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 Greek Culinary & Gastronomy Adventures


The culture of cooking and eating is a basic function of our everyday life and is an integral, simple and repetitive action.  It determines each of us (for example our personal identity, our memories, our family, social class, etc.) as well as every society and culture (its national cuisine, products, manufacturing methods, food consumption and so on).

Regarding the culinary and gastronomic culture of the ancient Greeks, important information comes from archaeological finds that come to light such as: eating and drinking utensils, depictions on painted vases, but also from food residues. Barley for bread, olives for irreplaceable oil, grapes for wine, were only some of the foodstuffs produced in Greece at that time. However, because of the rocky landscape, they could not produce enough goods. The inhabitants were then forced to turn to the sea. Very early on, the ancient Greeks became fishermen and seamen. They then began to explore the Mediterranean basin and found new cities mostly on the coast.

Sea-borne trade enabled them to import luxury products in Greece. These products were widely used in Symposiums, where serious discussions alternated with music, games and acrobatic performances. Food and wine, the gluttony of fellow diners and the arrogance of the cooks were often the subject matter of comedies in the annual drama/tragedy competitions.

Finally, it should be remembered that the dietary habits of the ancient Greeks differed depending on their social class, since, apart from the huge distinction between rich and poor; there was also the distinction between slaves and free citizens.

Throughout the ages, in any society cooking and eating are at the centre of social life. Our culture of cooking and eating is reflected in and defined by a much wider cultural context.  This includes history, everyday life, geography, local customs, local festivals, dialect, even the weather.

As we say in Greece, it is not possible to get to know a place without learning about its culture of eating and drinking.

Sotiris Fotakidis