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Ancient Greek Food and Cooking

By Yona Williams    7/25/07

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fishGreek.jpg
When it comes to ancient Greek foods, there was variation in staples and a wide-range of cooking techniques that developed throughout the years. In this article, you will learn about some of the most common foods, how they were cooked, and a few ancient Greek recipes to satisfy your taste buds.

When ancient Greeks cooked, they concentrated on vegetables, fruits, and legumes when preparing meals. While meat was eaten at the dinner table, there were also numerous fish dishes as well. On spits, the meats were roasted, but many ancient Greeks also cooked food in ovens and sometimes boiled their meats. Many of the early fish dishes were cooked with cheese. To help wash down their feasts, they presented wine, which was often watered down and sometimes had a bit of garlic added.

Ancient Greeks are associated with the thin phyllo dough that is famously associated with the sweet treat of baklava. The technique regarding the preparation of the dough was discovered about the 4th century BCE, where researchers also place the first time baklava was eaten. Since sugar was not known to the people of this time, honey was used as the traditional method of sweetening desserts and other foods. Sometimes, figs and sweet grapes were also selected as sweeteners.

As for roles in the kitchen, the men were typically in charge of roasting the meats on spits or over coals, which served as the ancient Greeks version of a barbeque. The women would boil foods, prepare items in the oven, and baked. If you are interested in learning what the oldest known recipe associated with the ancient Greeks is, it is actually listed as slices of fish cooked in oil and cheese.

Additional recipes consisted of Ancient Bean Soup; Cod with Coriander; Grape Must; Roasted Leeks and Apple; Sea Bass and Feta; Grape Syrup; and Honey & Sesame Fritters. To try an ancient Greek recipe, why not try the Honey & Sesame Fritters or Sea Bass and Feta selections listed below:

Honey & Sesame Fritters

Ingredients

120 grams of flour
225 milliliters of water
Two spoonfuls of honey
One spoonful (15 grams) of baked sesame seeds
Oil (for frying)

Directions

1. Mix the flour, water and one spoonful of honey and make into dough.

2. Heat two spoonfuls of oil in a frying pan and pour ¼ of the mixture. When it thickens, turn it upside down about two to three times to fry it on both sides.

3. Prepare three more fritters and follow the same instructions.

4. Fritters are served hot after pouring more honey on top and roll over the fritters in the sesame seeds.


Sea Bass and Feta
(serves 4)

Ingredients

Four sea bass fillets (about 7 ounces)
¼ cup unseasoned dry breadcrumbs
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh minced dill
1 tablespoon fresh minced chives
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2) Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, oil, dill and chives in a small bowl.

3) Liberally salt and pepper the bass, placing in a lightly greased baking pan.

4) Press the breadcrumb mixture on top of each sea bass fillet.

5) Bake (uncovered) until the fish is firm and cooked thoroughly for about 20 minutes.



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