5 popular Greek delicatessen products

Olive oil is the bedrock of Greek cuisine, and pride of place on the deli shelves are bottles of PDO Kalamata Organic Extra Virgin olive oil.  PDO means Protected Designation of Origin, so you know that if it says PDO Kalamata on the label, then the oil inside is guaranteed to come from there.  Organic and extra virgin means only nature’s best goes in to the bottle, so you get the very best natural flavour and goodness from the oil.

Jars of plump olives in a variety of colours and sizes are a must.  Delicious purple-black Kalamon olives and the milder, fresh tasting Halkidi variety are another essential deli product.  They can be eaten straight from the jar, especially the Halkidikis stuffed with almonds or pimento, or served as part of a classic Greek salad with ripe tomatoes and succulent cucumber.

Wine is an important part of Greek and all Mediterranean diets. Locally grown grapes produce red and white wines that will provide the perfect accompaniment for a Greek meal.  

Another famous PDO product in the deli is Feta cheese,for example epoch P.D.O Feta Cheese.  This hand crafted cheese from the slopes of mount Kithairon is made from the milk of both sheep and goats, the young cheese is cured in brine inside traditional wooden barrels.  The mature cheese is slightly crumbly and tastes fresh and creamy with a deliciously zesty and salty background.  You can make lovely spinach and feta pastries, but it is just as good as a table cheese with olives.

Bottarga is a Greek treat that is as famous inside Greece as caviar and smoked salmon is to the rest of the world.  Bottarga is the Greek answer to caviar.  It is made from the cured roe of the female Flathead mullet, and it comes in three different styles – whole Bottarga preserved in natural beeswax, grated Bottarga in jars ready to add to spaghetti, risotto or scrambled eggs, and smoked Bottarga, which you should serve just as you would serve caviar.  Next time you want to add some real panache to your dinner table, try some fabulous Greek Bottarga.

A dish of Kalamata olives, Feta cheese with a pouring of organic extra virgin Koroneiki olive oil, some slices of Bottarga and a glass of wine.  Some days you don’t need to cook, this is the very essence of fine Greek delicatessen cuisine on a plate.

photo by plassen

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