Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; the term entered English in the late 15th century from French. It derives from the Italian Levante, meaning "rising", implying the rising of the sun in the east, is broadly equivalent to the term Al-Mashriq, meaning "the east, where the sun rises". In the 13th and 14th centuries, the term levante was used for Italian maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Syria-Palestine, Egypt, that is, the lands east of Venice; the term was restricted to the Muslim countries of Syria-Palestine and Egypt. In 1581, England set up the Levant Company to monopolize commerce with the Ottoman Empire; the name Levant States was used to refer to the French mandate over Syria and Lebanon after World War I.
This is the reason why the term Levant has come to be used more to refer to modern Syria, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. Some scholars misunderstood the term thinking. Today the term is used in conjunction with prehistoric or ancient historical references, it has the same meaning as "Syria-Palestine" or Ash-Shaam, the area, bounded by the Taurus Mountains of Turkey in the North, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east. It does not include Anatolia, the Caucasus Mountains, or any part of the Arabian Peninsula proper. Cilicia and the Sinai Peninsula are sometimes included; the term Levant was used to describe the region from the 18th to the mid-19th centuries, has had steady but lower usage since the late 19th century. Both the noun Levant and the adjective Levantine are now used to describe the ancient and modern culture area called Syro-Palestinian or Biblical: archaeologists now speak of the Levant and of Levantine archaeology; the Levant has been described as the "crossroads of western Asia, the eastern Mediterranean, northeast Africa", the "northwest of the Arabian plate".
The populations of the Levant share not only the geographic position, but cuisine, some customs, history. They are referred to as Levantines; the term Levant, which appeared in English in 1497 meant the East in general or "Mediterranean lands east of Italy". It is borrowed from the French levant "rising", referring to the rising of the sun in the east, or the point where the sun rises; the phrase is from the Latin word levare, meaning'lift, raise'. Similar etymologies are found in Greek Ἀνατολή, in Germanic Morgenland, in Italian, in Hungarian Kelet, in Spanish and Catalan Levante and Llevant, in Hebrew. Most notably, "Orient" and its Latin source oriens meaning "east", is "rising", deriving from Latin orior "rise"; the notion of the Levant has undergone a dynamic process of historical evolution in usage and understanding. While the term "Levantine" referred to the European residents of the eastern Mediterranean region, it came to refer to regional "native" and "minority" groups; the term became current in English in the 16th century, along with the first English merchant adventurers in the region.
The English Levant Company was founded in 1581 to trade with the Ottoman Empire, in 1670 the French Compagnie du Levant was founded for the same purpose. At this time, the Far East was known as the "Upper Levant". In early 19th-century travel writing, the term sometimes incorporated certain Mediterranean provinces of the Ottoman empire, as well as independent Greece. In 19th-century archaeology, it referred to overlapping cultures in this region during and after prehistoric times, intending to reference the place instead of any one culture; the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon was called the Levant states. Today, "Levant" is the term used by archaeologists and historians with reference to the history of the region. Scholars have adopted the term Levant to identify the region due to it being a "wider, yet relevant, cultural corpus" that does not have the "political overtones" of Syria-Palestine; the term is used for modern events, states or parts of states in the same region, namely Cyprus, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Turkey are sometimes considered Levant countries.
Several researchers include the island of Cyprus in Levantine studies, including the Council for British Research in the Levant, the UCLA Near Eastern Languages and Cultures department, Journal of Levantine Studies and the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the last of which has dated the connection between Cyprus and mainland Levant to the early Iron Age. Archaeologists seeking a neutral orientation, neither biblical n
The bell pepper is a cultivar group of the species Capsicum annuum. Cultivars of the plant produce fruits in different colours, including red, orange, green and purple. Bell peppers are sometimes grouped with less pungent pepper varieties as "sweet peppers". Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, northern South America. Pepper seeds were imported to Spain in 1493, from there, spread to Europe and Asia; the mild bell pepper cultivar was developed in Szeged, Hungary. Preferred growing conditions for bell peppers include warm, moist soil in a temperate range of 21 to 29 °C; the misleading name "pepper" was given by Europeans when Christopher Columbus brought the plant back to Europe. At that time, black pepper, from the unrelated plant Piper nigrum originating from India, was a prized condiment; the most used alternative name of the plant family, "chile", is of Mexican origin, from the Nahuatl word chilli. The terms "bell pepper", "pepper" or "sweet pepper", "capsicum" are used for any of the large bell-shaped peppers, regardless of their color.
