Food dictionary

Please note that this dictionary is still work in progress!

A la grecque. A term I have yet to see in use in Greece!

Afelia
Almond
Anchovies (gavros)
Ancient recipes
Andros omelette - froutalia
Apokreo
Apples and orange with cinnamon after a meal
Apricots
Arni
Artichokes - Anginares
Asking for the bill
Asparagus
Anthrakiko
Avgolemono
Bacon
Baklava
Basil
Bean
Bean soup
Beer
Belgian Greek
Boiled egg
Bourekakia
Bulgaria - Boza
Bulgarian - shopska, empty buffet, Sainsburys wine, the refrain of best in the Balkans
Bread
Bread - rough
Breakfasts by number
Briam
Briki
Brizoles
Broussiko
Bulbs
Buskers in Athens, and roses and other vendors
Butter
Cafes during elections
Capers
Carafes
Carob

Carrot
Cat food at Mouragi
Cats
Cats
Cats - Kos cat names
Cheese and the travelling dog bowl
Cheese pie
Chefs' hats
Cherries
Chestnuts
Chick pea fritters
Chick pea soup
Chicken
Chicken nuggets
Chicken vans
Chicken with honey
Chios - fig drink
Chips
Chips
Chips galore
Chips with everything
Chocolates
Citron
Citron
Closed out of season

Coeliac disease
Coeliac is from the Greek for "suffering in the bowels".
Coffee
Coffee grinding grocery
Coffee maker - other uses

Collagen
From the Greek for "glue-maker".
Cookies
Cooking Greek food in England
Corks - fruit stones in Sikinos
Courgette - zucchini
Courgette fritters
Crisps - oregano
Crockery
Cruises

Crumb
Cucumber

Cumin

Cutlery
When I get back to Greece I soon get used to quaint Greek habits, like putting used loo paper in a waste bin. And using the same knife and fork throughout a meal.

Currant
Dakos

Date
Diet
From the Greek diaita (couyrse of life).
Dill
Diples
Discoveries
There is a lot I do not yet know about Greek food - just as there is a lot I do not know about English food.
Dolmus Turkish taxi
Dolmades
Domestic meat
Donkey heads in Morocco
Donoussa

Dragée
Easter - Lazarus bread
Easter - red eggs
Easter - what is on sale at the hardware shop?
Easter bread
Easter lamb
Easter lamb in oven
Easter lamb on spit
Easter soup (mayeritsa)
Eating out of season
Elections
Electricity
Electricity - fused
Elihirsson
English name or Greek name

English speaking
Fasolada (bean soup)

Fassolia
Fava (the dip)
Ferries - food
Fenugreek
Not a spice I have come across in Greece - but then I do not eat Indian food in Greece. From the Roman fenum graecum (Greek hay).
Feta
Figs
Filo
Filo
Fish
Fish - bad weather
Fish - sent by ferry
Fish - shell noise
Fish head stew
Fish head stew in Sikinos
Fish salad - what was the name of Dimitri's sald in Naxos?
Fish soup - with out without separate plate of fish
Fish soup in bottles
Fish stew

Fish, unloading
Once at Aegiale I saw a most impressive fish unloading routine from on board the Skopelitis. There was the usual bustle of activity on the harbour at the time a boat arrives. A group of men were performing what looked like a well-choreographed routine as they passed laden boxes one to the other onto the ship. Ice poked out from the tops of the boxes. The boxes seemed to contain fish and the well-choreographed men looked like fishermen.

In case you are thinking that unloading fish at Aegiale is a bit like taking coals to Newcastle - the fish may have been destined for a fast ferry heading to Athens.
Flogera
Folegandros - French chicken
Food in history
Food miles
Food on ferries

Food preservation
I first went to Greece in 1981, when in many rural places electricity may have recently arrived and been unreliable. I do not remember then seeing much frozen food. Today electricity is more reliable, and many larger shops and tavernas may have back up generators to use during power cuts. The freezer means that a much wider variety of food is available. Frozen food should be marked "kat" on Greek menus.

