Greek Food 101 at this year’s Columbia Greek Festival

It can be easy to be intimidated by Greek food, with names like souvlaki, bavlaka, and peasant shrimp. We are here to break down the language barrier so you can enjoy the great tastes of Greece!

If you’ve never been to the Greek Festival, this is a good time try new foods and experience a unique culture.

Mr. George Trifos, our taste tour guide, is in charge of the mezze booth at this year’s Greek Festival. This is also where we meet our first Greek term. Mezze is the modern Greek term for a small dish or appetizer.

To start our taste of Greece, Mr. Trifus shows us the Greek Festival’s peasant shrimp dish, consisting of sauteed shrimp with onions and feta cheese, served over a bed of manestra pasta. Manestra, our second Greek term of the day, is a rice-like pasta used in many Greek casseroles and soups.

The next item on our menu is spanakopita, a vegetarian, Greek spinach pie. This savory pastry is filled with sauteed spinach, feta cheese, and onion in between a phyllo dough crust.

We can all recognize this next dish but the name is a mouthful. Kotopoulo sto fourno is a Greek style, roasted lemon chicken.

At the Greek Festival’s souvlaki booth you will find delicious Greek potatoes and, of course, souvlaki. This fan favorite is Greek marinated cubed meat on a skewer. You will be able to enjoy beef or pork souvlaki at the Greek Festival this year!

Now that we’ve had a great lunch and dinner, it’s time to enjoy one of our all-time favorites, baklava!

One of the Columbia Greek Festival’s founders, Niki Stewart, gives us the rundown on how her team prepares this deliciously sweet Greek pastry.  Baklava consists of a nut, sugar, and honey filling in between multiple layers of heavily buttered phyllo dough and topped with a syrup consisting of honey, sugar, lemon juice, and orange water.

Baklava is the perfect way to end our tour of Greek cuisine. This article is the perfect way to start your tour of Greek culture at the 32nd annual Columbia Greek Festival!

Columbia Greek Festival 2018

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Admission is FREE!

We’ll see you there!