For “What I Ate Wednesday,” I wanted to give you an idea of the food I enjoyed during my vacation in Greece. I loved the food — plenty of ripe, luscious fruits, lots of salads with vividly red tomatoes and olive oil, a great variety of seafood, grilled meats, and spreads…
About half of my vacation was spent sailing and sleeping on a yacht as we traveled to islands as part of a small group tour. The other half of the vacation was spent on land — Athens when we arrived and Santorini at the end of our trip.
The joke is that the national breakfast of Greece is coffee and a cigarette. It was true that breakfast was not emphasized. Bread and jam or a pastry were typical. On the boat, we had a simple breakfast from the kitty of fruit and yogurt and sometimes a hard boiled egg. My first cup of strong, unfiltered Greek coffee surprised me when I saw the thick sludge in the bottom of my cup. I grew to love it though.
One delicious light lunch I had was a traditional Greek yogurt with orange honey and muesli. We also loved picking up a quick gyro with pork, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and onions on a freshly grilled pita. They stuck French fries right in there too. We also had a few simple lunches of fruit and a sandwich from the kitty on the boat.
I picked up the sweetest, most perfectly ripe peach I ever had in my life at a mini-market.
We saw a pistachio orchard on the island of Aegina, and then snacked on pistachios on the boat. We also got cashews and pastries from street vendors.
Breakfasts were light and late. Lunches were light and late, too. Dinners, after a “siesta” during the heat of the day, are typically very late in Greece. They would usually begin with a Greek salad and other starters to share and end with fresh fruit. I loved eating outside for almost every meal. When we were part of the group, we would often begin a long, leisurely dinner after 9 p.m. and not be heading back to the boat until close to midnight. The harbor would come alive late at night, with people strolling the streets or lingering in tavernas and little kids riding their bikes in the wee hours.
It was easy to eat meatless for several days as there were a wide variety of salads and vegetarian dishes available.
A special dinner that we had was when the skipper arranged for a meal of two big fish that were caught that day to be prepared for the group. On several of the islands, we saw boats coming in with their catch to sell to restaurant owners for that day’s menu.
Meals were quite expensive in Greece. After the splurging on the dinners we had with the group, we turned to quick, cheap gyros (usually about $3 each) for our dinners during the end of our vacation. I never got tired of them.
We made sure to save some room for gelato a few times too.
What are your favorite things to eat on vacation?