How to eat mezze!
Greeks absolutely love to relax with friends and family, eat mezze and have a drink of ouzo or tsipouro. This ancient sharing ritual is replicated every summer throughout the country.
Mezze is the term used for little hot and cold appetizers usually served in Greece and the Near East. Greeks often accompany mezze with ouzo – please note here that Greeks never drink ouzo or tsipouro without mezze, but they often have mezze without ouzo.
Mezze essentially means a taster or a little delicacy.
In most restaurants and tavernas the menu will include a host of dishes, usually under the heading appetizers. But don’t worry, even main courses can be mezze – just put it in the middle of the table and share!
To be sure you do not order way too much, let your waiter know you are after mezze, order the things you absolutely love and then ask them for suggestions.
We always enjoy Greek salad, tzatziki, some sort of cured fish like smoked trout or marinated gavros, some sort of fried fish or seafood, like fried kalamari, chili peppers and a legume dish like fava beans. Friend vegetables, like zucchini and egglant are great as is melitzanosalata and taramosalata. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t eat directly from the mezze plates, transfer it to your own plate first.
Offset spicy dishes with fresh and cold ones or sour ones with sweet ones. This is the magic of meze, it allows you to taste all your favourites in one meal!
For the ouzo and tsipouro, start by filling your glass with ice. Then add ouzo and taste. If it feels too strong, add a bit of cold water.
Try a little bit of everything and order seconds of the dishes you enjoyed!