Homemade Pastitsio - credits: Akis Petretzikis
Homemade Pastitsio - credits: Akis Petretzikis

Gastronomy is undoubtedly an important part of Greek culture! Of course, there are wonderful cuisines worldwide, but we unashamedly promise you that Greece has quite possibly some of the best dishes in the world. With perfect weather and terrain for fresh produce and a tradition of producing dishes that are simultaneously comforting and extravagant, Greece is the mecca for any foodie. On this post, we would like to commend the 'king' of Greek gastronomy, pastitsio!

Pastitsio is an exceedingly popular dish in Greece and across the years, many a fight has erupted among locals over whose grandmother cooks it best. The base is made from a tubular type of pasta bound together with egg and cheese. Between the layers of pasta is a filling of ground beef and the whole dish is topped with a bechamel sauce. For a little extra decadence, cheese is sometimes sprinkled on top and grilled briefly before serving. Baked in the oven, it is a perfect choice for any event where you need to feed a lot of people; whether it is a dinner party with friends or family or just a handy dish to keep in the fridge to save you cooking every day, pastitsio is there to save the day! It's also a fantastic recipe to have up your sleeve as a parent as it is normally very popular with children. Of course, you can serve it any way you like, but in Greece, we usually have it as a main course complimented with a fresh Greek salad.

If you'd like to try it with something other than beef, sometimes pastitsio is made with lamb or veal meat. However, the original taste comes from using ground beef, which is sometimes seasoned with cinnamon. If you're trying it for the first time, we suggest you ask for the original version without the added spice. Unless you feel adventurous; then, you do you!

The price of pastitsio in a high-quality restaurant should be around €7-9. The inclusion of pastitsio in the menu is also a pretty good sign of the taverna being family run! Due to its popularity, whether you are visiting Athens or the Greek islands, you will certainly get an opportunity to taste it. If you want to discover where the locals go for good food -and the wine that goes with it of course!- why not join us on our Athens by Night Food Tour and Wine Tasting? Our local, expert guide will take you to authentic eateries away, helping you discover the very best of Greek gastronomy.

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And if you're into cooking, why not have a go at making Greek dishes yourself? Under the guidance of a professional, talented chef, learn the valuable 'tricks of the trade' to making delicious Greek meals in one of our cooking lessons in Athens, Heraklion or Santorini. Discover recipes to take home with you and enjoy an afternoon in the company of friends, with delicious wines and excellent food!

Greek cooking class - credits: Alexxxey/Shutterstock.com