Not literally – that would be silly, but Greek food and its traditions do have some of the oldest history in all the western culinary world. It's a cuisine that was born, molded and spread across the continent via ancient Rome, and despite that happening some 4000 years ago, a few methods and indeed many of the ingredients at the core of the cuisine have remained pretty much the same. But more about that later, you're here to read about the Greek restaurants of Liverpool and we're here to tell you about them. Liverpool's Greek restaurants are great because they provide charming, often contemporary places to eat Greek but they also stay true to those traditions just mentioned. At any Greek restaurant in Liverpool you'll find a staple use of certain ingredients that bring the dishes together in ways that'll make you dribble.
One of the most fundamental elements of Greek cooking and of almost any dish you'll find at a Greek restaurant in Liverpool is a big old use of fresh vegetables. We suspect there are a few reasons as to why, the first being that the Greeks eat seasonally, the second being that the vegetables grown in Greece, irrespective of the time of year, are some of the best in the world. They're colourful and flavourful in ways they simply aren't elsewhere so it makes perfect sense that the Greeks and Liverpool's Greek restaurants use them whenever possible. Keeping those things in mind, don't be surprised when you dine at any one of Liverpool's Greek restaurants and find tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, fennel, cabbage, horta, zucchini, garlic or peppers on pretty much every page of the menu.
Hey now, you carnivores, if all that talk of the V word has left you in some doubt about whether to reserve a table at one of Liverpool's Greek restaurants, cast that doubt aside. Although a far more modern development, Greeks do eat plenty of meat – mainly pork, lamb, chicken, veal or rabbit – but it's more often a component of a dish, rather than the focus. Take moussaka as an example, a dish where meat is added to enhance or enrich but not a dish where meat is essential. None of this is to say you won't find big plates of meat a Greek restaurant in Liverpool – you will – it's just that meat isn't as central to the Greek diet as it is in somewhere like the UK, the US or Germany. Fish and seafood, however, well, that's a whole different kettle of fish… For such a small country Greece has a vast amount of coastline meaning fish and seafood are eaten often. Food from the ocean is vital for the Greek diet, and you'd best believe this transfers to the kitchens of Liverpool's Greek restaurants.
You didn't think we'd forget to mention olive oil, did you? Any Greek restaurant you'll find in Liverpool will stockpile bottles and bottles of the stuff and that's because it is, undoubtedly, the daddy of Greek cooking. Olive oil will be involved in some way or another with practically every Greek dish, whether that be to grease a pan, dress a salad, drizzle some fish or moisten some bread. For those who weren't aware, by the way, olive oil is so widely used because olives grow in Greece like there's no tomorrow and they are, and pretty much always have been, Greece's biggest export. A Greek restaurant in Liverpool or indeed anywhere else in the world will have olive oil on the table for diners to use for whatever they want. It's actually quite liberating...