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Meze Small Plates are the Greek Tapas

The Mediterranean countries of the world have various traditions of eating a small but slightly filling early evening meal, known in Greece and other countries as Meze. There are hot and cold Meze appetizers. Some popular items are lightly pan fried fresh vegetables such as Zucchini or Eggplant served with a refreshing Scordalia spread of potato, garlic, olive oil and sometimes bread crumbs. Other favorite spreads are Hummus which consists of chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and drizzled traditionally with some extra virgin olive oil, sesame seeds, hot pepper, parsley, or other herbs particularly Sumac which is like a lemony cousin of Paprika. Another popular Meze spread is Taramasalata which is a pink caviar pixed with olive oil, bread crumbs a dash of lemon and garlic if desired. If you enjoy a good fresh mayonaisse you will love it on some crusty white bread.

Hot Meze items include delicious freshly prepared house made mini meat patties known as Keftedakia. Sometimes resembling meatballs, mini hamburgers, or sausage shaped shish kebabs, they are traditionally hand formed and full of fresh herbs, a bit of bread crumbs, lemon juice, garlic and warm herbs such as Cumin, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Sumac and of course some Sea Salt and cracked fresh Black Pepper. Grilled to juicy perfection in Greece they are often served with a delicious Tzatziki Cucumber Garlic Herb Sauce.

A must have with your hot and cold appetizers is also something from the sea, such as delicious Pan Fried Smelts that one can eat like french fries with Scordalia spread as mentioned earlier with Zucchini Meze known as Kolokythakia. Try a new Meze appetizer course at your next family gathering!

World Cuisine Today July 14, 2018 All Rights Reserved

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