Think back to the days before electricity. How was food preserved? Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish according to the season. Dried pulses. Dried bread. Look at the now ruined small stone houses in the Greek countryside, with the small stone ovens, and built in shelves and alcoves in the walls. And imagine living there with no electricity. How would yu have got by?
Fourni
Fourni - chicken breast
Frappé coffee
Fricasse
Fridges - noise at night
Fritters - keftedes
Frogs
Furniture at tavernas
Galatoboureko
Garides
Garum
Garlic
Garlic sauce (skordalia)
Gas rings
Now this is not something I recommend as it may be more than a tad dangerous. But I once met a rather eccentric couple in Greece who were keen cooks. They had the use of a communal kitchen in Greece. I remember well the roast peppers - peppers roasted over a gas flame. Perhaps falvoured with charred fingers. And think of the mess on the gas ring!
Gemista

Gherkin
Gifts of produce
Gigantes

Ginger
Ginger beer
Giros
Giro and giro plate
Glasses - tumblers
Good morning squid
Gouvetsi
Grecian blue
Greek bagpipe (gaida? )
Greek salad - horiatiki
The literal meaning of the Greek name is "country-Attic-salad".
Greeks - telling you what they think you want to hear
Grilled food
Grills
Halloumi
Halva
Henna
Herb and spice shop
Herb spice etc. shop in Naxos
Herbs
Herbs - picking
Herbs on ground at Easter
Himos
Honey
Horiatiki (Greek salad)
Horta
Hotel "rules"
Hummus
Hunting
Imam bayildi
Ioannina
Ios tavena in port and by beach
Iraklia
Iraklia cats
Kadaife
Kadaifi
Kafenion

Kakavia
A fish soup. The name is from the earthenware pot in which fishermen cooked fish in the middle of a boat.

Kalamari
Kalamata
Kalouria? [bread rings sold near ferries etc.]
Karidopeta
Kasseri
Kastelorizo
Kastelorizo clock
Kat.
Katapola Easter buffet
Kea
Kea - not making coffee
Kea Chora bakery
Kefalonia - yachties at breakfast
Kefalonia meat pie
Kefalotiri
Keftedhes Much as I like meatballs, I also like the various sorts of vegetable keftedhes you find in Greece - especially tomato, courgette and chick pea. The vegetable keftedhes often also contain cheese and herbs.
Kimolos
Kleftiko
Kokoretsi
Koliva
Koliva
Konjak
Kos lettuce
Koulourakia
Kourabiedes
A shortbread eaten at Christmas and the New Year.
Kumquat
Kumquat
Kythnos
Lachana - carota salata

Lakerda
A Greek word for pickled raw fish, especialyy tuna or swordfish.
Lamb - best ever [Mike]
Lamb chop
Lamb chops - paidakia
Lamb fricasse
Lamb or goat
Language
Large island small island - Milos wide choice after Serifos

Lasagne
Lemonato
Lemons

Lentil soup (fakasoupa)
Lettuce - cos
Lettuce salad (marouli salata)

Liquorice
Liver
Lobster
Lobster (astakos)
Lobster with pasta

Local produce
I like to buy local produce when I can. Local olive oil, local honey, locally grown fruit and vegetables. Often it is a matter of knowing who to ask and where to look. One year the owner of a taverna advertised local honey, the next year I asked - he looked puzzled that I should be asking! On one recent visit a van pulled up by the harbour. In the open back a pair of scales, some broad beans, some peas and some lemons. I bought some of the broad beans - they were delicious.

Fish - if you are brave enough to prepare it and cook it. I think of the skate I hung on the shower hook in my bathroom as I did not want the fridge and the rest of my room to smell of fish. I could imagine cats' noses twitching eagerly outside my bathroom window that evening!
Local wine
Locals - where do they eat?
Location - importance of
Location, location, location
Loquat (mushmullah)
Loukoumadhes
Loukoumia
Macadamia nuts

Macaroni
Mace
Mahleb
In spring I enjoyed eating cherries - some black, others reddish yellow. I brought back some stomes to plant in England. Then I read about mahleb, a spice prepared from black cherry stones, widely used in Greek cooking.

