Greece is famous for its cuisine, including its many dips. Tzatziki, skordalia (garlic dip), taramosalata (fish roe purée), fava and many others are staples of the Greek diet. Eaten as spreads, dips, or as part of a mezze platter, Greek dips make a marvellous addition to any meal. Choose the right one for the occasion with our guide to the many delightful Greek dips out there.
The ultimate Greek dip, tzatziki (pronounced dza-dzee-kee in Greek) is a traditional dip known and loved around the world. This creamy dip is made with Greek yogurt, cucumber and garlic; since good tzatziki is all about the garlic, if you want to try doing it yourself, don’t skimp on that all-important ingredient! This dip complements souvlaki or grilled meat, but it can also be used as a dressing for salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Traditional taramosalata (or taramasalata), another staple of Greek cuisine, is made with fish roe, olive oil, lemon juice, onions and bread. The result is a creamy, delicious sauce that you can dip your pita bread, plain bread or vegetables in. Depending on the type of roe used, the color of the dip varies from beige to light pink, though most commercial taramosalata is dyed bright pink. If you can, stay clear of those and opt for the more natural varieties. In Greece, taramosalata is associated with the first day of Lent, Clean Monday, though it can be found everywhere year round.
Fava (or split pea purée) is a traditional Greek dish flavored with onions and cooked and served with olive oil, usually at room temperature as a mezze (small plates with nibbles, spreads, salads, vegetables, meat and cheese dishes), as a side dish or as an appetizer. It can be either smooth or chunky, and can also serve as a main course. Hearty, healthy and tasty, fava is a favorite in Greece, especially in Santorini, where it is a star dish of local cuisine.
Garlic lovers unite: skordalia, a rich potato dip (or bread) that’s usually eaten on Greek National Independence Day and served with beetroots and fried salted cod (bakaliaro), is made with plenty of garlic. So if garlic is your thing, you have to try this yummy Greek delicacy once in your life!
Melitzanosalata (melitzana means ‘eggplant’) is another great Greek dip. It can work as a tasty side dish to a hearty meal, be eaten on its own or serve as an appetizer. But if you like melitzanosalata, you eat it with anything, whether that means using it as a spread for sandwiches or a wraps or making it part of your favorite veggie bowl.
For those who like it hot and spicy, there is tirokafteri (teer-oh-kaaf-tehr-ee). This hot cheese spread is eaten as part of a mezze platter or as a dip for vegetables or pita bread. It can also be used as a sauce with grilled meat. Made of feta cheese (which can be combined with other cheeses), hot peppers, lemon juice, olive oil and other fresh ingredients, this delicious dip is easy and quick to make.