The vegetable is referred to as a "pepper", or additionally by color. In the Midland region of the U. S. bell peppers when stuffed and pickled are sometimes called "mangoes." Canadian English uses both "bell pepper" and "pepper" interchangeably. In some languages, the term "paprika", which has its roots in the word for pepper, is used for both the spice and the fruit – sometimes referred to by their colour; the bell pepper is called "パプリカ" or "ピーマン" in Japan. In Switzerland, the fruit is called "peperone", the Italian name of the fruit. In France, it is called "poivron", with the same root as "poivre" or "piment". In Spain it is called "pimiento", which would be the masculine form of the traditional spice, "pimienta". In South Korea, the word "피망" refers to green bell peppers, whereas "파프리카" refers to bell peppers of other colors. In Sri Lanka, the fruit used as a vegetable is called "maalu miris"; the most common colors of bell peppers are green, yellow and red. More brown, white and dark purple peppers can be seen, depending on the variety.
Most unripe fruits are green or, less pale yellow or purple. Red bell peppers are ripened green peppers, although the Permagreen variety maintains its green color when ripe; as such, mixed colored peppers exist during parts of the ripening process. Green peppers are less sweet and more bitter than yellow or orange peppers, with red bell peppers being the sweetest; the taste of ripe peppers can vary with growing conditions and post-harvest storage treatment. While bell peppers are fruits in a botanical sense, they are considered vegetables in culinary contexts; the bell pepper is the only member of the genus Capsicum that does not produce capsaicin, a lipophilic chemical that can cause a strong burning sensation when it comes in contact with mucous membranes. This absence of capsaicin is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates the compound and the "hot" taste associated with the rest of the genus Capsicum; this recessive gene is overwritten in the Mexibelle pepper, a hybrid variety of bell pepper that produces small amounts of capsaicin.
Sweet pepper cultivars produce non-pungent capsaicinoids. Bell peppers contain 94% water, 5% carbohydrates, negligible fat and protein, they are rich sources of vitamin C, containing 97% of the Daily Value in a 100 gram reference amount. Red bell peppers have more vitamin C content than green bell peppers. Vitamin B6 is moderate in content, with no other micronutrients having significant amounts of the DV. China is the world's largest producer of bell and chile peppers, followed by Mexico, Turkey and the United States of America
Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of vegetables, olive oil, fish and meat. Other important ingredients include olives, cheese, lemon juice, herbs and yoghurt; the most used grain is wheat. Common dessert ingredients include nuts, honey and filo pastries, it is influenced by Ottoman cuisine and thus cuisine of anatolian Greeks shares foods such as baklava, gyro, dolmades and keftethes with the neighboring countries. To an greater extent it is influenced by Italian cuisine and cuisines from other neighboring south European countries, thus in southern regions and the islands it includes several kinds of pasta, like hyllopites and tziolia. Greek cuisine has a culinary tradition of some 4,000 years and is a part of the history and the culture of Greece, its flavors change with its geography. Greek cookery a forerunner of Western cuisine, spread its culinary influence, via ancient Rome, throughout Europe and beyond, it has influences from the different people's cuisine the Greeks have interacted with over the centuries, as evidenced by several types of sweets and cooked foods.
Ancient Greek cuisine was characterized by its frugality and was founded on the "Mediterranean triad": wheat, olive oil, wine, with meat being eaten and fish being more common. This trend in Greek diet continued in Roman and Ottoman times and changed only recently when technological progress has made meat more available. Wine and olive oil have always been a central part of it and the spread of grapes and olive trees in the Mediterranean and further afield is correlated with Greek colonization. Byzantine cuisine was similar to the classical cuisine, with the addition of new ingredients, such as caviar and basil. Lemons, prominent in Greek cuisine and introduced in the second century, were used medicinally before being incorporated into the diet. Fish continued to be an integral part of the diet for coastal dwellers. Culinary advice was influenced by the theory of humors, first put forth by the ancient Greek doctor Claudius Aelius Galenus. Byzantine cuisine benefited from Constantinople’s position as a global hub of the spice trade.