Marianna - April 1
Masticha
Mavrodaphne
When I asked at a taverna in the Ionaian - the answer was that Mavrodaphne is only used in cooking. The wine is not drunk. So there!
Mavrodaphne (black laurel)
McDonalds' Coffee
Several years ago, before the new Athens International Airport opened, I was waiting for a bus from Syntagma Square to the Airport in the middle of the night. In those days the bus did not start from Syntagma Square. If there was a timetable, the buses did not appear to follow it. Unlike today when I have never had any problem with the busues to and from the new airport. So there I was, with my bags, probably at two or three in the morning. Quite a few busues came past, but none was the airport bus.

Near the bus stop was a McDonalds. I eventually decided to nip in, buy a coffee, and dash out. I would keep an eye open for the bus. I asked for a coffee. The coffee would take 15 minutes to prepare. So much for fast food!

Meatball island
Meatballs

Medlar
Meganissi - shared gigante
Melitsanosalata (aubergine salad)
Aubergine salad.
Melon
Menu oddities
Mesta - good evening eating
Metaxa
Metaxa
Mezes
Microwave
Microwaves
Milk
Milo
Milos - uphill [Plaka]
Milos 1997
Milos cheese shop 1986
Mizithra
Monastery hospitality
Moroccan boy - alcoholic drink
Moussaka
Mushmulla
Mushrooms

My first visit to Greece
When speaking to people who are not lovers of Greece, a common comment is about greasy lukewarm moussaka.

I was looking at the brief notes I wrote on my first visit to Greece in 1981. On the very first day I wrote:
"Greasy lukewarm moussaka for lunch. Kebabs for dinner. At least the grills are hot. Stocked up with pomegranates for tomorrow's trip."

And some other food notes from 1981 (October).

Saturday - Mykonos: "Dinner at Spiros on the seafront. Tsatsiki, grilled pork and retsina."
Sunday - Mykonos: " Dinner at Spiros again."

Monday - Paros: "Boat booked for Paros. Huddle of would be passengers scan horizon for boat. A dinghy towing a smaller boat comes into view. "That's it, third class at the back," shouted one wag. "And there's the food," added another as a polythene sack of oats landed at our feet. No need to have worried, though, as a small modern boat soon arrived.

I was in Greece during the week preceding the elections. Each of the eight or so main parties took over a cafe in each town. And pop music and propaganda were broadcast all day. Paroika sea front was full of these cafes, all competing to be heard. An off putting introduction to an attractive island. Dinner in open-air restaurant, Diogenes. Started with huge mixed hors d'oeuvres washed down with retsina."

Tuesday - Paros: " Same restaurant as yesterday."

Wednesday - Santorini: " Kebabs, meatballs, salad and the local lava wine at Bobby's Taverna."

Thursday - Santorini: " Breakfast on hotel terrace overlooking the sea. . Walk doe 500ish steps to the harbour. Dipped my toes in the sea, the only refreshment available. Back up top I bought some prickly pears from the oldest inhabitant. He was very insistent that I should not touch the unpeeled fruit. Then he gave me a cloth to wipe my hands on. Ouch! It was full of prickles. Then another dinner at Bobby's. The season was nearly over and many places were closed."

Friday - Santorini: " Bus to Kamari beach. Walk up mountain to site of old Thira. Missed the path and ended up crawling over loose lava. Hauled over wall onto the right path by a passing tourist. So hot. No refreshments. Not even a prickly pear. Set off for the next mountain, where there is a monastery, Profitis Elias. The highest point on the island. A military station, where photography prohibited. Monastery closed for a long lunch break. No food or drink on sale. Explore a church. Outside an open air shower. I try the tap. Not a mirage. I shower, fully dressed, and drink lots of water, not caring where it had come from. Passing soldiers are much amused. Back down a mule track to town of Pirgos built on a hill. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore. And a cafe. Saw bus leaving. Last one for hours. Resigned to long hot walk back to Thira. Taxi pulls up. Free lift to Thira? I jump in. Another beautiful sunset. And dinner, guess where?"

Saturday - Athens: " Catch bus at some unearthly hour for port. These buses must have elastic walls. Equally crowded boat. Hardly any standing room. The day before the election and the islanders are heading home to Athens to vote. Twelve hours of crush in a windy boat. Best forgotten. In Athens a dinner of kebab."

