I cannot eat cheese and lamb, will I survive in Greece? Need suggestion please. Thank you,
If you like meat dishes you can usually get chicken or pork instead of lamb in a lot of places, not so much beef. A wide variety of seafood is the most readily available almost anywhere. Vegetable dishes are also common. Greek salads most often contain feta cheese but you may be able to request one without the cheese.
I like lamb and love cheese but I don't do much seafood so I had a harder time than you probably will. But I was always able to find something I liked everywhere I went so I wouldn't worry too much about it.
We ate grilled fresh fish and grilled octopus most meals, always with a greek salad. The feta is put on top of the salad in a slab so just tell them no feta. We also had some chicken. We love lamb but didn't see it offered too frequently.
There's not much chance of you surviving in Greece by the looks of it. It's mandatory in most regions to eat at least one lamb leg per day and half a kilo of feta cheese. Don't stay too long, every second Thursday night you are also required to wolf down three portions of saganaki starting precisely at 9:23pm.
I was surprised at how little lamb we actually ate in Greece. We were addicted to chicken souvlaki, but also like the beef meatballs in tomato sauce, grilled chicken and fish, moussaka and pastitsio which are beef dishes with a bechamel sauce. Hands done, best French fries we've ever had. They have lots of potatoes in Greece, so they do them in a variety of ways. They also have outstanding fresh fruits and vegetables.
Check out Matt Barrett's Guide to Greece for more info.
Patty, are you sure your moussaka and pastitsio were made with beef? I always assumed I was eating lamb when I ordered those dishes. I can't say for sure, because once the lamb is ground up and mixed with other ingredients, I don't find it very distinctive.
I think both moussaka and pastitsio can be made with either beef or lamb so it may just depend on where in Greece you are, or maybe just the restaurant's version. I think lamb is much more prevalent than beef in most ground meat dishes and often it's hard to tell which you're eating unless you ask.
Yes, you will survive
You will more than "survive"
I am not fond of lamb but found the Greeks know how to cook it so it tastes very good.
If you do not tolerate dairy/cheese, I am sure you could get a salad without cheese. Just ask.
Thank you for the helpful info, I love seafood so I should be fine. How do you say "no cheese" in Greek?
I don't eat cheese = Den tróo tyrí = den trow teeree
(Google Translate really works and it has an audio function!)
A Greek salad without cheese is an 'angouri-domata', literally a cucumber-tomato salad although it will also contain onion and a few olives. Other salads, depending on the time of year, include marouli (lettuce), lakano (cabbage) and pantzaria (beetroot.)
Don't worry about learning Greek. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many Greeks are fluent in English, even in small towns.
Don't worry about cheese and lamb. There are numerous dishes without these items that you can enjoy. There's seafood, vegetables, rice, pasta, other meats like pork and chicken and a whole lot of other wonderful Greek Food.
How about Goat . . . very similar to lamb but still different. Goat and lamb are not major food items for Greeks. They value those animals more for their milk than for meat.
Eggplant Immam is wonderful, pasta with seafood, oven roasted potatoes, shrimp, octopus, calamari and a whole lot of other seafood that is not available back home will give you all kinds of options for dining.
You'll be fine and have a great time eating in Greece.
Check out Matt's Greek Food Guide for lots of options:
Patty & Acraven: The Moussaka we made in Greece in the cooking class had both pork and veal in it.
Taravarodom: I went to Greece as a vegetarian on the RS tour. I'll eat a little meat, very little, but I saved it for my non-group meals. I found only chicken souvlaki appealing there in the meat category. I don't like Greek food, but survived! I am lactose intolerant so tried to avoid cheese, but just popped a lactaid if I couldn't do so. The seafood is ubiquitous so you should do fine (I didn't touch it obviously). The produce is lovely, and as someone said, you can pull the feta slab off of the salad should you receive it. I found small Mom places did not necessarily speak English, but soon a youngster would appear to translate so you should have no worries. All the Pops seemed to speak English...interesting. I loved Greece and imagine you will, also. Wray
You will not have any problems avoiding lamb and cheese. You will discover, like so many Americans in Greece, Italy and other European countries, that what you learned as ethnic food is very little like what people actually eat locally. Greek food is a big one and a personal one for me: I didn't like Greek food until I went to Greece and then realized how much I love it (my wife too).
I don't like feta cheese and you'll find almost every restaurant has a tomato-cucumber salad option, not just "Greek" salads. Lamb is often a menu item, but few if any restaurants offer only lamb to eat as a protein. You might need to ask about things that use a red meat in them, as noted by others here. My wife does not like lamb and can taste it from a mile away; she had no issues there.
Even today and in a city with a huge Greek population and a Greek Town, I still don't care all that much for the American version of Greek food. But I'd love to go back and eat the real thing.
Thank you all for your helpful replies and sharing your experience about Greek foods! I can't wait to try real Greek food now!
But real Greek food is lamb and cheese. What are you going to do now?
I had a similar problem when visiting England. I don't like fish, chips and mushy peas, and that's all everybody seems to eat over there. I lost 20lbs in two weeks just eating whelks in vinegar.
Don't worry taravarodom, I don't like lamp too. You won't have a problem surviving in Greece without lamp. You have a lot of options from vegetables and fruits to pork, chicken and seafood. Greece's food is awesome and if you tell the restaurant that you don't want to eat lamp and cheese, I'm sure they will recommend you some very good dishes.
are you sure your moussaka and pastitsio were made with beef?
As far as dishes with any sort of ground meat are concerned, I assume they are usually made with the cheapest meat available, and that tends to be pork in most European countries. Possibly beef, but almost certainly not lamb because it's usually more pricey.
@Taravarodom: It would indeed help if you would tell us if you absolutely MUST not have cheese or lamb (for whatever reason, health or religious or whatever), or if it's something you just don't like the flavor of. Like: If there is a little bit of cheese in a dish that is almost impossible to taste, would that be o.k. for you, or will you drop dead immediately from allergic shock? Also, many people who grew up having to eat mutton read "lamb" and think "mutton" which is certainly not the same thing as far as taste goes.
I don't like lamp too
Yeah, neither do I. I find them so hard to chew. (I'm sorry. I couldn't resist this one. :-) )