Visit Greece and speak Greek
Are you thinking of going to Greece and are you wondering what is the best way to immerse yourself into the Greek culture? “Let’s start with Greek food and Greek language“, according to Carlos Panayotopoulos, a seventeen year old who is Greek and lives in Boston, Massachusetts. Carlos is very passionate about every aspect of Greek culture and does his best to tell everyone he meets a little bit about it. He believes that before going to Greece, it is very important to be able to speak a little bit of Greek. This is why Carlos decided to make this video.
Today, we’ll be learning about how to order at a Greek restaurant in Greek as well as about some popular Greek food options.
In terms of where to eat in Greece, try a greek taverna. A taverna is a small Greek restaurant that also serves coffee. Restaurant in greek is “estiatorio.” Try saying it out loud just once.
Greek restaurants often have the color blue built into them as it is one of the colors on the Greek flag. You’ll also often see plants and ivy growing outside. Right when you walk into the restaurant, you would probably say something along the lines of “Boro na eho trapezi se parakalo?” This translates directly to “Can we have a table please?” To familiarize yourself with the Greek phrases, try saying them out loud a few times!
To ask for a menu, you would say: “To menu se parakalo”. This would translate to “The menu, please“. To ask if you can order, you would say “Boroume na paragiloume se parakalo?” which translates directly to “Can we please order?”
In terms of what to eat in Greece with kids, there are many delicious food options to enjoy. Greece is famous for using a wide variety of spices in it’s cuisine. Oregano is one of the many spices that is used. This is what gives Greek food it’s unique and delicious taste.
Let’s start with what is probably the most basic and rudimentary Greek food option, “Souvlaki”. Souvlaki is roast chicken or pork on a skewer usually with some roasted bell peppers added in as well. Souvlaki will appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. It is often served with french fries. This is handy because if you don’t like the souvlaki, you can at least enjoy some french fries. Souvlaki can be served either in a piece of pita bread with some extra ingredients such as onions, feta cheese or sliced bell peppers or on a skewer as previously described. Overall, souvlaki is definitely worth a try on your next family trip to Greece.
You could also try “Biftekia”, which often come with french fries or potatoes baked in olive oil and garlic. Biftekia are essentially burgers cooked on a grill that comes without a bun and is normally eaten with lemon juice on top. This is a great example of family-friendly food to eat in Greece.
Another thing to consider is that in Greek cuisine, lemon is eaten with almost everything. The Greek word for lemon is “Lemoni”. Lemon is commonly used because lemon trees aren’t too difficult to grow in Greece’s hot and dry summers.
A common side dish or something for everyone at the table to share would be a Greek salad which tends to be popular with kids (as far as salads go). Greek salad in greek is “Horiatiki”. A Greek salad will have cucumbers, tomatoes, and green bell peppers chopped up with a piece of feta on top and lots of oregano. It also has a lot of olive oil on it so that you can dip bread in the remaining juice after the actual salad is finished.
Greek-style potatoes fried in olive oil are a guaranteed hit with kids and grownups alike. The greek word for this is “patates”, which sounds similar to potatoes. The potatoes are often covered in crumbled feta cheese and seasoned with copious amounts of yummy oregano.
Greek restaurants have managed to turn fried food into an art. Try fried meatballs or fried squid. The Greek word for fried meatballs is “Keftedakia” and the word for fried squid is “calamari”. Another thing to definitely take into consideration is the look on your friends’ faces when you get back from your family trip to Greece and tell them you ate squid!
An all around family favorite is fried cheese. The greek word for this is “Saganaki”. Like many other Greek dishes, it is often served with lemon.
When people think of Greek food, they would not normally think vegan or vegetarian friendly. There are, however, many options for vegetarians and vegans in greek restaurants. The horiatiki salad that we talked about earlier is entirely vegetarian. Fava beans, olives, stuffed tomatoes and peppers, stuffed vine-leaves, veggie croquettes, pies, yoghurt, and honey are just some of the many vegan options that will be available almost anywhere on your family trip to Greece.
Overall, there are loads of family-friendly food options in Greece. Even the pickiest of eaters are likely to find a food that they enjoy and leave the fried squid for the more adventurous eaters.
BIO of the author
Carlos Panayiotopoulos is a seventeen year old who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is very passionate about every aspect of Greek culture and does his best to tell everyone he meets a little bit about It. He believes that before going to Greece, it is very important to be able to speak a little bit of Greek. This is why Carlos decided to make this video.
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