I’ve said in the past that I experience other cultures and countries at least partially through their unique foods. And I do. It’s just that usually I’m not the one eating the food – after all, I’m the world’s worst dinner guest due to my being a (very) fussy vegetarian. By which I mean I don’t eat spinach, mushrooms, olives, or blue cheese… or any meat.
This means I’m often stuck for choice when we travel overseas. While I love the scents of the amazing dishes that are associated with each country, I’ll happily let others indulge while I munch contentedly on something fairly pedestrian like a salad or a sandwich, which may be the extent of the “acceptable” offerings on the menu for me.
So, for me, travelling to Greece is a real treat – for once I’m the one sitting there overwhelmed by the number of choices from which to select my meal rather than scratching through the menu desperately trying to find an alternative to another serving of fries.
There are a number of reasons I love Greek cuisine – most restaurants have a variety of small dishes on the menu, so I’m able to sample a few different dishes at each meal. Additionally, many of these are vegetarian – cooked cheeses, baby marrow, onion or tomato fritters, bite-sized cheese pastries, and mouthwatering spreads like Tzatziki and spicy cheese spread. All of which are usually served with freshly baked pita bread.
Is it any wonder that I’m a little…well, actually a lot… like a kid in a candy store when faced with such an array of tasty treats?
My only regret is that Greek food back home never tastes the same. Maybe the local ingredients just don’t cut it – but, whatever the reason, I’ve never had quite the same experience eating Greek food in Cape Town that I do anywhere in Greece.
So, I guess I’ll just have to go back there to indulge my craving for fried Saganaki cheese, or authentic baby marrow fritters!
Anyone want to come too? I promise I won’t make you eat vegetarian!