The most characteristic and ancient element of Greek cuisine is olive oil, used in most dishes. It is produced from the olive trees prominent throughout the region, adds to the distinctive taste of Greek food; the olives themselves are widely eaten. The basic grain in Greece is wheat, though barley is grown. Important vegetables include tomato, potato, green beans, green peppers, onions. Honey in Greece is honey from the nectar of fruit trees and citrus trees: lemon, bigarade trees, thyme honey, pine honey. Mastic is grown on the Aegean island of Chios. Greek cuisine uses some flavorings more than other Mediterranean cuisines do, namely oregano, garlic, onion and bay laurel leaves. Other common herbs and spices include basil and fennel seed. Parsley is used as a garnish on some dishes. Many Greek recipes in the northern parts of the country, use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews; the climate and terrain has tended to favour the breeding of goats and sheep over cattle, thus beef dishes are uncommon.
Fish dishes are common on the islands. A great variety of cheese types are used in Greek cuisine, including Feta, Kefalotyri, Anthotyros, Metsovone, Kalathaki, Katiki-Tsalafouti and Mizithra. Too much refinement is considered to be against the hearty spirit of the Greek cuisine, though recent trends among Greek culinary circles tend to favour a somewhat more refined approach. Dining out is common in Greece, has been for quite some time; the Taverna and Estiatorio are widespread, serving home cooking at affordable prices to both locals and tourists. Fast food has become more widespread, with local chains such as Goody's springing up, though most McDonald's have closed. Locals still eat Greek cuisine. In addition, some traditional Greek foods souvlaki, pita such as tyropita and spanakopita are served in fast food style. Greece has an ancient culinary tradition dating back several millennia, over the centuries Greek cuisine has evolved and absorbed numerous influences and influenced many cuisines itself.
Some dishes can be traced back to ancient Greece: lentil soup, fasolada and pasteli. There are many ancient and Byzantine dishes which are no longer consumed: porridge as the main staple, fish sauce, salt water mixed into wine. Many dishes entered Greek cuisine from Ottoman cuisine: moussaka, yuvarlakia, boureki, so on. Distinct from the mainstream regional cuisines are: Cuisine of the Aegean islands Arcadian cuisine Cuisine of the Ionian islands Ipirotiki Kritiki Kypriaki (C
Eggplant, aubergine, or brinjal is a plant species in the nightshade family Solanaceae, Solanum melongena, grown for its purple edible fruit. The spongy, absorbent fruit of the plant is used in cooking in many different cuisines, is considered a vegetable though it is a berry by botanical definition; as a member of the genus Solanum, it is related to the potato. Like the tomato, its skin and seeds can be eaten, like the potato, it is not advisable to eat it raw. Eggplant is nutritionally low in macronutrient and micronutrient content, but the capability of the fruit to absorb oils and flavors into its flesh through cooking expands its use in the culinary arts, it was domesticated from the wild nightshade species thorn or bitter apple, S. incanum with two independent domestications: one in South Asia, one in East Asia. The eggplant is a delicate, tropical perennial plant cultivated as a tender or half-hardy annual in temperate climates; the stem is spiny. The flowers are white to purple with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens.
Some common cultivars have fruit, egg-shaped and purple with white flesh and a spongy, "meaty" texture. Some other cultivars are white and longer in shape; the cut surface of the flesh turns brown when the fruit is cut open. Eggplant grows 40 to 150 cm tall, with large, coarsely lobed leaves that are 10 to 20 cm long and 5 to 10 cm broad. Semiwild types can grow 15 cm broad. On wild plants, the fruit is less than 3 cm in diameter. Botanically classified as a berry, the fruit contains numerous small, edible seeds that taste bitter because they contain or are covered in nicotinoid alkaloids, like the related tobacco; the plant species is believed to have originated in India. It has been cultivated in eastern Asia since prehistory; the first known written record of the plant is found in Qimin Yaoshu, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544. The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages.
A book on agriculture by Ibn Al-Awwam in 12th-century Arabic Spain described. Records exist from medieval Catalan and Spanish; the aubergine is unrecorded in England until the 16th century. An English botany book in 1597 described the madde or raging Apple: This plant groweth in Egypt everywhere... bringing foorth fruite of the bignes of a great Cucumber.... We have had the same in our London gardens, where it hath borne flowers, but the winter approching before the time of ripening, it perished: notwithstanding it came to beare fruite of the bignes of a goose egge one extraordinarie temperate yeere... but never to the full ripenesse. Because of the plant's relationship with various other nightshades, the fruit was at one time believed to be poisonous; the flowers and leaves can be poisonous if consumed in large quantities due to the presence of solanine. The eggplant has a special place in folklore. In 13th-century Italian traditional folklore, the eggplant can cause insanity. In 19th-century Egypt, insanity was said to be "more common and more violent" when the eggplant is in season in the summer.
