SUCCULENT SEAFOOD, AMBROSIAL OLIVE OIL, HERBY HONEY, HEFTY PIES AND FLAVOURFUL FRUIT AND VEG: PACK YOUR APPETITE WITH YOU WHEN YOU HEAD TO GREECE
Greeks have had a little while to perfect their wine-making: in Crete, locals have been grappling with grapes for around 35,000 years. If you like fruity whites, try a vidiano; if punchy reds are more your thing, try a wine made from mandilaria or kotsifali grapes. Partner your drink with dakos salad (rusks with crumbled feta cheese and tomatoes), bourbouristoi chochlioi (snails fried in rosemary), apaki (smoked pork) or Sfakianes pites (Sfakia cheese pies with honey).
Order fava (yellow split-pea purée), nibble on the island’s sweet white aubergine and try juicy cherry tomatoes. Glug some Santorini wine, too: assyrtiko, athiri and aidani are all popular white grape varieties.
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If you like salty flavours, you’ll enjoy Mykonos’ local specialties: kopanisti Mykonou (a spicy, salty cheese dip made from goat’s milk) and capers, scattered liberally over fish, seafood and salads. The island has some brilliant restaurants: try Gola for Mediterranean flavours, Nobu Matsuhisa Mykonos at the Belvedere hotel for glitzy Japanese or Koursaros for delicious fish.
In Kefalonia, items for your shopping list include: honey, extra virgin olive oil and sheep’s yoghurt. At the local tavernas, order meat- or cheese-stuffed pies, salt cod fritters or cod with agliada (a sauce made from boiled potatoes blended with garlic, olive oil and lemon).
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Get a taste of Santorini at The Vasilicos, whose not-so-secret weapon, chef Yannis, dishes up delicious Greek cuisine according to guests’ tastes (he’ll quiz you on your preferences when you arrive). You’re likely to eat a lot of local cheeses, just-caught fish, fresh vegetables and house-made bread. Don’t expect a formal set-up, though – meals here are a room-service affair.
Kapsaliana Village Hotel in Crete has a taverna-style restaurant that serves lamb with artichokes, chicken with lemon and olives, meat pie with wild herbs, delicate sugared pastries and the ilk. Whatever you order, match it with a carafe or two of honeyed local wine.
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