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Lesson Transcript

Hey, guys! Stefania here with another Top Words video. Our topic today is 10 Greek Foods. Are you ready? Let's start!
1. ελαιόλαδο (eleólado) "olive oil"
Οι Έλληνες χρησιμοποιούν πολύ ελαιόλαδο στα φαγητά τους. (I Élines hrisimopiún polí eleólado sta fayitá tus.) "Greeks use a lot of olive oil in their food."
And that's true, we are not stingy with olive oil. When we pour olive oil into a pot when cooking or to a salad, we pour, and pour, and pour. That's why many people buy 5L tin cans to stock up, or they use the olive oil that they produce themselves from the olive trees they own back in their village. It's not uncommon for someone to own a large plot of land with olives, back in some village.
2. ελιά Καλαμών (eliá Kalamón) "Kalamata olive"
Μου αρέσει να αγοράζω ελιές Καλαμών χύμα. (Mu arési na agorázo eliés Kalamón híma.) "I like to buy Kalamata olives in bulk."
In Greece, you can go to any supermarket and just like there will be a section of the cold cut or cheese, with a counter and some person behind it to slice things for you, you will also find a section for olives where you can select the variety you want, and buy by the kilo.
3. μέλι (méli) "honey"
Κάθε πρωί τρώω ψωμί με μέλι. (Káthe proí tróo psomí me méli.) "Every morning, I eat bread with honey."
Aww, the Greek honey! There are so many varieties that you can find at farmers' markets like thyme honey, floral honey, fir honey, pine honey, orange blossom honey, chestnut blossom honey, and more. Greeks are also one of the most heavy consumers of honey worldwide.
4. μουσακάς (musakás) "moussaka"
Ο μουσακάς θέλει πολύ ώρα, για να φταχτεί. (O musakás théli polí óra, ya na ftahtí.) "It takes a long time to make moussaka."
And that's true. Moussaka, or μουσακάς (musakás) as we say in Greek, requires a lot of preparation time, you have to cook all the ingredients separately then put them together and bake them. You have to shallow-fry the potatoes, then the zucchini, then the eggplants which some people let rest in salt for 30 minutes before frying them, so the bitter juices go away, then you have to make the meat sauce, which is something like bolognese sauce, then you have to make the bechamel sauce and then lay each ingredient in layers inside a big oven tray, and then bake the whole thing. And before you serve, you have to let it cool, otherwise, the bechamel won't be firm and your pieces will just be collapsing. When you eat moussaka in Greece, you have to appreciate the hard work of the chef.
5. σουβλάκι (suvláki) "souvlaki"
Σήμερα βαριέμαι να μαγειρέψω, οπότε απόψε θα παραγγείλουμε σουβλάκια. (Símera variéme na mayirépso, opóte apópse tha parangílume suvlákia.) "Today, I'm too bored to cook, so tonight we'll order souvlakia."
Another favorite treat of mine, souvlaki. Now, here's what you need to know about souvlaki:
In Athens, a souvlaki is a pita wrapped with meat in it. The meat inside the pita can be γύρος (gíros), which you've seen spelled as "gyros" with a G, and it is basically sliced pork or chicken meat, or it can be skewered meat that is placed inside the pita, and then the wooden skewer gets pulled out. That skewered meat, which you can also eat it without the pita, it's called καλαμάκι (kalamáki) in Athens, okay? So, a σουβλάκι (suvláki) in Athens, may be πίτα γύρο (píta yíro), as we call it, or πίτα καλαμάκι (píta kalamáki). Now, in Thessaloniki, the terms are not being used the same way. If you go to Thessaloniki and ask for a souvlaki, you will not get a wrap, you will only get a meat skewer. That's because σουβλάκι (suvláki), from a language point of view, is the diminutive form of σούβλα (súvla), which is the spit where the skewered meat gets roasted in. So souvlaki is a small stick with meat, not a wrap with pita and meat. The term "kalamaki" for Thessalonikians is nothing but a plastic straw to drink. So in Thessaloniki asking for a souvlaki with a kalamaki will get you a meat skewer and a plastic straw.
So when in Thessaloniki, if you want the whole wrap thing, ask for πίτα με γύρο (pita me yíto), or simply πιτόγυρο (pitóyiro), or πίτα με σουβλάκι (pita me suvláki).
These term differences are reasons of epic arguments between Athenians and Thessalonikians. With Athenians, defending the term "kalamaki" not as the word for straw, but as the diminutive of the word καλάμι (kalámi), which refers to reed, the plant. So a small reed, a kalamaki, is a little stick where we skewer the meat. From my point of view, and although I'm from Piraeus, where we follow the Athenian terminology when it comes to this popular food, I think both arguments are valid about kalamaki. But about the term of souvlaki, I have to admit that it makes more sense to consider it as a skewered meat only as my fellow Thessalonikians rightfully do. That's also what dictionaries say. The Greek language, as all languages, adapts to the place, the people, the time and conditions, so we should all accept how the language evolves in each place, rather than fight about it. So there are different terms, used in different cities. Now, let's move on.
6. σπανακόπιτα (spanakópita) "spinach pie"
Ποιος έφαγε τη σπανακόπιτά μου; (Pios éfaye ti spanakópitá mu?) "Who ate my spinach pie?"
Not cool! Don't eat other people's food!
7. τζατζίκι (jajíki) "tzatziki"
Μία πίτα γύρο με απ' όλα χωρίς τζατζίκι, παρακαλώ. (Mía píta yíro me ap' óla horís jajíki, parakaló.) "A pita with gyro and everything in it, except tzatziki, please."
That's a very common way to ask for a pita with gyros. Tzatziki is a yogurt-based sauce with lots of garlic. Many people like it but some people avoid it when they want to maintain a fresh breath.
8. τυρόπιτα (tirópita) "cheese pie"
Ποιο τυρί έχεις βάλει σε αυτήν την τυρόπιτα; (Pio tirí éhis váli se aftín tin tirópita?) "Which cheese have you used in this cheese pie?"
In Greece, there are a lot of cheese pie varieties. The cheese used can be φέτα (féta), κασέρι (kaséri), έμμενταλ (émendal), and there are more cheese, but we also have a few different pastries, like it can be phyllo pastry, or shortcrust pastry which we call κουρού (kurú).
9. φασολάδα (fasoláda) "Greek bean soup"
Την Καθαρά Δευτέρα τρώμε πάντα φασολάδα. (Tin Kathará Deftéra tróme pánda fasoláda.) "On Clean Monday, we always eat Greek bean soup."
Clean Monday is a public holiday that marks the beginning of the Lent period before Easter. So people begin to fast. And φασολάδα (fasoláda) is a very common food to eat during Lent. Something you might not know is that φασολάδα (fasoláda) is our national dish, not moussaka or μουσακάς (musakás), like we say in Greek.
Although moussaka is very popular and every foreigner that comes talks about moussaka, the national dish is φασολάδα (fasoláda).
10. φέτα (féta) "feta cheese"
Βάλε μπόλικη φέτα στη σαλάτα. (Vále bóliki féta sti saláta.) "Put a lot of feta cheese in the salad."
Yeah, don't be stingy with your feta, either. Go ahead and put a thick slice from the block of feta on top of the salad.
And that's it for the 10 Greek Foods of this video. What's your all-time favorite Greek food and what would be your top 10 list of Greek Foods? Let me know by leaving a comment.
Γεια χαρά! (Ya hará!)


