One thing that sets Greek cuisine apart is the fact that it is seasonal. If a fruit or vegetable isn’t in season, chances are pretty good that it won’t appear for sale in markets or on menus at restaurants. This is one of the main reasons why Greek cuisine is simple and very flavorful.
Each season has its own, unique fruits and vegetables, and because they are readily available, cooks all over the country prepare these ingredients with their own, unique twists. Here’s more information about seasonal eating in Greece during the fall.
In Season Foods for Fall
Pumpkins, chestnuts, oranges, and other fall foods are in full swing for the Autumn season. Foodies will find many recipes to be excited about during this time of year, with several traditional Greek dishes that use these seasonal ingredients. As mentioned above, these fruits and vegetables aren’t available during other times of the year.
Since these ingredients are not found year-round, they are considered seasonal items.
Chestnuts only grow in mountainous areas of Greece and are only picked when they are perfectly ripened. Like pumpkins and chestnuts, oranges only grow in mountainous regions of Greece, where they get enough sunlight to produce sweet oranges. For example, the island of Crete is particularly known for growing citrus fruits. Not only is the island mountainous, but it is also further south so it is warmer. This gives the island the ideal climate for the citrus fruits.
Seasonal Dishes for Fall in Greek Cuisine
Because of the seasonal nature of Greek cooking, some of the most beloved dishes in the cuisine only surface during this time of year. Here’s a look at some of the dishes that you could find in Greece during this time:
- Kolokithopita – This unique dish includes pumpkin or zucchini (whichever is in season) as well as sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. The filling is encased between layers of crispy phyllo dough.
- Syrup – Syrup is a staple of Greek desserts. During other times of the year, you may not find them being made with oranges. When oranges are in season, however, that is a different story. For example, at this time of year, baklava syrup could very well be made from fresh oranges.
- Spoon sweets – Spoon sweets are commonly found in Greece, as they serve as a way to preserve the fresh fruit. During this time of year, expect to see spoon sweets made from oranges, chestnuts, and even pumpkins.
- Garifalia – This unique beverage is made from fresh chestnuts that have been roasted with sugar and then filtered to remove the shelves. From there, the mixture is transformed into a delicious beverage.
- Bitter Orange Cake – This is another treat that is usually only found in the autumn. In this dish, chocolate cake is perfumed with orange.
This is only a small sampling of fruits and vegetables that are in season in the fall in Greece and the dishes that accompany them. Much of what you can find available also depends on the region of Greece.