If you are lucky enough to have visited Greece, then you know how delicious and fresh the food is. Greek cuisine is made with a variety of fresh vegetables, fish, olive oil, legumes, grains, and red meat. Using simple ingredients and a whole lot of love, the Greeks have mastered cooking up some of the most appetizing dishes in the world.

There are numerous traditional and popular Greek dishes, but there are a few that get mistaken as authentic Greek cuisine. Popular appetizers like flaming cheese were invented in Chicago, and you won't see a local ordering up any cheese on fire in Greece. Also, while hummus is being incorporated in many Greek menus (even some with a view!), this chickpea dish likely originated from ancient Egypt.


Here are five dishes that you won't see a local in Greece eating, even though they are being classified as Greek cuisine.

Saganaki (Flaming Greek Cheese) Is An American Thing

Greek-American restaurants will most likely have saganaki on their menu as an appetizer. This dish is served in a hot frying pan of fried Greek cheese like kasseri, and usually, a waiter or waitress will pour brandy over the cheese, light it on fire, and yell, "Opa!" However, you won't see this "show" taking place at your table in Greece.

This flaming cheese dish and all its dramatic was born in Chicago in the 1960s. Flaming food was starting to become a trend and to keep up, the area of Chicago, rightly called Greektown, starting lighting their cheese and everything else, on fire. Now, this dish is found all across the U.S., but you won't find a local in Greece ordering flaming cheese.

Hummus Gets Confused As A Greek Appetizer, But It Is A Middle Eastern Dish

Some 20 countries surround the Mediterranean, and while they might all use the same set of ingredients, each nation creates unique dishes. For example, while nations like Greece, Egypt, and Syria are all considered to be Mediterranean, the origins of hummus come from Arabic nations, not Greece. But, while Greeks love chickpeas, they did not invent hummus.

Hummus is a popular dip and is the Arabic word for chickpeas. More and more restaurants in America, particularly Greek ones are incorporating hummus on their menus as an appetizer. This could be because the ingredients are staples in Greek cuisine and hummus pairs well with certain Greek dishes. However, if you want to try an authentic Greek dip, try tzatziki, which is a combination of yogurt, garlic, and cucumber.

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Yogurt Brands That Use The Word "Greek" To Sell Their Products

While going grocery shopping, you might encounter a variety of yogurts that promise to be "Greek yogurt." Most of these products are misleading and include very little of the real deal and far more sugar. Real Greek yogurt is strained, making it thicker and creamier, includes no additional add-ons, and has much more protein and fewer carbs than the "fakes." You won't find locals in Greece eating any of these Greek yogurt knock-offs.

If you are looking for authentic Greek yogurt but can't go to Greece, top picks at the grocery store include Fage 0% Plain, Chobani 0% Plain and Wallaby 0% Plain Nonfat. Some of the worst yogurts that claim to be "Greek yogurt" include Activia Greek 0% Fat and Yoplait Greek, which have tons of sugar and add-ons.

Moussaka Is Not A 'Classic' Dish

Moussaka is a delicious Mediterranean dish that includes sliced eggplant baked in a tomato meat sauce and cheese on top. It is a terrific comfort food that is served in Greece and most Greek restaurants in America. This may sound new to some people and even to Greeks, but this tasty dish was supposedly adopted by the Greeks from Turkey.

No matter where it came from, Moussaka remains a popular dish in Greece and the U.S. The Greek variety is very famous, and during the Ottoman times, the dish had many varieties across the Middle East, Greece, and the Balkans. Whatever the variation, all moussaka dishes are delicious.

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Any Food That Has Been Processed Or Packaged

Mediterranean food is fresh, colorful, and packed with flavor. Tourists will find fresh vegetables, fresh-caught seafood, protein-rich legumes, and red meat used in many dishes. It's easy to see why people love the Mediterranean diet and why it is one of the most popular diets in the world!

Because Greece is known for its delicious food, travelers know that these meals are made with the freshest ingredients. You won't see any Greek local eating anything packaged since they have such a variety of locally grown ingredients readily available to them.

Next: A Travel Guide To Greece: 11 Things To Know While Planning Your Trip