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Which word or phrase do you like the most?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:05 PM
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Hi Stephen!

Thank you for the 👍! I appreciate it!

All the best,


Team GreekPod101.com

Stephen Samuel Scott
Tuesday at 01:09 AM
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GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 07:10 AM
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Γεια σου Παναγιώτη,

Ο γύρος είναι βασιλιάς (king) στην Ελλάδα!


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 04:43 AM
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Gyro is my favorite

Γύρος είναι το αγαπημένο μου

GreekPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:34 PM
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Γεια σου Ρουθ!

Εξαιρετικές επιλογές όλα αυτά! Μακάρι να ξαναπάς στην Ελλάδα και να τα ξαναγευτείς!


Team GreekPod101.com

Tuesday at 04:35 AM
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Τα αγαπημένο μου ελληνικά φαγητό (χωρίς αλληλουχία!)

Μπουγάτσα γλυκιά, γεμιστά, κόλποκυθοανθοι με ρύζι, πίτα γύρο με απ´ όλα, γιουβέτσι, χόρτα, δάκος σαλάτα, σπανακόπιτα, σαγανάκι, φέτα με μέλι, φρεντο εσπρέσο, γαλακτομπούρεκο, κεφτέδες, λουκουμάδες, ρακόμελο...

Θέλω να πηγαίνω πάλι!

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:51 PM
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Hi Gavin,

Αααα! Μπακλαβάς! One of my favorites! Especially chocolate baklava 😉


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Sunday at 06:14 PM
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Μπακλαβάς, surely! 😄

GreekPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:53 AM
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Hi Natalya,

Pastitsio is my favorite too I'd say!


Team GreekPod101.com

Wednesday at 02:43 PM
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I like pastisio😜