DSC00861Greeks, the founders of Mediterranean diet, are believers in freshness. Since the discovery of refrigeration, many food products are frozen before distribution. Even though Westerners and Europeans see nothing wrong with frozen foods, they are considered of lesser quality and are required by law to be marked as such on the menu. They may have the “κατ.”, “κατεψυγμένο” written next to the item on the menu.
Although Greece is a Mediterranean country, visitors may be surprised to learn that some of the items they’ve been ordering under the assumption they’d be fresh, are actually frozen. For example, when you order calamari in a Greek restaurant, and you are served a plate of perfect looking “rings”, fried to a golden crisp, it’s pretty certain they enjoyed a refreshing soujourn in the deep freeze before landing on your plate. On the other hand, when you order grilled “thrapsalo“, a larger variety of seafood from the calamari family, you can almost always be guaranteed it’s fresh.
Pay close attention to that asterisk if you are searching for truly fresh seafood, we once spotted the proprietor of a fish taverna on a Greek island pulling “fresh” octopus from the sea, when in fact the telltale signs of the packaging in which the previously frozen octopi had been minutes earlier told us a different story.

Octopus, being cleaned in the sea, or thawed?

Octopus, being cleaned in the sea, or thawed?