Here are 35 Traditional Greek Dishes and Desserts you should eat in Greece! Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake is expected to have much luck for the entire coming year. Other nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts can also be used. It’s Christmas time once again and the Greek cuisine boasts some delicious savoury and sweet dishes. For Greek Orthodox Christians, it is the period of Christmas, New Year and Epiphany. It is cooked in the oven, on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve. There is always a cross on the top of the bread that represents the cross of Christ (after putting it in the oven mine does not […] The Main Christmas Dish There are many other traditional Christmas foods in Greece. Here’s a recipe for Baked Pork Loin and another for Roasted Pork with Celery. The broth has a bright yellow color due to the eggs. This is a cake that is cut right after the coming of the New Year, which actually means a little after midnight, or at the lunch of New Year’s Day. This is a good chance for families to come together over the decorated table and try Christmas food prepared by the housewife. Christmas is one of the most important days not only to Christians in Greece, but to Christians all over the world. Made from powdered sugar, they also seem to melt in the mouth with every bite! But the Greek version that is special is the avgolemono- the Greek name of their traditional egg and lemon soup. They are often made using toasted almonds. With age-old recipes, Greek cuisine has been influenced by Middle Eastern, Italian, and Ottoman cultures. The special thing about vasilopita is that it is baked with a coin inside. Christmas Food in Greece . Christmas is one of the most important days not only to Christians in Greece, but to Christians all over the world. Unlike many of the foods that are served on the Greek Christmas table, turkey is somewhat new on the scene. They also cook the traditional food of Greece on the occasion of Christmas. Traditional Christmas recipes by Akis Petretzikis. “The holidays” in Greece is a longer period than just Christmas Day. Want to know more about Greek Food & Cuisine? This is used to emulate Christ’s bread. In Greece, the Christmas season is in full swing by December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas , when presents are exchanged, and lasts through January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany . The traditional Christmas celebration lasts for 13 days, from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6th, the day when the baptism of Jesus Christ is symbolically celebrated. One of the most characteristic traditions in Greece is actually the naming tradition. The bread is often decorated with pieces of dough formed into representations of the family's life (boats, animals, etc. The reason for this is that turkeys aren’t all that common in Greece, and those that are in Greece are also relatively new. The most traditional recipes include pomegranate, almonds, raisins, while most modern recipes may even include yogurt or ginger. At the four edges of the cross, they put walnuts or olives. Usually, families come together around the table to share a Christmas dinner with cheese or meat filo pastry triangles, feta cheese, pistachio nuts, a Greek … There are many variations to this dish, depending on the family and also the region of Greece. Continue Reading. In fact, the term Christopsomo (picture above) means Christ’s bread. Traditionally, the main course of Christmas dinner in Greece is roast pork, with a variety of side delicacies. What do they eat for Christmas in Greece? In Greece, Christmas is a time when families bring out their favorite meat dishes, particular pork, but other types of meats are also served. Made solely of ingredients sourced locally, these scrumptious delicacies have, according to Karamanes, been part of … The Greek breakfast: time to make it a new trend? Chicken is also a popular poultry choice for both Christmas and New Year tables. Making Christopsomo is a tradition that dates back thousands of years and is considered sacred in Greece. Cinnamon, orange and cloves are often used to give these cookies a unique and attractive taste. Greek Christmas Recipes. They also make lots of sweet dishes, cakes, pastries, and cookies as per Christmas tradition in Greece. The traditional Greek Christmas food mainly consists of roast lamb or pork served with a spinach and cheese pie and salads/vegetables on the side. There is a special Greek tradition that happens in Greece around this time. Christmas was always a religious holiday and Christmas trees, candles and presents were not a sign of Christmas in Greece. Christmas holidays in Greece like any other country is all about feasting with the loved ones. Melomakarona cookies are very popular in Greece during the Christmas holiday season. Kourabiethes are considered to be a cookie that is served during happy celebrations, of which Christmas is one of them. The most typical Greek Christmas sweets are the syrup sweets, including baklava, kataifi, galaktoboureko and walnut pie (karydopita). Over the years, Greeks have included turkey in their Christmas meal. This means that it is often a primary source of meat for the Christmas feast in Greece! It is believed that this bread has to be made well for a family to enjoy peace and prosperity in the next year. It is a popular fixture in Orthodox homes in Greece during Christmas. When the clock strikes midnight and the New Year has begun, the cake is cut. Christopsomo, or Christ's Bread, is considered a sacred tradition in many Greek Orthodox homes and the care with which it is made is said to ensure the well-being of the home in the year to come. This is a good chance for families to come together over the decorated table and try Christmas food prepared by the housewife. Christmas, like many other holidays in Greece, is a time for feasting. Chicken soup is a very popular dish that brings solace and good cheer to the sick and weary all over the world. There are many recipes to bake a vasilopita. Here are some of the most common foods found on the Christmas table in Greece: This dish is a traditional food, especially in Northern Greece. Christmas in Greece, as anywhere else in the world, involves large quantities of food. In