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I was looking in the food forum and I saw that someone made a remark that the phyllo in Greece used for sweet desserts like baklava is different than the phyllo used for savory dishes. I did notice while in Greece that the savory phyllo is thicker.

What is really the difference? Is savory phyllo homemade? Does it have different ingredients? Is it thicker on purpose? Finally, do you have a recipe?

I know on Crete some of the savory, handheld pies have a dough that is closer to a turnover dough than it is a phyllo. And yet the dish has the word "pita" in it. It was a greens-based handheld pie with no cheese and was spiced with cumin! The "phyllo" was really thick and I believe the pie was even fried.
 
Phyllo comes in various thicknesses. Usually the sweets will use the thin phyllo. While the savory dishes uses the thicker phyllo. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use the thinner phyllo in savory dishes. Only recently has the thicker phyllo come to America. Back in the day everyone only use the thinner phyllo. The thicker phyllo dough is called a xoriatiko phyllo, and kind of resembles the thickness of a handmade phyllo. So usually we stay away from using that phyllo thickness of delicate desserts.
 
Pam, I never actually realized this even though I kind of observed it in the way people cook. I always grab the box out of convenience but I love homemade phyllo for my spanakopita and tiropita.
 
I'm not really sure? Phyllo can be used however you want. For siropiasta (dishes made with syrup), you tend to see a really thin dough, but siropiasta are not the only sweet foods made with phyllo. Bougatsa is a sweet food made with phylo and it's usually thicker than what you might see with siropiasta. My guess is that the reason siropiasta is made with thin phyllo is because it absorbs the syrup quicker.
 

Good Greek Dips and Spreads for Entertaining

I like to entertain and I like to have some good recipes on hand to throw together at the last minute. Did I miss anything? Here's what I have:
  • Tzatziki
  • Hummus
  • Melitzanosalata
  • Taramosalata
  • Fava
I eat tapenade (olive spread) a lot in Greece, but I don't have a good recipe...

Best Greek Olive Oil for Salads?

I’m looking to elevate my salad game and have heard that Greek olive oil is a fantastic choice for getting that rich, authentic flavor. With so many options out there, I’m a bit overwhelmed and could use some guidance from those who have experience in this area.

What are your top recommendations for the best Greek olive oil to use for salads? I'm specifically looking for:
  1. Quality: I want something that's high-quality with a robust flavor profile.
  2. Authenticity: Ideally, the olive oil should be authentic and imported from Greece.
  3. Versatility: While my main focus is on salads, it would be great if the olive oil can also be used for other dishes.
I’ve heard brands like Kalios, Iliada, and Gaea are pretty good, but I’d love to hear your personal favorites and why you recommend them.

greek-olive-oil.jpg

Chocolate Koulourakia Recipe

I had Chocolate Koulourakia when in Greece and I recently found and tried the recipe. It was good! Thought I'd share:

Ingredients:​

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk (if needed)
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions:​

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add Eggs and Vanilla: Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, baking powder, flour, and salt.
  5. Mix Dry and Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a tablespoon of milk to help bring it together.
  6. Shape the Cookies: Take small pieces of dough and roll them into ropes about 4-5 inches long. Fold each rope in half and twist the ends together to form a twist shape, or shape them into rings if you prefer.
  7. Egg Wash: In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the tops of the cookies with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.
  8. Bake: Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the cookies are firm and slightly golden around the edges.
  9. Cool and Serve: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Greek Watermelon Salad Recipe for Summer

I wanted to share a simple watermelon salad recipe that's perfect for summer! I've had this in Greece! I use mint that my family brought over from Greece a few generations ago!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup of cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the watermelon cubes, cucumber slices, red onion, and chopped mint.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Add the crumbled feta cheese on top.
  4. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. I don't like to use dressing, preferring its natural juices to season it.

List of traditional Greek dishes to try making at home?

I'm curious to hear your recommendations on the top traditional Greek dishes that one can try making at home. While traveling to Greece to experience the authentic flavors firsthand would be ideal, it's not always possible. So, what's the next best thing? Recreating those delicious dishes in our own kitchens!

I've always been fascinated by Greek cuisine, known for its rich flavors and healthy ingredients. But with so many iconic dishes out there, it's hard to decide where to start. I'd love to get some insights from those of you who have either visited Greece or have experience cooking Greek food at home.

Here are a few dishes I've heard are must-tries:
  1. Moussaka
  2. Souvlaki
  3. Spanakopita
  4. Dolmades
  5. Baklava
What would you add? Thanks so much!
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