Sunday - Athens: "Up early to see the changing of the guard at President's Palace. Then down to Plaka to see the flea market. Shops all closed and lots of puzzled tourists walking around. Shut for the elections. Look for breakfast. All cafes closed. Museums closed. At the Archaeological Museum I see a sign to the effect that open on Monday (the usual closing day). Take underground to northern suburb of Kiffissia. Not much to see. Most impressed by dolphins on cast iron lamp posts. Down to Acropolis. Site closed. See sunset. To Plaka. Find one restaurant, and that closed at 8 p.m. "We want to see election results."

Monday - Athens: " Monday. Breakfast in cafe of one of the department stores. To Archaeological Museum. Still closed. Get in to Benaki Museum. Very good. So much to see in a non-institutional atmosphere. To Olympeion and other sites I missed in first day. Souvenir hunt. Early dinner and stagger with luggage to Syntagma Square for Airport bus."

Reading my notes brings back memories. I mentioned eating "kebab" on the Saturday night. I am sure that this was what I would today describe as a "giro", served wrapped in paper. I remember looking for, and failing to find again, the place where I bought a giro. It may have been closed because of the elections.

And I mention eating breakfast in a department store. I remember going to a roof top restaurant in a department store in Athens, and buying what Greeks were buying. Frappes and loukhoumadhes. Perhaps it is the modern diet-conscious age, but these days I rarely see loukhoumadhes on sale.

Mykonos 1981
Mykonos 1996
Mykonos giro place and taverna, and market
Mythological food
Names days
Napkins
Naxos - first visit
Nibbles with drink
Nightlife
Nou Nou
Nou nou tin - uses for
Octopus
Okra
Old writers extracts
Olive oil
Olives
Omelette with bacon and feta
Onion seeds
Onions
Open or barrel wine
Oranges
Oranges - fresh queezed
Orchid
Oregano
Oregano - Chalki
Oregano crisps
Orzo
Orzo
Ouzo

Oven Food - lack of in Ioannina
Panagia
Panteboy
Papoutsakia
Stuffed abergines. The literal meaning is "little shoes".
Paros - kalimera

Parsley
Pasta
Pasteli
Pastitsio
Pastitsio

Pastry
Patatato
Patsas
Not to be confused with pasta! A tripe soup.
Paxos Easter feast

Peach
Peas
Pepper
pepper mill
Peppers
Periptero
Picnics
Pigs
Pigs Galore
Pikilia

Pilaf
Pistachio
Pizza
Pizza
Plaka
Plaki
Plaki - salt cod with tomatoes and new potatoes
Plane food
Plate smashing
Plumbing - what goes in must come out
Pomegranate
Pondikaki
Pork chop
Pot Luck
Potatoes
Preserves

Protein
From the Greek protos, first.
Prickly pears
Psari
Psomi

Pumpkin
I have seen "pumpkin" on printed Greek menus, but the price has never been written in - the pumpkin was not available.
Quince
Rabbit
Raki
Rakomelo
Red Easter eggs
Red peas
Red shoe polish
Retsina
Retsina
Retsina
Rhodes - place behind hotel
Rigani
Rizogalo
Saganaki
Sage tea
Salepi
A drink originally prepared from orchid tubers.
Salt
If you are really keen on being self-sufficient in Greece, you could try scraping your own sea salt from rocks. I suggest watching out for any contamination hazards - like stray dogs!
Salt pots
Rice is often put in salt pots to absorb moisture.

Samos ducks
Santorini 1981
Santorini tomato bread
Sausages
Schinoussa
Sea urchins
Seasonal food
Seasonal tenants
Serifos - dwindling items
Serifos - the bar with no beer
Serifos 1986

Sfogato
Sheep
Sheep head
Shop - long hours
Shop names
Shrimp - garides. Don't coinfuse with little fish - marides
Shrimp or prawn saganaki
Sikinos - fish head soup
Sikinos 1989
Siphnos
Skate wings [skate = salakhi]
Skordalia (garlic sauce), traditionally eaten with salt cod
Sitology
The science of food, (from the Greek sitos, food).
Smell of food cooking for evening
Smoked salmon
Souvlaki
The Grek souvla means skewer.
Spanakopeta
Spanakopita (spinach pie)
Spinach
Squid - kalamari
Steak
Stifado
Stotty cake and English cider

Sugar
"Indian salts" is an ancient Greek and Roman name for sugar.

