The Sunday Table: A Greek family food tradition

Gather round for a traditional Sunday meal with family and friends, and enjoy the end of the week Greek style!

Family Sundays: a Greek family food tradition gathering

In Greece, Sundays are reserved for family. Several generations including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins will gather together and dine for hours, talking, reminiscing and sharing local gossip. During the summer months, lunch is usually served outside under the shade of an ancient olive tree or canopy of vines, and consists of a never-ending parade of home-cooked dishes and delicacies. Come winter, the feast moves indoors, to be celebrated with warming plates of stews and roasted meets to keep out any unwelcome chill.

Starting the meal will be an assortment of starters, from a fresh horiatiki (village) or politiki (town) salad to plate of crumbly dakos piled high with tomatoes, feta and olives. Special favourites in Crete include dolmadakia (small, rice-filled vine leaves), achinosalata (sea urchin salad), saganaki (baked or fried feta cheese) and gigantes (white beans).

The main dish is apt to be a meaty affair – usually lamb, goat or chicken (beef is not a common option). The meat may be grilled or served as a stew – the latter results in moorish, of melt-in-the-mouth forkfuls that are sure to have you coming back for more! However, vegetarians are often catered for with dishes like gemista (stuffed vegetables), briam (similar to ratatouille) and side dishes such as horta (wild greens) and, of course, fried potatoes.

Rounding off the meal with a sharing plate of halva, cups of strong Greek coffee and perhaps a couple of glasses of tsikoudia (a strong spirit made from the leftovers of pressed grapes) and you have yourself a traditional Greek family Sunday!

Guests at Candia Park Village are invited to enjoy traditional family meals everyday, at the Agapi Main Restaurant and To Fili Taverna, where the Cretan specialities for all ages are served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

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