fact, the traditional Melomakarona cookies, meaning Christmas cookies, tend to be created using a number of popular Greek spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and orange. In most places in Greece, these cookies are referred t as the Christmas cookies. Diples, get their name from the Greek word for “fold”, and are a traditional festive dessert, that is very popular around Christmas time throughout Greece. Maybe the most celebrated holiday of the year in Greece, it cannot get more festive. In the past years, Christmas turkey has become very popular as the main dish of the holiday. Turkey is a big part of Greek Christmas food customs, and it is common to find this bird on most Greek Christmas tables. It is prepared on Christmas Eve and it is eaten at the lunch of Christmas day. All houses are decorated with Christmas tree and other decorations, while Christmas food in Greece includes very special recipes. Foods and drinks hampers are a must when it comes to annual business gifts. Kourabiethes Cookies are always dusted with, rolled in or buried under confectioner’s sugar. Slaughtering hogs  usually takes place during winter. In any Greek home, over the Christmas season, kourabides, melomakarona and dipples, can be found, piled high on plates, ready to be offered to any visitor that might drop by. In this time period, there are many chances for eating together in the Greek families, such as on Christmas Eve, on Christmas Day, on New Year’s Eve and on New Year’s Day. When there is a celebration, there is festive food. Traditional Greek Recipes for Christmas Feast. The festive table is laid with food prepared according to age-old traditions and culinary customs associated with the most cheerful time of the year. Christmas is a very important festival in Greece and traditionally food plays a major role. Here are the typical Greek Christmas foods you can find on every table around Greece. Avgolemono Soup (Egg-Lemon Chicken Soup) Avgolemono is a very common dish enjoyed throughout the year – not only on Christmas. For Merry Christmas in Greece, people decorate their homes with beautiful Christmas trees and decoration items. However, Christmas celebrations have become alike those in the Western world and now all those turn out in any Greek house at Christmas time. A cross is shaped on the bread in its simplest form, while housewives also create other nice designs, such as the sun, the moon or sheep. Christmas on a platter, drizzled with honey syrup and topped with chopped walnuts! Growing up, my mom ate traditional things for Christmas. The Christmas tree tradition arrived later from Europe. Melomakarona (honey cookies) and kourabiedes (sugar-coated butter cookies) are the most popular traditional Christmas desserts in Greece. I didn’t know anything different and grew to love all of the favorites my mom and dad loved as a child! This bread is lovingly prepared by people in the household, but bakeries also sell it for those who don’t want to make their own. Apart from the known and traditional dishes and desserts such as turkey and pork, pies and classic melomakarona pastries, buns, folds,baklava, kantaifi and cake every place has its own culinary tradition! The Christmas turkey is stuffed with rice, walnuts, raisins, chestnuts and mincemeat or giblets. Melomakarona is a typical cookie sweet served in Greece during Christmas. If you come to Greece during the Christmas period, you will see these two Christmas sweets in all pastries, cafeterias, and houses. As a result, people are in the mood to celebrate, and for Greeks, this means bringing out all their favorite foods! Christmas foods are often available in plenty when Christians are celebrating Christmas all over Greece. Although it arrived in the 1800s, it has become one of the popular foods in Christmas tables. Athens and the rest of Greece is decorated with lights, Christmas carols and “Wham” songs are everywhere lifting spirits. In many families, recipes are often passed down from one generation to another. The traditional Christmas celebration lasts for 13 days, from Christmas Eve until Epiphany on January 6th, the day when the baptism of Jesus Christ is … Here are some of the most common foods found on the Christmas … Being first generation Greek, our holidays represented very non traditional foods. Not only that, but there are those who consider this bread to be sacred. Blog > Greece > Christmas food in Greece: taste and tradition. As a result, people are in the mood to celebrate, and for Greeks, this means bringing out all their favorite foods! This is a round bread made with more special ingredients, such as raisins, aniseed, walnuts or almonds, etc. Greek meals are accompanied by local olives, some cured in a hearty sea salt brine, others like wrinkly throubes, eaten uncured from the tree. When you think Christmas cookies, you probably don’t think about Greece. Of course, very popular Christmas sweets are kourabiedes and melomakarona. In the northernmost Greek prefecture of Evron in the region of Thrace, a special sesame baklava is made on Christmas Eve. Similarly, olive oil, the elixir of Greece, is used liberally in cooking and salads, and drizzled over most dips … Traditionally families and friends get together to celebrate the Christmas period, which lasts for 12 days. Christopsomo literally means “Christ’s Bread”, which we make a few days before Christmas. ). In some areas, the holiday is preceded by a time of fasting. It is an unfortunate thing to say that the Greek breakfast is actually non-existent in the... Centrally located in the Cyclades, Mykonos is not only the second top destination in Greece but... Christmas food in Greece: taste and tradition. Until a couple of decades ago, Christmas meat was usually lamb or pork, but today most housewives cook a turkey, probably affected by western cultures. There are also some versions  that have nut centers. Buy online a range of Greek foods and drinks gifts and hampers, perfect gifts for Greek food lovers, ... We will create love, birthday or anniversary hampers, congratulations, thank you, or seasonal Christmas, Valentine’s and Mother's day or other occasion hampers. Includes very special recipes naming tradition eat for breakfast, Christmas carols and “Wham” songs everywhere. 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