The plant and fruit have a profusion of English names. The name eggplant is usual in North American Australian English. First recorded in 1763, the word "eggplant" was applied to white cultivars, which look much like hen's eggs. Similar names are widespread in other languages, such as the Icelandic term eggaldin or the Welsh planhigyn ŵy; the white, egg-shaped varieties of the egg-plant's fruits are known as garden eggs, a term first attested in 1811. The Oxford English Dictionary records that between 1797 and 1888, the name vegetable egg was used. Whereas eggplant was coined in English, most of the diverse other European names for the plant derive from the Arabic word bāḏinjān. Bāḏinjān is itself a loan-word in Arabic, whose earliest traceable origins lie in the Dravidian languages; the Hobson-Jobson dictionary comments that'probably there is no word of the kind which has undergone such extraordinary variety of modifications, whilst retaining the same meaning, as this'. In English usage, modern names deriving from Arabic bāḏinjān include: Aubergine, usual in British English, German and Dutch.
Brinjal or brinjaul, usual in South Asia and South African English. Solanum melongena, the Linnaean name. All the aubergine-type names have the same origin, in the Dravidian languages. Modern descendants of this ancient Dravidian word include Malayalam Tamil vaṟutuṇai; the Dravidian word was borrowed into the Indic languages, giving ancient forms such as Sanskrit and Pali vātiṅ-gaṇa and Prakrit vāiṃaṇa. According to the entry brinjal in the Oxford English Dictionary, the Sanskrit word vātin-gāna denoted'the class the wind-disorder': that is, vātin-gāna came to be the name for egg-plants because they were thought to cure flatulence; the modern Hindustani words descending directly from the Sanskrit name began. The Indic word vātiṅ-gaṇa was borrowed into Persian as bādingān. Persian bādingān was borrowed in turn into Arabic as bāḏinjān. From Arabic, the word was
Greek salad or horiatiki salad is a salad in Greek cuisine. Greek salad is made with pieces of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, feta cheese, olives seasoned with salt and Greek mountain oregano, dressed with olive oil. Common additions include green bell pepper slices or caper berries. Greek salad is imagined as a farmer's breakfast or lunch, as its ingredients resemble those that a Greek farmer might have on hand. Outside Greece, "Greek salad" may be a lettuce salad with Greek-inspired ingredients though the original dish is distinguished by the absence of lettuce. Meanwhile, the variant without lettuce may be called horiatiki, "country salad", "peasant salad", or "village salad". Lettuce, tomatoes and olives are the most standard elements in an American-style Greek salad, but cucumbers, bell peppers, radishes and anchovies/sardines are common. In Detroit, for example, Greek salad includes beets, in the Tampa Bay Area, it includes potato salad. Dressings containing various herbs and seasonings are used in the U.
S. This style of Greek salad is encountered in Greece. Various other salads have been called "Greek" in the English language in the last century, including some with no apparent connection to Greek cuisine. A 1925 Australian newspaper described a Greek salad of boiled squash dressed with sour milk. There are many other salads in Greek cuisine; these include: marouli, pantzarosalata, roka) salad, patatosalata and maintanouri. Cypriot salad; some spreads and dips found in the meze of Greek cuisine are called "salads" in Greek, such as melitzanosalata and tzatziki. Shopska salad, a similar salad from Bulgaria, invented in the 20th century as a tourist attraction Çoban salatası, a similar salad from Turkey Serbian salad, a similar salad from Serbia
Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce. Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives and green bell peppers, others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins. There is a Palermo version that adds octopus, while an aristocratic Sicilian recipe includes lobster and swordfish garnished with wild asparagus, grated dried tuna roe and shrimp. However, these last examples are exceptions to the general rule of a sweet and sour cooked vegetable stew or salad. Today, caponata is used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer, but since the 18th century it has been used as a main course. A similar Neapolitan dish is called cianfotta; the dish is popular in Tunisian cuisine. The etymology of the name is not known; some suggest it derives from the Catalan language, others that it comes from the caupone, the sailors' taverns.
The dishes described by Wright would suggest that in the past the Sicilian dish was similar to the Genoese capponata. Eggplant salads and appetizers List of eggplant dishes List of Sicilian dishes The traditional Sicilian eggplant caponata recipe