GAVALAHORI, CRETE, GREECE - 2014/05/25: Moussaka at Gavalianos Kafenes in the village of Gavalahori on the Greek island of Crete. (Photo by Leisa Tyler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
What Makes Moussaka Unique?
Greek food is rich, flavorful, and chock-full of the naturally delicious ingredients found in the country, with recipes that constantly showcase ripe vegetables, hearty red meat, and fresh herbs. If this cuisine sounds good to you, you should try moussaka, Greece’s most famous casserole that’s rather unlike other casseroles.
Instead of using carbs like noodles or rice to carry the dish, moussaka is made by slicing, salting, and broiling large eggplants before layering with potatoes, if desired. Then, the veggies are coated with a meaty tomato sauce and creamy bechamel sauce, resulting in comfort food full of creamy, meaty, and hearty flavors.
Moussaka was made in Europe centuries before the area had access to potatoes, but spuds make a great modern addition. The tomato-based meat sauce must use lamb or beef that’s traditionally seasoned with cinnamon and oregano, an ingredient combo that makes the sauce distinctly Greek, unlike simpler tomato sauces.