8 Top Appetizers (Mezze) of Greek Cuisine

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Appetizers in Greek cuisine are referred to as mezze, and this is actually more of a concept than a simple collection of dishes. The concept of the “mezze” might have its roots in Ancient Greece, where it was against the law to serve alcohol in restaurants and tavernas without offering food. To this day, plates of mezze are often brought to the table while in Greece after ordering alcohol, even if they didn’t order food.

There is a certain collection of foods that is regularly served as part of a mezze, or Greek appetizer spread. Here are some of the most common:

Dolmades (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

Stuffed grape leaves are a wonderful addition to the table! They can be served as an appetizer or as a main course, depending on the occasion. For these, rice is cooked with herbs and meat (optional) before being rolled in the leaves. This shows that Greeks don’t like to let any part of plant go to waste, as they leaves are usually picked in limited quantities from grapevines that are used for winemaking.

Saganaki (Flaming Cheese)

When Greeks came to America, they wanted something special. This is where the flaming cheese came into being. Saganaki is cheese that’s been pan fried with a little alcohol. The cheese is set on fire and brought the table. It’s cheesy.  It’s the ideal thing to have when you’re on a date at your favorite Greek dinner and want a little delight to the start of your meal and it is extremely fun to watch the fire burn. It also gives the cheese a nice flavor.

Marinated Greek Olives

Olives go with everything and they are abundantly grown in Greece. This means that they are usually found at the dinner table!  Marinated olives bring the olive to a whole new level and is a nice addition to any meal. It also goes with anything.

Tiropita (Cheese Phyllo Triangles)

Phyllo is a wonderful food because of the way it bakes. It’s flaky and crunchy without being greasy or too heavy. These cheese filled pastries are an excellent way to take the edge off your hunger while you’re waiting for the main course to come along. Every person at your table can have their own triangle!

Spanakopita (Spinach Phyllo Triangles)

The classic spanakopita is made from a few simple ingredient. Experts take pastry, add in fresh spinach and bring along an extra zing with some zesty feta cheese. You can enjoy these at the start of your own meal. They are the very essence of Greek cuisine. The pastries are portable so you don’t need a knife and fork to dip right in. They’re also something that is just a bit filling. Spanakopita are also fully vegetarian so everyone at your table can take some. They’re also equally good when served hot or cold.

Tzatziki (Yogurt Cucumber Dip)

Yogurt is one of the foundations of Greek cuisine. If you love Greek yogurt too, this is an excellent dip to try! It all starts with yogurt that’s been drained overnight. Then it’s mixed with cucumber, garlic,  and herbs. This the right thing to nibble with a few slices of pita bread and also tastes great accompanying the main course.

Greek Bruschetta

Crunchy bread topped with marinated vegetables. This is what you want to eat when you want to eat it. You’ll discover a world of flavors in each bite. Greek Bruchetta takes the idea of the standard Italian version and brings it to a whole new level. Have a few bites and enjoy the merge of flavors in your mouth.

Feta Spread

Feta is one of the most adored food items in Greece. The creamy, tart cheese lends itself to a wide variety of varied preparations. Sample it in the form of a dip that’s been whipped into shape just for you. Feta spread makes a wonderful thing to share at the table with other people. It works with the fresh vegetables that are such a part of Greek culture or toasted bread.

These Greek appetizers are a great addition to any table!

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This post was written by GreekBoston.com

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