Zakynthos Food: What Makes It Is So Special
Zakynthos or Zante for short is an island situated in the Ionian Sea which is part of Greece. It’s been a hot tourist spot for a lot of years now, and apart from the rich blue sea and white sand beaches, Zante has a lot of delicious food to offer.
Since it’s been a part of the Greek culture since ancient time, it’s normal for Zante to have a strikingly similar cuisine to mainland Greece. From the ingredients to the method of cooking, Zante is richly connected to the Mediterranean and Greek food in general.
However, Zante has a lot of uniqueness to its food. Mainland Greece’ dishes have been influenced by a lot of neighboring European countries. This is particularly the case after Greece became a part of the European Union which allowed other European products to enter freely into their economy.
In contrast to that, Zante, being a part of the Ionian Sea regional area, has been able to retain a lot of what you might say, “a taste of the sea” as well as Greece’ classic recipes.
Samples Of Zante’s Most Famous Dishes
What comes to your mind when you say Greek food? Is it Greek Yoghurt? Lamb kebabs? Gyros? Or maybe a sprinkle of Feta cheese? Whatever the case, Greece’ fundamental cooking is its Mediterranean touch.
Similar to its cousin Italy, Greek food prides itself on the use of healthy and organic food. From freshly caught shellfish to organic agricultural produce, Greek food makes its fresh ingredients as its star, not the chef. To give you a clearer view of how Greek food is executed, we will show you samples of famous Greek cuisines and Zante’s local dishes.
Zante Dish #1: Melitzanosalata
Melitazanosalata is quite hard to pronounce for a non-Greek alright, but it’s a simple dish. Melitazanosalata or Meze for short is a traditional Greek appetizer that you may also label as a dip. It’s made from fresh aubergines with an optional touch of Feta cheese.
The aubergines or eggplants are first baked until soft. These aubergines are coated with top-quality olive oil, garlic, and herbs like thyme and parsley. After the aubergines are tender, it is then mashed until creamy in texture. That gives the base of the dish.
Of course, if you like your dip to have a creamier texture, it can be served with crumbled feta cheese. Incorporating olive oil as you mash the tender eggplants is also another option.
Zante Dish #2: Zante Tzatziki
Tzatziki is a great local dip that Zante is proud of. It follows the same principles as the Meze, only using different ingredients. A Zante Tzatziki is made of freshly diluted yogurts instead of vegetables like Aubergine. Since it’s dairy-based, it lives up more to the dip label.
Although Greek yogurt is the main component of this dish, it also has cucumber, olive oil, herbs, and garlic. These are all mixed by blending the ingredients together. It’s a more refreshing dip that works best with the next dish that we’re going to discuss.
The Main Meals
Zante Dish #3: Slouvakia
There’s a saying that Slouvakia for Greeks is what burgers are to Americans. And if you visit Greece, you will get why. It’s extremely common in Greece, be it in Athens, Santorini, or the Ionian Sea Region like Zante.
Slouvakia is essentially kebabs in nature. These are meat grilled on skewers that may have vegetables. It’s often served with the classic Pita bread or with potato wedges
Zante Dish #4: Stuffed Rabbit and Rabbit Stifado
The locals from Zakynthos are all for rabbit meat. It’s a delicacy in Zante which many locals use to substitute beef. It’s also a great alternative if the usual lamb is getting used too much.
Usually, some of the known dishes are stuffed rabbit that is cooked in Zante wine (we will further discuss this below). Rabbit Stifado, which is also known in other parts of the world like Australia, is also a delicious rendition of the beef stifado.
It’s a classic stew that makes use of onions, olive oil, and wine along with almost any meat.
Zante Dish #5: Gyros
Last but not the least; Gyros are one of the best snacks out there in Zante. Similar to the Souvlaki, it’s sold almost anywhere on the island. But thanks to the Gyros’ convenience, it’s a lot easier to bring around when you’re idling under the sun.
Gyros has taken not only Greece by storm, but also worldwide. This delicious stuffed pitta bread have a balanced flavor. You get the smokiness in the meat, the freshness of the vegetables, and that cooling agent in the dip.
Zante Wine: The Ouzo and Metaxa
Ouzo and Metaxa are Greek drinks known for its quality worldwide. Ouzo is an anise-flavored drink that dates back even to ancient times. Although Ouzo is a famous Greek drink nation-wide, you can also see lots of restaurants and households in Zante that houses this richly flavored wine.
On the other hand, Metaxa has been around since 1888. It’s a brandy drink that’s blended with Muscat wine which gives it a whole new dimension. Past records show that Metaxa has been one of the strongest spirit brands worldwide because of its exports.
Although these wines may be accessible to you thanks to today’s growing trade liberalization, having a glass of either Ouzo or Metaxa is a whole different experience when you’re looking at the seas of Zante.
Zante Food: Why You Must Try It
At the end of the day, Zante food is at its best because of its simplicity and freshness. Forget about that it’s an excellent cuisine for those looking to lose weight (although it is effective). Zante is food is as fresh as the ocean. It retains the very fundamental principles of Greek cooking, but at the same time, it gives you a taste of the Ionian sea.
Be it the rich olive oil, the freshness of the Meze or the Tzatziki, Zante food bursts into your palate through the finest ingredients. It doesn’t use greasy pans, loads of condiments, or crackling pots of oil.
Instead, it brings out the flavor of meat or vegetable through the healthiest and simplest ways. This fact alone is enough evidence why Greek and Zakynthos cuisines are something to travel for.