The Sweet Communal Philosophy Of Greek 'Trapezi'

When it comes to eating meals in America, rushed eating and on-the-go prepared foods are not uncommon occurrences. It seems most people living in the U.S. have experienced one-handedly eating breakfast on the car ride to work, taking lunch breaks at computer desks, or eating dinner alone in front of the TV after a long day. While we all work to spend more time with family and friends or simply set time aside to eat a decent meal at a dinner table, it seems our busy schedules don't always allow for it. However, for many countries in Europe, that is not the case.

Many people are familiar with the Spanish tradition of taking siestas, a period of a few hours midday where the streets clear out, and Spaniards take time for leisure. Sombremesa is another lesser-known Spanish custom that takes place after a meal is done. Family and friends will sit around the meal table for hours, talking and drinking wine. But, it's not just Spaniards that get to lounge around the dinner table.

Greece is famous for a laid-back lifestyle that prioritizes family life and a slow way of living. And when it comes to dining in Greece, these values are even more apparent. From taking hours to eat dinner to always sharing meals, here's what you need to know about meals in the country.

What to expect around a Greek dinner table

According to Food & Wine, enjoying a meal in Greece is almost always a shared experience. Whether you're dining with family or friends, or a stranger you ran into on the way to dinner, it's customary to always share a meal with others. Even if you end up making a Greek city your own solo destination, it's likely the restaurant owner may even try to keep you company while you enjoy your food, as per the site.

Because of this tradition, as Real Greek Experiences notes, it's typical for daily meals to take hours to complete. As loved ones or acquaintances dine together, meals become a social event that comes with connection, laughter, and, of course, lots of wine.

Wine is commonly served at every dinner table in the nation. Food & Wine notes that Greeks often refer to dinners with the word "trapezi." The direct translation of this word means "table" and refers to a meal where the food and wine are flowing side-by-side, and people are taking their time and enjoying the food and company.

So, if you've felt overwhelmed or rushed in your own life lately, it may be time to start adopting Greek dinner practices into your own routine for a more well-balanced life.