Archestratos wrote the first cooking book in history in 330 B.C., showing and reminding that cuisine is a sign of civilization. In Greece there is a whole philosophy regarding eating and sharing food. Only think about the symposiums and of course Dionysus, the ancient god of conviviality, wine and food. For the Greeks, eating with friends either at a tavern or at home is a social affair that has its deep roots in antiquity. The word symposium literally means drinking with company and was a social activity that continues till today.
The Greek cuisine is known all over the world for its delicious dishes that come to a wide variety of tastes, satisfying both vegetarians and meat eaters. The secrets that have made it that popular are the fresh ingredients of good quality, the right and wise use of different herbs and spices and the Greek olive oil. Its basic simplicity is the way of cooking adds to the charm of Greek cuisine, creating a lot of mouthwatering delicacies, both salty and sweet. A glass of Greek wine also usually accompanies a meal in Greece. In summer, a cold glass of beer is also very usual in lunchtime.
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You will be delighted by the taste of the fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, carrots, onions and garlic, as well as of fruits in Greece, such as peaches, apricots cherries, melons and watermelons. The mild climate is ideal for the outdoor cultivation of these traditional products, which especially in summer are a real refreshing pleasure!
The herbs used in cooking are mostly collected on the mountains and in the countryside. They come in a wide variety, the most often used in the Greek dishes being oregano, thyme, chicory, rosemary to name but a few and they are famous for their scent and special taste, some of them for their healing properties, too. One more thing you cannot forget trying while in Greece is feta cheese, used very often in the Greek salad you will find in every tavern.
However, if you are really interested in the Greek cuisine, you will discover that souvlaki and moussaka are not the only ones that are delicious in Greece. Traveling to the hot tourist destinations of Greece gives you the opportunity of getting to know better the real Greek culture, by choosing one of the gastronomy travel packages.
In fact, over the last years, gastronomy holidays are very popular in Greece. Crete is one of the Greek Islands that offers the possibility of taking Cretan traditional Mediterranean cooking lessons during your holidays. Included in the gastronomy holidays packages are the transportations, the accommodation, touring and sightseeing and the meals as well. The cooking lessons are usually given by local ladies who are willing to share with you their knowledge and experience received over the years from one generation to another. Greek cooking sessions are also offered as a holiday package in Poros Island, in Rhodes Island, in Athens. Most of them are scheduled for about 7 or 8 days and the lessons last approximately four hours each.
Following the instructions of the chef among the tempting scents, you will discover the secrets of the Greek cuisine. Above all, these lessons have the advantage of a more relaxed and immediate way of learning, since the teachers are not professionals but common people with the invaluable privilege of experience and originality.
Whether at a villa, or a bed and breakfast country house, it is your choice where to spend your cooking and gastronomy holidays in Greece. This kind of active holidays is going to be certainly educational and more than tasty... Take the chance and try this enjoyable combination of learning and relaxing. After a week of Greek cooking lessons, you will be able to impress your friends back home by preparing them one of the meals they've never tasted before! They will love you.