Moussaka" class=" wp-image-377 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_1.jpg" alt="moussaka">
After a cultural day of sightseeing and analysing ancient Greek lifestyles, I set off to find a place to eat.
Nafplio, was well equipped for this with many restaurants on offer. I was looking forward to eat a mini feast and indulge in a lot of "traditional" foods.
I wanted to be transported to epicurean heaven.
I found a place near the water's edge and ordered a few too many dishes and consumed them with hungry abandon! As usual, lots of bread arrived to accompany my choices.
The menus were in Greek, English and German. I was in the mood for moussaka. Even though the weather dial was slightly above average, I wanted to try this and see how its represented in modern day Greece.
Creamy bechamel sauce on top, covering a layer of fried eggplant, zucchini and potatoes. And let's not forget the mince meat with its slight aroma of cinammon.
Perfectly fried banana chillies" class=" wp-image-378 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_2.jpg" alt="fried banana chillies">
The dishes come out in no particular order. I was happy to pick a little here and there. The banana chillies were fried to a delightful crispness. Not too soggy and went well with the bread.
I adore banana chillies!
They are sweet and not spicy hot at all.
Skordalia...Greek garlic dip" class=" wp-image-379 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_3.jpg" alt="skordalia">
The skordalia was next. This dish is usually served with fried "bacalao" or dried cod fish. Or sometimes its served with boiled wild greens.
It's a blend of garlic cloves, mashed potatoes, sometimes bread and olive oil. I smothered mine hungrily on the bread.
There are a few variations on this dish and each region tends to add or omit certain things.
Marinated octopus" class=" wp-image-380 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_4.jpg" alt="octopus">
Marinated octopus is another favourite. It lived up to all its expectations. "Htapodi Xidato" (try saying that a few times) as its known, is featured heavily in many seaside restaurants.
Freshly caught octopus is tenderised and left out to dry. It is then boiled and left to "cook" in a mixture of olive oil, vinegar and oregano. It's during this process that it becomes soft, moist and oh so tender.
It's usually served in a tapas style serve or "meze" with pre dinner drinks. Dipping of the bread in the juices is compulsory!
fried eggplant slices" class=" wp-image-381 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_5.jpg" alt="fried eggplant slices">
yemista-stuffed tomatoes and peppers" class=" wp-image-382 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_6.jpg" alt="Greek yemista">
Let's not forget the vegetables. They play a huge part in the Mediterranean diet.
The Greeks have their own unique way of cooking and serving them.
How simple are fried eggplant slices?
I've often ranted on about how the simple things are often the best ones to cook and the most tasty. And these were no exception.
Simply slice your eggplant and salt it to remove the bitterness. Dip into some flour and fry in olive oil.
The exterior has a nice crispness to it and the insides are warm and soft.
I also couldn't go by the "yemista". I've also had them here, if you've dared to read that far back!
Basically translated as stuffed vegetables, the "yemista" are also featured on a lot of traditional eateries' menus. Mince meat and rice are stuffed into hollowed out tomatoes and peppers, with a mixture of dill and parsley. They are then baked in the oven with olive oil and sometimes potatoes.
Once again, the accompanying juices are fantastic to dip bread in.
Grilled sardines" class=" wp-image-383 " src="http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/page0_blog_entry67_7.jpg" alt="grilled sardines">
And last but not least I ordered a bit of seafood.
Our waiter kindly explained that they had a great morning catch and the chef would prepare them for us, simply grilled.
I was a bit hesitant when he mentioned sardines. All those childhood memories of icky canned sardines came rushing back! But this was a whole different kettle of fish, so to speak!
The sardines were simply grilled and then doused with extra virgin olive oil and lots of lemon juice. They were not "fishy" at all. They were tender and soft and the flavours blended well. And they were definitely fresh.
A great end to a very satisfying meal. I had indulged in so many foods that were so satisfying I couldn't move!
And it wasn't expensive either. All of the above, plus a few beers and water came to 50 Euro. (I can only imagine the peak summer prices though). All in all, a fantastic intro to Greek foods and eating.
Kali orexi! (bon apettite!)