What dishes spring to mind when you think of Greek traditional food? Tzatziki? Souvlaki? Moussaka? Baklava? Cooking classical Mediterranean food is an art. And one that is well-practiced all over the country.

Greek traditions and Greek recipes are virtually impossible to seperate as food is a central feature of the culture.

The question is “where to go on a food tour?” Athens, Santorini, and Crete are all possibilities. Each place has its own traditions and favourite foods. They are similar, but slightly different with tastes and herbs.

Crete is known for its fresh ingredients and olive oil. Restaurants buy local and the taste comes through.

Athens offers many food tours, including ones decicated to honey, a standard breakfast staple. Feta is a must, as is saganako, a hard yellow cheese that is fried. And don’t be scared to sample the street food. Delishious, cheap, and readily available.

Try the traditional fave – a puree of yellow split peas – in Santorini. Other local specalities include ntomatoktedes – tomatoe fritters — kopania – sweets made from barley – and aoicgti – pork loin salted and douced in vinegar.

The other difficult decision is to decide what kind of food tour do you want. There are “walk and eat” where you can explore the local street offerings. Want to go with a group to get other people’s opionions? Chefs also offer private dinners and cook the dishes you want.

Another option is to take cooking classes so that you can continue to enjoy the cuisine of Greece when you return to your own kitchen.

Food and wine are married in Greece. A glass of white with the eggs for breakfast? Fine. Greeks tend to sip wine so it makes them mellow, but not falling over. To be publically drunk is not acceptable. Remember this is the home of civilization.

Ouzo is a Greek liqueor that is the traditional spirit of the country. Not for the faint-hearted, this beverage can literally knock you from the back of the head if inbibed too quickly. Remember to sip, not slurp.