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Greek Saffron

Saffron, a delicious spice coming from the Krokos (crocus) flower, is growing in Greece and known since ancient times! Saffron is being used in many different ways: for its flavor in the kitchen, for its color in cosmetics and paint, for its healing properties in the pharmaceutical sector. Cleopatra saw the value of using saffron in cosmetics, in the Old Testament it was mentioned because of its essence and Aeschylus described it as a way to dye fabric.
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The advents calendar for Greek Easter!

Kiria Sarakosti: the calendar counting down 7 weeks until Easter. It is not easy to translate the Greek “Kiria Sarakosti”, but we propose to call her “Lady-Lent” in English! It is an old tradition in Greece and a way to count the weeks from Clean Monday (the end of carnival) until Easter.
Click on the photo above to also see her 7 legs!
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The Vasilopita-The Greek New Year cake

In Greece, there is a nice tradition of baking the “vasilopita”, a special cake for the New Year, to start things off right! When cutting the cake into slices on New Year’s Day, Greeks will name each slice as they cut it, after everyone in the family and friends. Usually also a coin is hidden in the bottom of the cake. Whoever is lucky enough to get the coin in their slice is considered especially blessed in the coming year! So maybe a nice Greek tradition to also try it with your family and friends back home?

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Greek Christmas Traditions

Here below you will find information about some Christmas traditions in Greece. As a listening exercise you can click on the button above, where you will find the text in Greek while listening to teacher Konstantinos reading the text for you. 
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The Greek Food Culture

Whether you are living in Greece or just visiting, you will quickly notice that food has an important role in Greek society. Greeks consider a meal as quality time with friends and family. It is their way to socialize, to discuss various topics and concerns, to make fun and to offer hospitality. Even in a changing society, where fast food chains pop up everywhere, the traditional Greek kitchen holds the highest position.
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Fish Roe Salad – Tarama

Taramasalata or taramosalata is a Greek appetizer/dip made from tarama, the salted roe (fish eggs) of cod or grey mullet mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a base of bread or potatoes.
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Winter in Greece

For those who thought that Greece is only a summer country, you couldn’t be more wrong :-).  Due to its varied nature and culture, Greece is never boring!
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Pork with celery & lemon sauce

Would you like to cook a delicious Greek dish, which is also a great alternative for a Christmas table?  Pork with celery and lemon sauce! (vegetarians can replace the pork with mushrooms! )

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Cooking Giouvarlakia (Meatballs with egg-lemon sauce)

Now that the autumn season started, temperatures go down and along with that, light summer dishes switch to warm winter recipes. The Greek kitchen has amazing salads, fish and seafood for hot days, but when it is getting colder, Greek people prefer oven dishes, warm soup and meat.

And in contradiction to what you might think, cooking a Greek dish does not always have to be complicated. Today we will teach you a great example for a simple & tasty dish that you can prepare on a cold day: “Giouvarlakia”. In other words, we will prepare meatballs with egg-lemon sauce. The ingredients are simple and it does not take much more than half an hour to prepare.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients

500 grams minced meat (beef or half-half beef and pork)
1 cup of peeled rice
1 large grated onion
Finely chopped parsley
Finely chopped dill
1 egg
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

For the egg & lemon sauce
1-2 eggs
Juice from 1-2 lemons

Instructions

1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Make small meatballs.
3. Bring water to boil in a pan.
4. Put the meatballs in the water with some olive oil and salt.
5. Boil them at 100 degrees for about 20 minutes.
6. Take the pan off the fire.

Egg & lemon sauce

1. Beat the egg white(s) (albumen) with a mixer.
2. Add the yolk(s) and beat again.
3. Add the lemon juice while beating the mixture.
4. Pour some hot gravy from the meatballs in the sauce.
5. Pour the sauce in the pan with the meatballs and stir.

Καλή όρεξη! Enjoy your meal!

Greek Cheese

Those of you thinking that countries like France and The Netherlands are known for its cheese production, might be surprised how many cheeses are produced in Greece.
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