People in Greece naturally eat a good amount of vegan food in their cuisine (see LOCAL FOOD page). Delicious eggplant dishes compete with stuffed vine leaves and outstanding salads for your attention, as do the fresh fruit salads and the best watermelons ever. The thing is that Greek people do not call them vegan dishes, as veganism is poorly understood, at least by the older generation. Vegetable dishes abound thanks to the fasting traditions of the Greek orthodox church which requires large periods of time without any meat consumption. Some of the oldest people on earth come from Greece, a combined result of a diet rich in plants, close families and community relationships.
So, stick with the authentic local food that is vegan as much as you can. It will serve you well and you will not find it boring since there are dozens of dishes to satisfy your cravings for fresh produce, beans, potatoes and fruits. Avoid tourist traps that cater to the Western diet taste and go for the small eateries owed by local families (taverns) where you will see a lot of local people. Will your waiter understand your request for veganizing dishes? (for Greek words see our VEGAN WORDS page) If young, probably yes since English is now a compulsory subject in final high school exams . If not, ask to see what they are making in the kitchen. Most of the time you will be welcome.
The tricky part will be shopping in supermarkets in greece for processed vegan foods since most packages are almost always written in Greek. Some solutions: ask someone to read it for you, or just stay away from processed food altogether 🙂 Farmers’ markets (laiki) are a pleasure to visit with all their fresh Mediterranean fruits and veggies.
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