Moussaka is considered as one of the most enjoyable Greek dishes. It’s a well baked casserole served with ground lamb meat and sliced eggplant. The delicious Greek Moussaka is actually covered with a thick layer of bechamel sauce.
The lamb for this cuisine can be replaced with beef and you can replace the eggplants with potatoes or zucchini. There’s a high chance that the famous moussaka has middle-eastern origins, and this dish was first introduced when the Arabs first came and brought the eggplant to Greece. The Greek name of this dish is moussaka and is derived from the Turkish word moussaka.
Evolution of Moussaka
Greek gourmands like to make their own special food recipe, and almost every family in Greece craft their own recipe. There’re verities of Greek food and cuisine you can eat all over the world.
There’s certainly no doubt that the famous Greek Moussaka is one of the favorite dishes in other Balkan nations and in Turkey. But the question is, from where did this delicious casserole cuisine originate? Well as discussed earlier, it was mainly Arab people who introduced moussaka and the eggplant.
One famous food and cuisine historian believes that in the 13th century, an Arabic cookbook which was then known as the Baghdad Cookery Book describes a recipe which could potentially be the ancestor of moussaka.
Today, moussaka is a common and one of the most-loved food dishes in Lebanon and the Arab world – a moussaka version that consists of olive oil, garlic, eggplants, tomatoes and onions.
In the early 1900s, Nikolas Tselementes, who was one of the most influential Greek cooks, published Greek cuisine recipes having a moussaka featuring yummy French béchamel sauce on top. His cuisine version is the moussaka Greeks we all know & love.
In Greece there are basically two varieties – one is the elongated purple eggplants having whitish-pink stripes, & the large, plump eggplants having dark purple skin. There is also another variety which is a white eggplant cultivated on the stunning island of Santorini.
The people at this island grow on arid volcanic soil & this gives them a stunning condensed taste & a sweetness that is absolutely unique. Of course, there are several more varieties of moussaka throughout the world & the plants produce fruit of different size, & even colour.
It is not actually surprising that the civilians living around the Mediterranean Sea have a stunning variety of food recipes calling for fresh eggplants, and that many of the cuisine recipes are quite similar, adding or subtracting variety of spices.
It’s also interesting to see that we see some dishes using eggplants & minced meat in an almost endless combination and variety in all the Balkan countries, and in some countries of the middle-east.
So, the moussaka we all eat and know today is a modernized version, it’s a European version of a cuisine, first introduced to Greece via Turkey. Just imagine the next time you have a bite of this flavourful and delicious meal.
Moussaka is basically not an everyday food dish – it’s baked as a special treat for guests & family on festive days. It’s also considered as an exotic version of lasagne, without the inclusion of pasta, Greek moussaka is exceptionally healthy to eat due to the abundance of fresh vegetables used in the cuisine. \
It is commonly cut into small squares & served warm, not hot, as this food needs some resting time to firm up. To really enjoy Greek food and cuisine, make smart choices next time you go out. Must order yummy moussaka from the menu.