With a history of more than 4.000 years, the Greek cuisine wouldn't exist without its characteristic elements: olive oil, honey, wine, herbs and spices.
Greece is the third largest producer of olive oil, but first in the production, the export of extra virgin olive oil and in the consumption (more than 20 liters per person/year). Historically olive tree was considered a sacred tree and a symbol of peace, wisdom and triumph that is the reason why Olympic champions were crowned by olive wreaths.
According to the myth, the Greek goddess Athena won the competition with the god Poseidon by creating the olive tree; where the Athenians accepted her gift and name the city after her.
Greek Olive Oil Characteristics: Low acidity by default, Superior taste, aroma & color, Authentic – Not blended (The olive oil industry in the world is well aware of the superior quality and the excellent organoleptic properties of Greek olive oil. Other countries import bulk Greek olive oil in order to mix it with other local, to grant its incomparable taste and aroma.)
“Peisistratos Tree“ (left), is said to be a remnant of an olive grove that was planted by Athenian tyrant Peisistratus in the 6th century BC. An olive tree more than 2.500 years old, still producing olives.
The production of honey is a Greek tradition that dates back to the antiquity. The Greek Honey is WILD, from high mountains and valleys, where the bees can select, from the pure nature, the best flowers each season. Greece, having a great variety of wild plants and flowers, gives different tastes of honey.
Greek honey is special with distinct biological and organoleptic characteristics: Unique in color, aroma, taste, thickness and mixture of ingredients. Greek honey in particular boasts high vitamin, enzyme, amino acid and mineral content.
According to the results of University studies:
of Cagliari, Italy, the variety with the most antioxidants was the Greek strawberry-tree honey.
Of Aristotelion University Thessaloniki Greece, after examined 48 local honeys, found that the antioxidants and the organoleptic characteristics were better than the top and most expensive honeys in the world.
SPICES AND HERBS
Greece is famous for its unique herbs and spices. Below are few examples :
The origins of wine-making in Greece go back 4.000 years as the numerous archeological discoveries throughout Greece indicate that Greece is home to the second oldest known grape wine remnants discovered in the world and the world’s earliest evidence of crushed grapes.
It is certain that the Greeks were the first growers of grapes and winemakers in Europe.
The wine was and is closely connected with the life and traditions. It is perhaps the only nation who had from the ancient times a god of wine (Dionysus)
The Greeks were exporting wine from antiquity, which transported them in clay jars, as evidenced by archaeological finds of shipwrecks.
Pausanias Vine (left): Is one of the oldest vines in Greece (still alive as a tree, but doesn’t bloom). It is assumed that the age of the vine should exceed the 3.000 years. The Vine is declared a monument of nature
What makes Greek wine so unique
The improvements with serious investments in modern wine making technology.
The new generation of native winemakers which is being trained in the best wine schools around the world (their wines continue to receive the highest awards in international competitions as well as the recognition they deserve throughout the world).
The more than 300 indigenous grape varieties grown there, some of which have been cultivated since ancient times (Many of the world’s best wine critics agree that the distinct flavors that come from these native grape varieties are a strong marketing advantage for the Greek wine industry)
Cause of the different “terroir” (Each one of the wine producing regions of Greece possesses its own microclimate) and the large expanses of vineyards, of the wine producing regions, puts its stamp on each wine’s personality and offers complexity both to the international and the domestic varieties (which are close to 200)