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The customs & traditions of Tsiknopempti in Greece and across the world

Anastasios Tsitlakidis by

Today is Tsiknopempti or the week of Kreatini, during which large amounts of meat are traditionally consumed by Greek Orthodox believers prior to the arrival of Lent, the fasting season leading up to Easter. (The day is also known as BBQ Thursday). It is similar to, but should not be confused with, the French festival of Mardi Gras (or "Fat Tuesday".)

Meat is king, with the emphasis on grilled meats, though the occasional stew pot will be visible. Some hotels and virtually every taverna will put on special menus for Tsiknopempti. By far, the most common item will be some variation of souvlaki - meat on a stick. These will be available everywhere along the streets in the taverna areas and walk carefully to avoid banging into an unexpected grill mostly obscured by smoke, sharing the already narrow streets and walkways. (Souvlaki skewers in the hands of the inexperienced can also be causes of mild injury, so be careful.)

Beyond the standard grilling, each region of Greece also has its own customs and traditions which are celebrated on this day every year.

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Lamp Fricassee

Anastasios Tsitlakidis by

This delicious fricassee of lamb recipe, is made with the traditional Greek Avgolemono sauce (egg and lemon sauce).The flavour of the succulent lamb cooking with the lettuce and then the sauce added at the end is simply fantastic. The tangy lemon counteracts the richness of the lamb and creates an amazingly creamy sauce.

The 10 healthiest ethnic cuisines

Anastasios Tsitlakidis by

By Annie Corapi

It's dinnertime, and you're craving something with a little flavor. Maybe you'll grab Indian takeout or whip up a taco salad. But, uh-oh, these days it's easy to find yourself biting into the ethnic version of a triple burger and fries.
"We've Americanized dishes to the extent that they don't have their original health benefits," says Daphne Miller, M.D., author of "The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets from Around the World -- Why They Work and How to Make Them Work for You."

22 Ways to Eat Like A Greek Islander

Sam by

The longevity diet

by Amanda MacMillan

Greeks consume The Mediterranean Diet in its purest form—and enjoy lower heart disease, obesity, cancer, and Alzheimer's rates. Here's how they do it.

16 Food Reasons Greeks Are Better At Life (PHOTOS)

Sam by

03/04/2014 07:21 am ET | Updated Mar 18, 2014| Huffpost Taste

We have the Greeks to thank for so much of our modern day society. They paved the way for great philosophical minds to keep pushing us forward intellectually. They gave us the Olympic Games, and a desire to strive for athletic excellence. And, well, then there's democracy. Clearly, we owe a lot of who we are to Greece. We're thankful for all of it, but most of all, we're thankful for the feta.

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