Why Greek Cuisine is So Influential

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Bottle pouring virgin olive oil in a bowl close upYes, it’s true. Greek cuisine is one of the most influential in the world, and it has been that way since ancient times. In fact, trendy concepts like farm-to-table, while not a Greek invention necessarily, have been a part of their culture long before it became trendy. The majority of Greeks, even those living in large urban areas, purchase a lot of their goods, especially their produce, from locally based farmers markets. Here are some fun facts that highlight some of the ways that Greek cuisine has influenced the world:

Influence of Greek Cuisine Began in Ancient Greece

Because Greece is so centrally located, the people were influenced by the cuisine and cultures from all over the world. They had a rich maritime culture and they not only spread their own culinary ideas to other cultures, but they also became influenced by the cultures of others. Many of these Greek goods, such as olive oil and Greek wine, were items that they sold to other places, which spread their influence even further. When Alexander the Great pushed the Greek influence further East, the Greek cuisine and culinary culture became even more widespread and along the way, the Greek people were influenced by what they discovered in these exotic places.

Ancient Greeks Wrote the First Cookbook

Most of us follow recipes in cookbooks without really thinking about it. But did you know that the Ancient Greeks actually take the credit for inventing the first cookbook? Archestratos gets the credit for writing the first cookbook in 330 B.C. In addition to writing about food, he also penned some creative works. However, his ancient cookbook suggests that food was an important part of the Greek culture.

Greeks Are Experts at Producing Olive Oil

Although there is some debate as to where olive oil production originates, you can’t deny that the Greeks continue to produce some of the best olive oil in the world. There are some olive oil presses that date as early as 5000 B.C. that come from some of the ancient Minoan dig site that are located on the island of Crete. Today, olive oil is used throughout the world, not just in Greece, and has been studies extensively for its health benefits. People are learning now what the Greeks have known all along – olive oil is far superior and makes food taste great!

Greeks Invented the Chef’s Hat

Did you know that Greeks from the Middle Ages invented the traditional white chef’s hat? Monks living in monasteries in Greece during that time would prepare their food while wearing a hat like that and the tradition eventually spread and is still used today. This offers a visual reminder as to how important Greek cuisine has always been to the rest of the world.

As you can see, Greek cuisine has influenced other cuisines throughout the world for centuries, starting in Ancient Greece. The fact that the Ancient Greeks even wrote cookbooks is telling of how important food and the enjoyment of it has been to the people since ancient times.

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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