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Culture

Our Everyday Greek Deals With Good Oil

Our Grandparents Lived on Psomi, Tyri, Feta, Ladi and Horta

Το λάδι, olive oil, is the main ingredient of the Greek cuisine. The word λάδι can also be used meaning just oil. Our grandparents’ generations were raised eating slices of bread sprinkled with olive oil and salt, and greens (=χόρτα), usually wild grown. Meat dishes were rare. They mostly ate λαδερά. The word derives from λάδι (=olive oil) and refers to vegetables cooked with olive oil, onions and tomato sauce. Φασολάκια (=green beans) and γεμιστά (=stuffed vegetables) are favorite λαδερά. Γεμιστά are vegetables, like tomatoes, egg plants, zucchini and peppers, stuffed with rice (=ρύζι) and herbs. Instead of sauces like ketchup or mayonnaise, the salads and the grilled dishes are usually dressed with sauces based on olive oil: olive oil and lemon juice= λαδολέμονο> λάδι+λεμόνι. Olive oil and vinegar = λαδόξυδο >λάδι+ξύδι.

 

Greek word    Pronunciation          Meaning

Το ψωμ-ί        TO psoMEE   bread

Το τυρ-ί          TO tiREE       cheese

Το λάδ-ι          TO LAdi          oil, olive oil

Το λεμόν-ι      TO leMOni     lemon

Tο ξύδ-ι          TO XEEdi      vinegar

Το λαδολέμον-ο        TO ladoLEmono       olive oil and lemon juice sauce

Το λαδόξυδ-ο            TO laDOxido olive oil and vinegar sauce

Το ρύζ-ι          TO REEzi      rice

Τα λαδερ-ά     TA ladeRA     vegetables cooked in olive oil

Τα φασολάκι-α          TA fasoLAkia                        green beans

Τα γεμιστ-ά    TA yemiSTA  stuffed vegetables

Τα χόρτ-α       TA HOrta        greens

Τα μακαρόνι-α           TA makaROnia         spaghetti

 

Remember that neuter gender words ending in –ι form the plural by keeping the whole word as it is and adding an –α in the end: το τυρί, τα τυρι-ά. In order to form the plural of words ending in –o we first need to separate the ending –o from the stem: το χόρτ-ο. In the plural we keep the stem and we put an –α instead of the –ο in the ending: τα χόρτ-α. The word λαδερά and the nouns τα φασολάκια (=green beans), τα γεμιστ-ά (=stuffed vegetables), τα χόρτ-α (=greens), τα μακαρόνι-α (=spaghetti) are used in the plural, though they have singular number, ending in -ο: το λαδερ-ό, το φασολάκ-ι, το γεμιστ-ό, το χόρτ-ο, το μακαρόν-ι.

The verb I eat in Greek is τρώω.

 

Greek word    Pronunciation          Meaning

Εγώ τρώω     eYO TROo     I eat

Εσύ τρως       eSEE TROS  you eat

Η Mαρία τρώει          EE maREEa TROi  Maria eats

Εμείς τρώμε  emEES TROme        we eat

Εσείς τρώτε   esEES TROte           you eat

Η Μαρία και ο Πέτρος τρώνε          EE maREEa ke o PEtros TROne they eat

EXAMPLES

Note that the word τι (TEE) means: what?

Εγώ τρώω σουβλάκι κοτόπουλο με λαδολέμονο και πατάτες τηγανητές. (=I eat chicken souvlaki with oil and lemon sauce and French fries.)

Εσύ τι τρως;  (=What do you eat?)

Η Μαρία τρώει γεμιστά με ρύζι. (=Maria eats stuffed vegetables with rice.)

Εμείς τρώμε χόρτα και τυρί. (=We eat greens and cheese.)

Εσείς τι τρώτε;  (=What do you eat?)

Η Μαρία και ο Πέτρος τρώνε μακαρόνια. (Maria and Peter eat spaghetti.)

 

EXERCISE

Add the missing word in Greek.

  1. Τρώω … (bread) με …. (cheese). 2. Εσύ τρως …. (bread) με …. (olive oil) και …… (lemon); 3. Τρώω …… (souvlaki) με λαδολέμονο. 4. Θέλω μία μπριζόλα με …. (rice) και ……… (French fries). 5. Θέλω ….. (olive oil) και …… (lemon) στα χόρτα. Δεν θέλω …. (vinegar). 6. Η Ελένη δεν τρώει το …. (rice). 7. Θέλεις ………. (olive oil and lemon sauce) στα σουβλάκια; 8. Θέλεις …… (green beans?) 9. Εμείς τρώμε ….. (greens) με ….. (cheese). 10. Έχετε λαδερά; ……… (green beans) ή ……..; (stuffed vegetables).

 

PRONUNCIATION KEY

i (idiom), ee (needle), e (energy), o (organism), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.

 

 

 

 

 

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