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The ultimate guide of how to order seafood like a Greek!

Following up our post on how to order fish like a Greek comes the version for the fans of other types of seafood like molluscs, crustaceans, shellfish and more. So if your heart beats faster just thinking of a tender piece of calamari or a juicy bite of clam, continue reading and learn how to order seafood like a Greek!

 

Achinos (Αχινός)

English name: Urchin

Achinos. From this spiky creature, the edible part is the roe, which is eaten raw with a drizzle of lemon. A usual meze for raki or ouzo in Crete is the so-called “achinosalata” or urchin salad (urchin roes in olive oil and lemon juice).

 

Astakos (Αστακός)

English name: Lobster

Astakos is considered a luxurious delicacy and thus an expensive one. Greek lobster is sourced mainly from the Aegean Sea. Astakos is often cooked in tomato sauce with garlic and herbs and served along with pasta (astakomakaronada). The Greeks also eat it with olive oil and lemon juice on the grill.

 

Avgotaracho (Αυγοτάραχο)

English name: Greek Bottarga

Avgotaracho is a delicacy of the eggs of the fish Kefalos (flathead grey mullet). The egg sacks are removed from the fish and then dipped in salt and beeswax for preservation. It is expensive, and you will not often find it on a restaurant’s menu. But if you do, you can order it as it is, in slices, with your ouzo or with bread and butter as a spread (like caviar). Nowadays, high-end restaurants use Avgotaracho in pasta or other dishes. It is very salty and with a strong flavour, so if you ever cook with it, use tiny quantities.

 

Calamari (Kαλαμάρι, Καλαμαράκι)

English name: Common squid

Calamari, along with the octopus, is probably the most popular seafood among the locals and visitors! The Greek calamari is relatively small and is best cooked battered or dipped in flour and fried. Don’t forget to drizzle some lemon juice on top! You will often find those more prominent in size stuffed with their tentacles, herbs and tomato; or grilled with fresh olive oil and oregano.

 

The fried calamari is a popular choice amongst the locals. Photo by anetkata

 

Garida (Γαρίδα)

English name: Shrimp or prawn

Garida (Garides in plural) is a general term to describe shrimps and prawns. As there are many different species, garides come in many sizes and colours. A common rule is that: the more significant the size of the shrimp, the highest the price. Greeks cook garides in many ways. One standard method of cooking is in tomato sauce with garlic and herbs. Other times they add feta cheese to the sauce. You will find this dish on the menu as garides saganaki“, but don’t confuse it with the “saganaki“, a type of fried cheese. Another way to eat garides is with pasta and red sauce (garidomakaronada). The Greeks usually grill the larger ones and fry the smaller ones. Finally, a small variety of shrimps with soft shells is fried and eaten whole. Generally, Greeks consider the head the best part of the shrimp! So don’t be surprised if you see someone suck the juices of the head of a shrimp. And don’t be afraid to eat your shrimps with your hands; no one will judge you!

 

“Garides Saganaki” a dish with shrimps in tomato sauce & feta cheese. Photo by lisatop

 

Gyalisteri (Γυαλιστερή)

English name: Smooth clams

Gyalisteri is a type of clam with a shiny and smooth brown shell. Like the urchin, Gyaristeri is eaten raw and fresh with a drizzle of lemon juice. Less often, you will find it slightly grilled with olive oil, lemon and herbs.

 

Htapodi (Χταπόδι)

English name: Octopus

Octopus –along with calamari- is probably the locals’ favourite seafood. Try octopus grilled or boiled and drizzled with olive oil, oregano, lemon, or vinegar. You can also find it cooked in wine or red sauce and served with short macaroni; it is so delicious!

 

The Greeks leave the Octopuses to get sundried before cooking. This way their flesh gets more tender. Photo by Greg Montani

 

Hteni (Χτένι)

English name: Scallop

Hteni is not a very popular seashell in Greece. You will find it in restaurants rather than taverns, sauté with garlic and butter.

 

Karavida (Καραβίδα)

English name: Crawfish

Karavida, like astakos, is considered luxurious seafood in Greece, and they are both cooked similarly. Karavida is also cooked in red sauce with garlic and herbs and served with pasta (karavidomakaronadalike the other crustaceans on our list or grilled with olive oilSome chefs can use its boiled flesh in salads or spreads.

 

Kolochtypa (Κολοχτύπα)

English name: Mediterranean slipper lobster

Kolochtypa looks like something between a lobster and a crawfish. There are a lot of these crustaceans on the island of Zakynthos. It is not a type of seafood you will often find on the menus, but if you do, it will be served with pasta, grilled or in more creative dishes at high-end restaurants.

 

Kavouri (Καβούρι)

English name: Crab

Kavouri is not a typical delicacy in Greece. You will not find it very often on menus, but if you do, it will probably be grilled or boiled. Instead, you will often find the so-called kavourosalata, a white spread meze for ouzo and tsipouro.

 

Kydoni (Κυδώνι)

English name: Cockle

Kydoni looks like a clam with a ribbed shell. It is eaten raw and fresh with a drizzle of lemon juice. Occasionally it is served with pasta.

 

Mydi (Μύδι)

English name: Mussel

You can find Mydia (plural for mydi) with rice and herbs, the so-called “mydopilafo”You can also try them steamed or with white wine and garlic.

 

Soupia (Σουπιά)

English name: Common Cuttlefish

In Greece, we mostly cook the Soupia as a stew. The most popular sauces of the stews are three: tomato, garlic and herbs, white wine, or spinach and dill. Occasionally, you can find it with pasta and rarely on the grill.

 

Stridi (Στρείδι)

English name: Oyster

Stridi -as anywhere else in the world – is served raw and fresh with a drizzle of lemon juice. You can find versions of the oyster cooked or marinated in acidic sauces at high-end or more experimental restaurants.

 

Taramas (Ταραμάς)

English name: Fish roe

Taramas is a paste of the European hake (bakaliaros in Greek)eggs. You can find a white and a pink type, but the white one is considered the quality one. Taramas is the main ingredient of the famous taramosalata, a spread made of bread, onion, olive oil and lemon. Taramosalata is a typical Clean Monday (the first day of Great Lent throughout Eastern Christianity) dish, as are the grilled octopus and the fried calamari.

 

The traditional Taramosalata spread is made with a fish roe called Taramas. Photo by Rob Wicks

 

Thrapsalo (Θράψαλο)

English name: Flying squid

Thrapsalo is a type of squid bigger than calamari. In Greece, you will find it grilled with olive oil and lemon or stuffed with feta cheese, tomato and herbs.

 

The type of calamari called “Thrapsalo” is grilled and served with a drizzle of lemon and parsley. Photo by Metin Bul

 

Seafood is prevalent in Greek cuisine. Enjoy the variety of these delicacies with a glass of white local wine, ouzo or tsipouro!

 

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