One food has been related unmistakably to Greek cuisine more than any others. It is our most popular street food that has crossed our country’s borders, it has become famous, and it’s loved and cherished by Greeks and foreigners alike.
It is of course the delicious souvlaki!
The word ‘souvlaki’ is a diminutive of the word ‘souvla’ which means spit. Souvla is a borrowed word from the Latin ‘subula’. The actual name in ancient times was ‘obeliskos’ a diminutive of the word ‘obelos’ meaning again, spit.
Did you know that the souvlaki has been around in Greece since ancient times? Proof of that, is that it’s mentioned in the writings of Homer. Homer actually is one of the latest references we have of the souvlaki existing in ancient times, as the much earlier references by Aristotle and Aristophanes show that by the time Homer mentions it, the souvlaki was already over a millennium old!
Ancient artefacts have been found, meant for grilling skewers of meat over heated coals, proving that the souvlaki is at least 2,500 years old.
In the 1950’s, souvlaki shops started appearing all over Greece, and soon it became our very own Greek ‘fast-food’. It is after all a very nutritious and filling meal by itself. It was initially made of pork, and served with a Greek salad-a perfect match in our book-but throughout the years it has evolved, and you can find it served with all types of meat and even fish, and filed with a variety of vegetables and sauces.
This December, in order to ‘dress up’ our favourite Greek food, we decided to create and offer a Christmas souvlaki in all of our restaurants, as a special. And what better meat to make it with than traditional turkey?
It is true that turkey has been related with the Christmas family meal in Greece in the later years, as game, pheasant, duck, goose and chicken were served in most regions, as well as lamb and pork in others.
However, when turkeys were introduced into Europe, around 1500, and then domesticated, they soon became a holiday favourite for us Greeks, and no festive table is complete without a nicely cooked turkey in the centre!
Our Christmas souvlaki is a delicious turkey skewer creation dreamed up by our Greek chef Stergios, served open on a Greek flatbread with onions, tomato and cucumber, with sundried tomato and orange dressing. To make all this even more mouth-watering and Christmassy, we added a cranberry and red wine reduction sauce.
A definite holiday must-try, this souvlaki is bound to be your new favourite Greek Christmas treat, so come, share it with your friends and family, and get into the spirit of a Greek Christmas, with this heart-warming, succulent creation from our Greek chef. Available from 1st– 31st December!
‘Kala Christougena’ or… Merry Christmas everybody!