
law for the protection of the olive tree, excluding the uncontrolled
felling. The olive tree was a symbol in ancient Greece and the
olive oil was used not only for its valuable nutritional quality,
but also for medical purposes.
Between the 7th
and 3rd Centuries BC, ancient philosophers, physicians
and historians undertook its botanical classifications and referred
to the curative properties of olive oil. This knowledge is being
rediscovered today as modern scientists research to find why the
Mediterranean diet is so very healthy.
The symbolic meaning of the
olive tree as well as the exceptional value of olive oil is visible
in all aspects of the ancient Greek culture. A number of facts show
us the relationship between the olive tree and its products
interwoven within the social fabric of Greece. When the first
Olympic Games took place in Olympia in 776 BC, an olive-tree branch
was the award to the winners, symbolizing the armistice of any
hostility with the branch of peace.
This symbolic award was
given to winners until the end of the ancient Olympic Games.
However, not only was the olive-tree branch given as an award but
also the highly prized product; Olive Oil. The most impressive
example of the value of the olive oil was its use at the Panathenaic
Games. These games took place every four years with the occasion of
Athens most important celebration, the Panathenea, in honor of the
Greek goddess Athena. The winners of the athletic games delivered,
as an award, olive oil in amphorae, known as the “Panathenaic
Amphorae”. The amphorae itself, constituted the quality of the
already certified product. This is the first example of product
certification in world history.
The quantities of the
delivered olive oil to the winners were huge. For example,
depending on the sport, the first winner could take as an award, a
quantity of about (5) tons. The legislation in Athens excluded the
export of olive oil. Since such a quantity could not be consumed by
just the winner, it’s easy to imagine how rich any winner became.
During the Classical period,
Athens reached the peak of its power. During that period Greek
olive oil was exported throughout the known world, as such, the
greatest merchants of olive oil were the Athenian winners of the
When the Romans occupied
Greece, the olive oil production continued and the Romans were able
to learn the secrets of olive oil cultivation and production.
During Byzantine time’s
olive oil production continued to flourish. The production of olive
oil in Greek territories was significant because of the vast size of
the Empire. The Empire itself included almost half of the olive oil
production in the known world.
A large part of the total
production of olive oil was the work of the Greek monks, due to the
large areas possessed by the Church Monasteries. When the Turks
conquered Greece, the production of olive oil was not affected.
During this time the product
itself was responsible for keeping alive the traditional way of life
of the Greek culture, because it was used for religious purposes.
The olive tree and its oil had a special position in the Christian
Orthodox Church; it was a symbol of love and peace, an essential
part of the several solemn rites, from the service of baptism to the
oil lamps used in the churches and the little shrine that is part of
every Greek household.
During the Turkish
occupation of Greece, a great part of the total production of olive
oil belonged to the Turkish Government, but the rest remained in
Greek hands, as well as the “know-how”. After the liberation, the
olive tree cultivation was separated into two areas according to
Greek law; private properties (those areas which belonged to Greeks
during the Turkish occupation) and the National areas (those areas
which belonged to the Turks respectively). From this time until
today, Greece has become the world’s most important exporter of high
quality olive oil.
The love and high esteem of
the Greek olive-grower for the olive tree is passed on from
generation to generation and from family to family. With a birth of
a child an olive tree is planted which will grow and develop along
with the child. When the child starts school at the age of six, the
olive tree is ready to produce its fruit. The blessed tree grows up
with the family and will have a long life which will still be around
to be tended by the next generation and the one after that. Each
year, it yields its annual crop of olives, in return for the labor
of love expended on it.
Grades of Olive
Taste, aroma and color are
all indications of the quality of olive oil. Olive oil, the blessed
product extracted from the olives, is classified into six grades:
It is virgin olive oil with an extremely fine taste and an
acidity of not more then (1%). It comes from the first pressing
that meets ultimate processing standards.
or Select: This olive oil has an exceptionally fine
taste and its acidity level does not exceed (2%). It comes from
the first pressing that meets defined processing standards.
Pure or Edible: This
olive oil has a good taste and its acidity level is up to (1½
%). This is a blended mixture of refined, virgin and/or extra
virgin olive oil.
Refined or Commercial:
Consists of lamp-ante from which acid, color and odor have been
High acid oil, obtained from a second pressing of residual pulp
with hot water. Lampante oil is olive oil not suitable
as food; lampante comes from olive oil's long-standing
use in oil-burning lamps.
Extracted with solvents and refined repeatedly.
Today, Spain and Italy are
the world leaders in commercial olive oil production, followed by
Greece. Other important olive producing countries are Turkey,
Tunisia, Morocco, Syria and Portugal. Europe, with nearly 500
million olive trees, has more then three-quarters of the world’s
cultivated olives, followed by Asia.
It’s useful to point out that individual Greek olive oil production
producers from the 19th century until present day were
given a large number of incentives. Thus today’s Greece, in spite of
its small size possesses the third position among olive oil
producers in the world, using the most advanced methods and the most
Of the over (70%) of the
total Greek production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Greece is the
world’s largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. About one-third
of the total production of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is exported. In
fact, Greece is the world’s largest exporter of Extra Virgin Olive
Oil. About one-third of the total production is exported. The
remaining quantity gives Greece the first position in per capita
consumption at world level. The tradition of the production of
olive oil spans more then five millennia in Grecian history.
Unquestionably, the Greek olive oil is by far the best in the world.