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A traditional Greek Christmas dinner table

A traditional Greek Christmas dinner table is the occasion for prominent families to gather together! For Greeks, Christmas is an extraordinary time because it's when they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

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A traditional Greek Christmas dinner table is the occasion for prominent families to gather together! For Greeks, Christmas is an extraordinary time because it’s when they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

As with any celebration, food is an essential part of the festivities. In Greece, many traditional dishes are explicitly served during Christmas dinner.

One such dish is moussaka. Moussaka is made up of layers of eggplant, ground beef, and béchamel sauce. It’s then baked in the oven and served hot. Another popular dish is dolmades. Dolmades are grape leaves stuffed with rice, meat, and spices. They’re usually served cold or at room temperature. Greek Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without either one of these dishes!

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Athens Christmas Food Tour

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Let’s check out more dishes and drinks below!

Top 9 dishes & drinks for a Greek Christmas dinner!

1. Roasted lamb

A lamb that has spent almost 5 hours roasting and absorbing odors of thyme, oregano, and rosemary in the oven (or better, a wood-fired oven) can only be a Christmas favorite. It is also served with traditional potatoes that have been baked with the meat in the oven.

2. Rakomelo

The Cretan rakomelo is the finest option for people in need of a stronger spirit to warm their souls as well as their bodies (made of the liqueur raki with honey and spices added).

Rakomelo is served warm and tastes a lot like mulled wine. Rakomelo is traditionally made with a clove, a teaspoon of honey, and another teaspoon of cinnamon for every four shots of raki. A fantastic mix for those chilly Winter days, reminding you of Crete!

3. Turkey

Turkey has earned its place among Greece’s traditional Christmas food. It has lately become a popular option for many families as the primary Christmas dinner. In Greece, the Christmas turkey is elevated with a delicious stuffing comprised of rice and raisins, almonds, mincemeat, and copious amounts of wine.

4. Greek Christmas dinner: Meze

Meze is a tiny serving of savory nibbles given as an accompaniment to beverages. They may be served hot or cold, and they can contain veggies, cheeses, dips, shellfish, rusks, pita bread, and a variety of other items (basically you can make anything a meze as long as you can serve it in the size of a bite).

A mix of ingredients. From the classic tzatziki (fresh yogurt) to the rustic skordalia (potatoes with garlic), add some hot pita bread and a good quantity of olive oil, and let the supper begin.

5. Spanakopita

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Most people have at least heard of this Greek spinach and feta-filled pie. The main ingredient here is phyllo dough since the multiple layers of pastry give this meal its traditional texture and crispiness. The filling is somewhat salty with a tangy feta tang, onions for sweetness, and spinach for a substantial, healthful bite.

6. Melomakarona

Melomakarona is one of the most popular Greek biscuits. With a generous soaking in honey and a topping of chopped walnuts, these glazed cookies are sweet and easy. They’re typically seen throughout the Christmas season, and since they’re a treasured favorite, they’re more likely to be presented front and center on the dessert table than any other cookie.

7. Lahanodolmades

Europe has seen plenty of stuffed cabbage recipes, particularly from Germany and Poland, but Greece has its own, and it’s a bit different. Okay, really different! Instead of a somewhat sweet tomato sauce, this stuffed cabbage is topped with lemon sauce, creating a light meal with a zesty zing. During the holidays, cabbage leaves are used to symbolize the garment in which baby Jesus was wrapped.

8. Kourampiedes

They are the traditional Christmas treats in Greece! Kourampies are cookies that are created with wheat, butter, and almonds. It’s also dusted with powdered sugar. According to legend, goblins would come to play pranks on the hosts and hostesses. You’d find your kitchen in shambles, and you’d be able to trace their little footprints through the powdered sugar!

9. Moussaka

Moussaka is a tiered Greek casserole-style meal comprised of vegetables and meat layers. There are many ways to make moussaka, but my version includes wonderful layers of potato, eggplant, cheese, substantial meat sauce, and creamy béchamel sauce. Moussaka requires a bit more effort but is well worth the effort. And since it freezes nicely, you may prepare two at once… one for eating and one for freezing.

In conclusion

Christmas is a time for celebration with family and friends, and what better way to enjoy the holiday season than by indulging in a delicious traditional Greek Christmas dinner? From succulent roast lamb to tasty melomakarona, there’s something on this table for everyone to love.

So gather around your loved ones and dig in!

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