AROUND GREECE

Spices

In the cellar of the Greek Cuisine

The Greek Cuisine is a true kaleidoscope of delicacies, recipes and traditions, which reflect the culture of every region of the country’s rich and diverse landscape. As Greece has been the crossroad between East and West, its cuisine has received various influences from her “neighbours”. Extraordinary mixes have emerged and combined with a local tradition of more than 4.000 years, giving us a unique result of unforgivable gastronomical surprises!  

Spices and herbs, the soul of every national cuisine, constitute an integral part of the Greek cuisine which is characterized by its ability to combine different elements with wisdom and a unique sense of proportion and equilibrium. Spices have many different culinary and pastry uses which create unforgettable gastronomical and aromatic variations of the same dish and at the same time constitute a rich food choice which provide us with good health and wellbeing! Would you like to sneak inside the Greek cellar in order to know them better?   


A journey to a world of flavours and scents

Saffron
Saffron which is known as the “red gold” derives from the red stigmas of the flower crocus. The Greek crocus of Kozani offers us the best quality of saffron in the world. With a violet aroma, a wonderful slightly bitter taste and a unique yellow color, elevates creations in pastry, cooking, cheese making and distillery to different level.  
Use it: in rice, potatoes, pasta, white meat and sea food or in your coffee and tea.
Taste it: in Mussel Pilaf with Saffron 

Cinnamon
There is no doubt that cinnamon is the queen of all spices with its slight sweetness and warmth. It has been very popular since ancient times. Did you know that the origin of its name “cinnamon” derives from the ancient Greek word “κιννάμωμον” (cinnamomon).  
Use it: in traditional sweets, cookies, creams, cakes and sweet breads. Also used in red meat, poultry, fish and marinades.
Taste it: in Bougatsa 

Clove
Clove has an intense caustic taste and a pleasant aroma. It combines spicy and sweet notes and matches equally with pastry and culinary dishes. It is related to winter and autumn, as it offers a sense of warmth and coziness.
Use it: to flavor pork and beef meat, nail it on onions and spice up your broths. Also bake pies, tarts, sweets and syrups with a pinch of clove, combine it with fruits, walnuts and honey and flavor your favorite liquor.      
Taste it: in Baklava

Nutmeg
Nutmeg has a nice strong penetrating aroma and an intense, almost sweet taste. There is no doubt that cinnamon is its true match, but it also makes a harmonic pair with cloves.
Use it: mainly in traditional sweets, in red meats and sauces, in salads and liquors.
Taste it: in Mousaka 

Cardamom
Cardamom has a strong spicy taste with lemon and pine notes. It is considered one of the most expensive spices and it is famous for its stimulating powers.
Use it: mainly in sauces and vegetables. It creates interesting culinary combinations with rice, chicken, lentils, creams, carrots, citrus fruits, pumpkin, tea and coffee.
Taste it: in Baked quinces with cardamom

Coriander
Coriander was very popular in Antiquity, as ancient Greeks believed that it could ensure the immortality of the soul. It has a natural but intense taste which leaves to the tongue an aftertaste of citrus and sage.
Use it: in the form of whole seeds or grated in order to flavor your soups, roasts, fishes, poultry and vegetables.
Taste it: in Potatoes with coriander

Anise
The Greek name of anise “glykanissos” betrays its sweetness. It is connected to the famous drink ouzo, our favourite companion in summertime. It is also used in order to flavour tsipouro.   
Use it: in baking and pastry
Taste it: in ouzo cookies

Ginger
Ginger has an intense spicy taste which tinkles the tongue. During the ancient times it was called “ζιγγίβερη” (ziggiberi). Nowadays, it is the basic ingredient of the famous Ginger Beer of Corfu Island.
Use it: grated or in the form of a syrup in order to spice up your sweets and sauces.
Taste it: in Olive oil with ginger

Mahlepi
Mahlepi comes from the kernel of the sour cherry. Its intense aroma flavors creation in pastry, as it leaves a unique aftertaste of cherry and bitter almond.
Use it: in traditional Greek sweet bread (tsoureki) and cookies’ recipes.
Taste it: Tsoureki

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