In 2014, I visited Greece for the first time and had my first Authentic Greek Salad. I had waited my entire life to eat real Greek food seeing that I’m half Greek. I was also hoping to collect some authentic Mediterranean Diet recipes.
I arrived in Athens and was set to go on a study tour throughout the country. I got to my hotel and the study group was waiting for me to go to dinner together. I put my luggage in my room and we walked through the busy streets to a traditional Greek taverna. The waiter brought us bread with extra virgin olive oil to dip. The oil was so good. Then he brought the greek salad. This was a moment I will never forget. I took one bite of a red, juicy tomato slice and I thought to myself “What have I been eating my whole life?!” This was the sweetest, most flavorful, deep red, and beefy tomato I had ever sunk my teeth into.
Then I tasted the feta…. I literally asked the other students if we ordered the salad with goat cheese instead of feta. They laughed at me and said no, this is what the feta is like in Greece. I was in heaven already one hour into my trip. I began to question again what feta had I been eating all these years that I thought was so good? There’s something that happens with a real Greek salad. The tomatoes have so much juice, that by the time the salad is mostly eaten, the oil, tomato juice, feta, onion, and oregano have made this amazing dipping mixture.
Anyone who has eaten a real Horiatiki Salata knows that this is the absolute best and healthiest juice to dip your bread in. I could eat this salad twice a day everyday, and we did on this study tour. The salads got even tastier the farther out of the city and into the countryside we got. To me this is the best salad in the world. A summer meal without this salad just isn’t happening.
George studied International Business in Greece in 2015 for three semesters. His family is from the island of Crete, and he lived with them for a whole summer. During that time, he started working for Mediterranean Living and contributing his firsthand experiences of the traditional Cretan diet. He learned fluent Greek along the way, being fully immersed in a traditional Cretan village. He is since graduated with a business degree from Worcester State University. George loves language and traveling, so he completed a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute in order to teach English abroad and travel the world. He currently works full-time blogging, recipe formulating, and social media marketing for Mediterranean Living. His passions include language, gardening, hiking, skateboarding, and watching sports. He dreams of living in Crete one day, after he travels the world learning as many languages and cultures as possible.