Zorba the Greek certainly knew how to live and enjoy life and that’s part of what contributes to Greek longevity. This is especially true on the island of Symi. It’s located in a mountainous area, which includes the harbor town of Symi and its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology.
Greeks from the island of Symi eat plenty of fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, and salad, either grown locally or brought in from other nearby islands. Salad is an accompaniment to most meals. Greek salad with olives, tomato, cucumber, capers, herbs, and feta cheese is a staple. Extra virgin olive oil is used with everything including a dip for bread, in salad dressings, and for all types of cooking.
Ewe’s or goat’s milk is used to make organic feta cheese and yogurt, which is easier on digestion.
Fresh fruit like figs and pomegranates are grown or brought in from nearby islands. Tomatoes are used extensively and eaten right off the vine. Dishes are flavored with liberal quantities of garlic, onions, lemon, and herbs such as thyme, parsley, and sage.
The people of Symi eat Greek yogurt and other fermented foods which include traditionally marinated capers, olives, and bell peppers. They also enjoy stews, soups, and casseroles made with beans.
Homemade whole wheat bread is often baked with sesame seeds and is a local specialty.
They drink locally-made red and white wine and its variations. Ouzo, raki, and retsina – are enjoyed with friends and family on a daily basis.
Their love of dancing, along with their healthy diet also contributes to Greek longevity.
You can have a longer and more zestful life if you think, dance and eat like a Greek.
What’s your favorite Greek dish? Please leave a comment below.