Greece is surrounded by hundreds of islands!
The deep blue Mediterranean Sea embraces all these islands and is host to thousands of species of fish.
Wherever you go, you will see Psarotavernes (fish taverns) serving many types of fish, grilled, fried or otherwise prepared – without a doubt … delicious!
The prices vary depending on the type and size of course.
Some fish taverns have huge fish tanks with the fish actually swimming in them, you choose the one you want and they (easily) catch that particular one and prepare it for you.
A great accompaniment for fish and seafood is white wine, retsina, ouzo or tsipouro.
Enjoying fish by the sea with the tables literally on the sand or pebbles is not uncommon in Greece; whether you’re on the mainland or the islands.
Let’s talk fishy now!
I’ve noticed that the smaller the fish, the tastier it is.
Well, surely there are some exceptions but very few.
Today, I’d like to share with you, my favorite … my top 6!!!
The most expensive of them all is … barbouni (red mullet)!!!
A bite of that is like taking a bite (as if that were possible) of the Mediterranean Sea!
It’s perhaps the tastiest of the category of small fish.
The koutsoumoura comes next. It looks a great deal like the barbouni and is sometimes referred to as its ‘cousin’.
It’s cheaper and a great alternative if you’re on a tight budget.
The lavraki (sea bass) is a medium sized fish which is also scrumptious!
Tsipoures (sea bream) is slightly cheaper to buy; there are Fish Farms where they are bred and are thus more plentiful.
The free range ones are said to be tastier though, however, it all depends on how you prepare them.
Apart from grilling tsipoures, you can also bake them in the oven with veggies – really, really yummy!!!
Sardeles (anchovies) are an unbelievable source of Omega3!!!
They are about the cheapest fish you can find but don’t be fooled by that; it’s light on your pocket but heavy in nutrients!
Since they are a fatty fish – don’t worry, it’s the good fats that are beneficial to our heart and overall health – don’t fry them!
Layer a baking tin with sardeles, season with salt and pepper and a bit of origanum and bake for about 30 minutes.
If you like, you can do the same but in a non-sticky frying pan.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes approximately.
No need to add any water or oil, just some lemon juice and serve with fresh greens.
A teeny-weeny fish that you can eat like French fries is the sand smelt or better known in Greece as: atherina.
I love this fish for its convenience in preparing and eating; wash, strain, flour, fry … that’s all there is to it.
No scaling, degutting, etc.
I love eating atherina and chips using … my fingers. No fuss at all!
- How do you know your fish is fresh?
- The eyes are clear!
- How do you know your fish has cooked enough?
- The eyes pop out! (or almost)
So, it’s all to do with …. The eyes!!!
Fresh fish can be bought from some supermarkets, fish mongers, straight from fishing boats, etc.
Whether you buy fish raw to prepare yourself or order them at a fish tavern – psarotaverna, I am certain you will enjoy them.
If you’re in Athens, take a drive along the coast and you will find many quaint psarotavernes.
Stop at one of them and enjoy the experience …
As I said … something Fishy is going on in Greece!!!