Good morning, or should I say Kalimera! Just this past winter, I got to experience Greece for a study abroad trip. As an added bonus, I was able to make the trip with my friend and fellow GEK Retail Associate, Jourdan. Now we didn’t just “experience Greece”, we got to live like a Greek! Our host family showed us what it really meant to live their life style, including cooking every meal from scratch and really getting immersed in the history. We got to celebrate New Years with sparklers at dinner time and never ending music, explore the ancient ruins and admire the incredible architecture. But MOST importantly, we got to eat the food!
What’s with the olives?
Typically when we think of Greece, the first thing that comes to mind is the olive oil, and there’s a good reason for that! Olive oil is eaten at almost every meal, they even find ways to bake desserts with them. Walking around Athens all you see are fields of olive trees that stretch for miles. According to Takis, our friend and host in Greece, the abundance of olive trees all began when the Greek god Poseidon and the Greek goddess Athena were battling over who could claim Athens as their own. Poseidon blessed the citizens with fresh spring water while Athena chose to bless the people with olive trees. The Greek people were so excited about the olive trees that they chose Athena as the owner of the land and named the town Athens to honor her. Pretty neat huh?
Not only are the olives never ending, but the Feta cheese… my oh my is there Feta, and personally I couldn’t get enough of it! I learned that it is the perfect topping for freshly made bread with an olive oil drizzle on top. Other dishes, like Spanakopita (a traditional Greek Salad) and stuffed bell peppers that we made, weren’t perfected until we added the fresh Feta cheese on top. Once I returned back home and had a craving for Greek food, I was able to sink my teeth into the Greek Chicken Quinoa Bowl at Good Eats Kitchen. This dish has the olives, the feta and traditional Greek Tzatziki that I need to get my flavor fix for the day!
I highly recommend everyone visit the beautiful land of Greece. There are so many unique flavors to try and remarkable places to see. Just being there is, in a word, refreshing.