Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day, a great source of energy to start an exciting day full of experiences and new adventures! The high nutritional value and the quality of the Mediterranean products, along with their tradition and experiential character, account for Greek breakfast’s special features.
Although varying from one place to another, the Greek breakfast never fails to pair the abundance of tastes and aromas with the values of simplicity, clarity and purity. The traveller has a vast variety of destinations to choose from, each of them boasting a unique culinary tradition.
Greek breakfast ingredients are classified as follows:
- Bread, pastries, buns
- Cheese, yoghurt, traditional yoghurt, butter, sour milk, etc
- Cold cuts, meat
- Honey, sesame bar, tahini
- Local traditional marmalades
- Olive oil and olives
- Eggs (boiled, fried, omelets)
- Pies (cheese pies, green pies, etc)
- Local sweets
- Fresh fruit, juices, fruit salads, seasonal vegetables, local or biological
- Warm traditional soup (frumenty, pulses, etc)
- Cereals (wheat, frumenty, etc)
- Herbal drinks
- Greek coffee
Depending on the region, its local raw materials, habits and climate, breakfast ingredients vary significantly. Let’s discover the gastronomic treasures of Thessaly, the Cyclades and Crete!
Greek breakfast from Thessaly
Thessaly has a great range of products: milk, yoghurt, butter, various types of cheese, black kneaded bread, olive oil, fruit and vegetables from the lowlands, marmalade and pies from the highlands and hot frumenty served in cold winter nights.
- Products served as breakfast in Thessaly:
- Olive bread
- Cheese from Elassona
- Kaseri cheese
- Greek butter
- Grilled sausages of Trikala
- Thyme honey
- Local traditional marmalades, produced by women’s cooperatives without conservatives
- French toast
- Chicken pie
- Farsala halvas
- Milk pie
- Rice pudding
Greek breakfast from the Cyclades
The Cycladic islands’ geomorphology –along with the sea, the wind and the sun- determines the special features and the quality of the products that are produced on their land.
Grapes, olives, pulses and vegetables that don’t need too much water, tomato varieties, wild greens, wild artichoke, wild asparagus, capers, kritamo etc are the islands’ raw materials.
Fisheries, of course, are part of the raw materials, while meat is scarcer and used mainly for celebrations. The Cycladic cheese is an amazing synthesis of flavors and aromas rarely found along Greece’s highlands.
- Cycladic breakfast includes, among others:
- Traditional bread sticks
- Kopanisti from Mykonos: Soft, brine cheese, with an intense spicy flavor. A P.D.O. cheese.
- Aged Graviera from Naxos: Another P.D.O., hard cheese, with a full butter and milk proteins flavor.
- San Michalis from Syros: P.D.O., hard cheese, white-yellow, with a spicy, salty and buttery taste and delicate aromas.
- Manoura from Sifnos: Hard cheese, with a sub-yellow color, with a special wine-like flavor.
- Louza from Mykonos or Syros: made of pork meat that is salted and left to dry.
- Jambon from Naxos: salted pork.
- Froutalia from Andros: traditional omelet with potatoes and smoked aniseed sausages.
- Sesame bars
- Almond sweets
- Melitinia from Tinos ans Santorini: usually an Easter sweet, filled with cream cheese (myzithra)
- Split peas soup, etc
- Herbal teas
Greek breakfast from Crete
What can one say about Crete, where life expectancy rates are the highest in the whole country? The uniqueness of its products, their daily consumption and their high nutritional value, are the reasons why the Cretan diet is ideal – not to say indispensable - for healthy living. Vast olive groves, vineyards, sweet smelling honey, wild weeds andherbs are the ingredients that guarantee a delicious breakfast!
- Taste the Cretan breakfast:
- Graviera with honey
- Sygklino (salted and smoked pork)
- Apaki (smoked pork)
- Fried eggs with staka (butter-cream)
- Cream cheese pies (myzithra)
- Fried green pie
- Xerotigana: fried thin plies of dough
- Lyhnarakia: filled with myzithra and cream cheese (anthotyro), etc
- Boureki from Chania
- Bougatsa (cream pie)
- Herbal teas