Sunday, 30 September 2007

Seafood and Fish: Thalassina kai Psaria in Greek


The seafood caught in the Mediterranean Sea are the tastiest fish you will find anywhere in the world. There are many varieties to choose from with unique flavours that the Greek style of cooking simply enhances with simple fresh ingredients, without losing the original taste.

Many people in Greece eat seafood on a regular basis. Hardly surprising, when you consider the geography of Greece, made up of many small islands and even on the mainland, you are never very far from the coast. Fishing has been a major industry in Greece for thousands of years. Visit any marina and you will see a selection of small and large fishing boats, supplying the local markets and tavernas with the day's catch.

There are many different methods of preparing seafood and various fish recipes to make, however, as with many Greek meals, the emphasis is on the natural flavour and Greeks will most often prepare the fish dishes quite simply with some fresh herbs, lemons, extra virgin olive oil and a few extra ingredients to make a fantastic, memorable meal.

Seafood is sold at most taverna's, and you will also find taverna's specialising in fish, these are called Psarotaverna. A visit to one of these taverna's is a must when visiting Greece. Instead of being offered a menu and choosing a fish meal, you will be invited into the kitchen and shown all the fish they have on offer that day, and asked to inspect the fish to ensure the freshness. These taverna owners take great pride in the quality and freshness of their food and meals they serve and are happy to show you. You also get to see how clean they keep their kitchens!

Once you have chosen the fish, you can then discuss how you would like the fish prepared. A popular way of cooking fish is on the barbecue - psistaria, over the hot coals to give it a beautiful flavour. This is also a favourite way of cooking fish in most Greek homes. As you stroll through any village on a summer evening you will smell the aroma of fish cooking on the barbecue.

Octopus are also a favourite in Greece and if you visit an island you will probably see the octopus hanging up to dry outside the local tavernas, a popular way to prepare them before barbecuing them for an appetizer or meze.

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