Consider Greek cuisine and the mind effortlessly conjures the succulent flavours of lamb, an array of seafood, and the subtle combination of olive oil, lemon and herbs.
Add to that the bite of feta and yoghurt, and you have a mouthwatering palate of healthy heroes that combine as the basis for so many Greek meals.
All these ingredients have a history that’s as rich as the flavours they present, so here’s an insight into the five main heroes of Greek cuisine…
The Greek climate and topography favours the grazing of sheep rather than catte, which is why lamb is such a central component of many Greek meals. Considered a celebratory staple, its uses extend from souvlaki to moussaka, roasts and beyond. Served with the contrasting flavour of Greek yoghurt in tzatziki it’s a combination that has taken the world by storm.
As a Mediterranean nation, Greece is surrounded by water, and its seas have long been rich in a bountiful bevvy of seafood delights. In fact, much of Greece’s history and tradition is focused around the sea.
Greece is renowned as the country which created Calamari, and saw other cultures embracing anchovies and salivating over sardines, but the truth is a host of Greek meals feature sea fare as their staple.
From lobster and bass to bream and Barbounia, seafood is renowned as an essential element of the coastal diet, with a suite of succulent dishes derived from the ingredients caught or netted in the azure blue waters that surround.
Dating back to about the 8th century, feta is synonymous with Greek cuisine. Using sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk, it is another of the Greek flavours that takes its cue from ingredients readily at hand.
Now a distinguishing element of Greek recipe’s, feta is a cheese that has found its way into the supermarket aisle globally.
Greek was the first country to cultivate the olive tree, and it’s one of the most recognisable emblems of the nation. Served on their own, with feta or in a meal, olives add a uniquely salty and earthy flavor to a smorgasbord of Greek meals.
Meanwhile the oil that is derived from it is the essential ingredient for cooking, for salads or for just dipping bread.
Lemon trees didn’t originate in Greece but somewhere along the way they found their way there, and their zesty tang has been utilised ever since along with herbs like garlic, basil, sage and oregano. This combination of a select, mild, yet flavoursome herbs helps define the taste many associate with Greek cooking.
Located on the King Street Wharf amidst the beauty and excitement of Darling Harbour, George’s Mediterranean Bar and Grill is renowned as one of Sydney’s premier eateries and features all the heroes of Greek cuisine. Come share the Greek hospitality for which we are renowned as we serve up harbourside dining in simply stunning surrounds.