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Guardian: Thessaloniki is “a unique gastronomic repertoire

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The well-known newspaper mentions in detail its favorite city in Greece

A journey into the history of the commercial port is a meeting with empires – Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman communities, have left their mark on the cuisine of the city

Thessaloniki, the “Unesco's first gastronomic city in Greece” is famous for its perfect sweets, spicy soutzoukaki, wine, frappe and local specialties that reflect a rich cultural heritage, writes the British newspaper Guardian in a tribute to the characteristic a unique gastronomic repertoire “.

It should be noted that Thessaloniki is the only Greek city that has succeeded in joining the Network of Creative Cities of Gastronomy.

“Undoubtedly Thessaloniki is the 'food city' of Greece,” says Greek-American TV chef Diane Kochilas.

A journey into the history of this important commercial port is a meeting with empires – Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman – and living communities, each of which has left its mark on the city's cuisine, according to the report – according to APE- ΜΠΕ. “Thessaloniki is also the heart of Macedonia, one of the most important agricultural areas in Greece,” says Diane Kotsilas. Walk in the central markets of Modiano and Kapani to find juicy peaches of Naoussa, olives of Halkidiki and crimson peppers of Florina. The result; A unique gastronomic repertoire, enjoyed with a generous glass of local wine.

The Guardian's tribute continues by making its own choice, in some of the top dishes and sweets that compose the unique gastronomic scene of the city.

The bougatsa: “the ultimate breakfast”
The incredible leaf stuffed with cream or cheese has its roots in Constantinople cuisine from the years of the Byzantine Empire. From there he arrived in Serres with the Greeks of the city in 1922 during the transfer of the populations.

Smyrna soutzoukaki: the famous food that stands out for its herbs, garlic and plenty of cumin
“Many of the Greek refugees from Asia Minor have found refuge in Thessaloniki and their contribution to the city's nutritional history is extremely important,” says Diane Kotsilas. One of their favorite foods is soutzoukaki: long beef meatballs, with cumin, garlic and a touch of cinnamon. It is also served with boukovo or a little hot pepper. The key, according to chef Costas Ustambasidis, is the “quality of the meat and the ancient recipe” – which he keeps secret.

Buns: With tahini and pieces of dark chocolate in the dough or with olive filling, cream cheese and turkey are everywhere, from the excellent, local ovens to the large pans of street vendors in various parts of the city.

The traditional cuisine of the Jews of Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki once hosted the largest Jewish community in Europe and for many centuries had the nickname “La madre de Israel” (The mother of Israel).

“The ingredients used are the same as those found in Greek cuisine, but the history of Sephardic Jewish cuisine is special,” says chef Costas Markou.

Local wine: Greece has started to become famous for its wines. The vineyards around Thessaloniki host local grape varieties, such as white Malagouzia, Assyrtiko, as well as red Xinomavro, Mavroudi and Limnio. The British newspaper makes a special reference to the vineyards as well as the unique view they offer.

Bouyurdi: “In Thessaloniki the dishes are a little more spicy than in the rest of Greece”, reports the Guardian. This detail of the local cuisine can be found triumphantly in the famous bougiourdi, an amazing food from the Greek heritage of 1920 that consists of baked feta in the oven with tomatoes, fresh hot peppers and chili, flavored with oregano and olive oil.

Triangles: The leaf is the king of sweets, but this time with syrup, filled with a velvety cream. “Thessaloniki is called a 'sweet mother,'” says chef Diane Kotsilas. With a triangle in hand, it is easy to understand why.

Mussels: With Thermaikos Gulf being the main mussel production area in Greece, it would be an omission not to eat one or two dishes, Guardian reports

Traditional Greek cold instant coffee – frappe: The emblematic drink that was accidentally made in 1957 at the Thessaloniki International Fair when the representative of the company Nestlé Giannis Dritsas did not have hot water available and put cold water with ice in a shaker. The rest, as they say, is history. Enjoy this in one of the city's many cafes – more than any other European city, the Guardian reports.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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