The dishes of the Rhodian gastronomy have got definite and savory tastes. Most of the typical traditional Greek food of Rhodes has its roots in the ancient "Dorian Rhodes" and reflects the old traditions in most of its offerings. "Athenaeus Nafkratios" (sophist and rhetorician who lived at the end of the 2nd to early 3rd century AD) in his book "Deipnosofistai" tells us that the Rhodians especially loved the fish soup and praised those who "ate fish and not meat". Later in the medieval and modern times, people turned more to agriculture and livestock. The traditional dishes based mostly on fresh vegetables, olive oil, and local herbs and spices, the aroma of oregano, thyme, spearmint or rosemary will inebriate you.
Traditional Rhodian Menus have three sections:
The appetizers or starters "mezethes".
The main course (sometimes with a side dish, this is usually vegetables or even soup) and
The Rhodian meals may last one or two hours or even longer. Rhodians often go out for a long Sunday lunch with their families and restaurants will be lively. It's a good chance to experience Greek Rhodian culture.
When you order your meal, it would be easier if you order by section of the menu. First your appetizers, then the Main Course and the drinks. Dessert is ordered at the end of the meal.
If you wish to order fresh Fish "Fresko Psari", then you ask to see the fish, and the waiter will take you to the place where the "catch of the day" is displayed, usually in the kitchen, or somewhere near the front of the restaurant. There you can inquire about what kind of fish is displayed, how much it costs per kilo (2, 20 pounds) and you order the quantity you want to eat. The waiters will give you the price information and the cooking details. The Rhodian waiters are very experienced, patient and more than eager to make your lunch a real pleasure (even during the high season when the island is packed with tourists).
If you order a Steak "Brizola" usually pork and beef, the waiter will ask you how you like your steak cooked. Rare "Me to ema" (only for the beef steak) outside is cooked, but the inside is still partially raw, Medium "Misopsimeni" (for pork and beef steaks) outside is cooked more thoroughly and the inside is cooked, but still slightly red, and Well done "Kalopsimeni" (for pork and beef steaks) outside is charred and the inside is completely cooked through.
Vegetarians. There are sometimes one or two vegetarian offerings, although if they are not on the menu you can usually ask for a vegetarian dish.
Local wines are part of the authentic Rhodian food experience. Most Rhodians drink wine, beer, or ouzo (a 40-proof clear alcoholic beverage that is flavored with anise) with their meal. There may be a house wine that can be ordered by the quarter, half, or full liter and will not cost much.... The wines of Rhodes are famous for their great taste and quality since ancient times because the wineries and distilleries of the island produce delicious wines from the island's vineyards which are beneficing from the fertility of the soil and the constant sun.
Appetizers - Starters - "Mezethes"(singular Mezes)
Just some of the "Mezethes" (small plates of tasty morsels) you will find in Rhodes. Sometimes you can order a variety of "Mezethes" dishes. This is usually fun and can be more food than you'd expect for the price!
The Main Courses is usually meat, poultry, or fish. (Fish doesn't usually include any potato or vegetable).
Fish and seafood such as Sea bed, Tuna, Sea bream, Mullet, Bass, Halibut, Swordfish, Anchovies, Grouper, Sardines, Cod, Shrimp (Prawns), Octopus, Squid, Lobsters, and Mussels are consumed with great relish.
Lamb is often braised and stewed in casseroles with assorted vegetables and skewered and broiled while other meats such as Pork, Beef, Goat and Game are marinated, grilled, or baked.
The Rhodians use milk, egg, honey, local spices and fruits as ingredients for making desserts...
After food, you should not forget about the world famous Greek coffee, which contrary to Italian espresso coffee is not served only after meals but at any time during the day, in the morning or afternoon. Greek coffee of Arabian origin has strong taste and rich scent and is tastier when freshly ground and prepared in the "briki" a typical long handled copper pot. It's served often accompanied by a glass of water. There are three different ways to drink it, Sketo (no sugar), Metrio (medium strong with a little sugar), Vari Gliko (strong and sweet) However, even more popular than Greek coffee, especially in the summer, is a Greek invention called "cafe frappe", that is instant coffee shaked to create froth with sugar, milk or ice cubes, depending on taste.
The waiter will almost never bring the bill until you ask for it. You may be the last people in the restaurant but the bill still doesn't come. When you are ready for the bill, simply ask for "Logariasmo". Not all restaurants accept credit cards so be prepared with cash.
Tipping in restaurants is customary and on average is around 15% above the bill, in some establishments it is already added but not in all.
International studies have recognized the value of the Greek cuisine. Launched in the early 60's by the World Health Organization, the Seven Countries Study set out to examine the eating patterns of people from seven different countries: Greece , Italy , Serbia , Holland , Finland , the USA and Japan . This long-running study which lasted for 30 years showed that people living in the Mediterranean countries, Greece in particular, had lower mortality rates compared to the rest of the participating countries. The "secretes" to Health and Longevity were documented as the combination of a simple diet and regular physical activity, dubbed as the Mediterranean Diet.
All plant foods (fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, seeds, olives and olive oil, herbs and spices) are placed in a single group at the base of the Pyramid, indicating that they should be the basis of most meals.
The frequency of consuming fish and shellfish is increased to at least two times per week, indicating their multiple contributions to brain and reproductive organ health.
Poultry, Eggs, cheese, yogurt, moderate portions daily to weekly, and
Meats and Sweets less often.
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Traditional Greek Food. Greek Gastronomy of Rhodes.