Greek gastronomy on surge

New Greek cuisine

Always renowned for its unsofisticated but extremely genuine and tasty food, Greek cuisine is reaching unprexedented heights. Young entrepreneurs have opened new businesses in the farming and breeding sector,  requalifying cultivations and introducing new modern techniques, that combined to scientific knowledge and the characteristics of the Greek land and climate deliver incredible results.  Regional cuisine (e.g. of Crete, Cyclades, Mani, Northern Greece) has received increasing attention and many restaurants now offer local specialties have opened. Furthermore, in the last years, many young Greek chefs are experimenting with new ingredients coming from abroad or rediscovering old traditional Greek products and dishes that had temporarily been put aside. New Greek cuisine marks a return to Greekness with a modern twist, and products like saffron, mastique, wild herbs, humble regional cheeses and hams and honey are commonly found in it.

Moreover, Athens has 5 Michelin-awarded restaurants. Among them Funky Gourmet, a restaurant that revisits traditional Greek cuisine in an exquisitely avant-garde fashion with many nouveau and molecular cuisine elements. Its pair of chefs define it as refined, provoking and amusing. Its fortunate clients seem to appreciate and TripAdvisor ranked it as the 6th best restaurant in the world for 2013. More traditional taverns still preserve their aficionados fans and continue to serve tasty, fresh dishes at bargain price. In that league you may want to try Syrtaki near Cape Sounio for instance, where the old grandma still stands as the boss of the kitchen, preparing traditional pies and fried vegetables and fishes which savour will linger with you for a long time.

The Greek wine sector is booming as well. In the last 10 years the quality and branding of Greek wine has raised enormously, conquering larger portions of the international market. It is praised for being more “authentic” and “natural” than, say, French wine, and its admirers are ready to forgive its occasional fickleness for the incredible heights that local grape varieties and wines can sometimes reach. Here the nexus land-climate-wine is as clear as ever and this authenticity, together with the excitement that discovering a great new variety or wine label produces  can be extremely rewarding. Remarkable Attica region wines include Savvatiano, from which Retsina is also made, Malagouzia, Assyrtiko, Moschato and Agiorgitiko, together with foreign varieties that grow pretty well such as Merlot and Cabernet. Along with wine, other traditional Greek spirits have thrived lately, including evergreen ouzo and tsipouro, Masticha liqueur, Tedoura and Fatourada and of course Rakomelo, which is prepared with raki, honey, and a mix of wild herbs and spices.

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