In many Greek cafes sugar is served in sachets. You do sometimes see the glass jars with a pouring device in the lid.

Supermarket
Swordfish
Swordfish in Kastelorizo
Symi - George's
Syros - end of quay
Tablecloths
Tablecloths
Tahini
Tarama
Taramosalata
Tarama is Turkish for soft roe.
Taverna names and their meanings
Taverna with no food
Television cookery programme
Thai food. Amorgos yachties and To Limani
Thimena ovderheard conversation
Thirasia and nou nou for cats
Tholaria - grocery café

Thyme
From the Greek thumon, from thuein (to burn or sacrifice).

Tilos
Tilos - Sofias
Tinos
Tinos - apotropaic garlic
Tinos touts
Tiropita
Tiropita - cheese pie [see]

Tisane
From the Greek for peeled barley or barley-water. Related to ptissein (peel).
Tomato
Tomato - sun dried
Touts

Tracklements
The origin is not known, but may perhaps be from the Greek tragmata (spices or condiments).
Treacle
Antidote to poison.
Tree identification
Tsatsiki
Tsipouro
Turkey - all starter meal
Turkish influence
Turnover of food - how long has it lingered?
Tzatziki
I like to think that the food I eat in Greek tavrnas is prepared on thge premises, but Greeks are no doubt as fond of short cuts as the rest of us. I recently saw the owner of a Greek taverna buying a catering size pack of tzatziki. A mixture of yogurt and grated cucumber, with garlic, olive oil, and mint. If you try making your own, drain the grated cucumbers before you add them to the mix.

Usual?
Vegetables
Viennese wafers
Waiters' dress
Wasps - not to eat
Water
Water - salty nb Folegandros
Water bottle - uses for
Water bottles en route
Water heater
Water purifier in Turkey
Water supply
When the boat comes in
When the boat comes in
Whim and Cambridge Greek
Windmills
Wine barrel in Bulgaria
Wine glasses - coupa

Would I like to be a waitress?
I was in Ios in low season. Ios was not top of my list of islands to visit, but I had to change ferries there after visiting Sikinos or Kimolos. I had, as is my wont, chatted to a cat. Later I was eating in a taverna. A Greek chap introduced himself. He was the minder of the cat I had chatted to, and I seemed the sort of person he was looking for. Would I like to work in his cafe? Er, no, I explained that I was an English lawyer and not looking for a waitressing job in Ios!
Yesterday and tomorrow - Fernando and friend at Giorgi's
Yogurt
Yogurt - what is strained yogurt
Yogurt - beware the paper on top!
Yogurt and duck with ribbon in Athens
Yogurt and honey
Yogurt café in Andros
Yogurt with honey
When I am eating breakfst "at home" in Greece yogurt with honey is a key ingredient. I must admit that I go for the less healthy option - 10% fat yogurt. For preference I would choose a local honey, otherwise one of the tinned sort that states the type of flowers the bees have eaten. I once made the mistake of buying a cheap Greek "honey". It turned out to be a sweetened syrup of some sort. Not that I was mislead in the shop, just that I did not understand what it was that I was buying.

For several years I assumed that you could buy yogurt anywhere in Greece. On one small island I set off intending to buy some yogurt, thick creamy Greek yogurt. I soon discovered that the shops in that were not geared to tourists, and the locals did not care for yogurt (or if they did they had cleared all supplies from the shop fridges). How used we become to well stocked shops, and how quickly unused to them! There was a small general store, and a bakery. There was no sign of any honey on sale. I later saw lots of beehives, perhaps you need to know a beekeeper to buy honey on that island. The only preserves I saw on sale were sesame paste, praline spread with chocolate, and orange marmalade. I eked on the "rough" bread of the island the two individual portions of honey I had by chance picked up on an island I had stopped at earlier on that trip.
Zacharoplasteion
Zakynthos - Jimmy's prawn saganaki