Quirky Side of Greek Cuisine: 5 Hilarious Food Traditions You Won't Believe Exist

Greek cuisine is renowned for its mouthwatering flavors, fresh ingredients, and rich cultural heritage. From the iconic souvlaki and moussaka to creamy tzatziki and flaky spanakopita, Greek food has something for every palate. But did you know that Greek cuisine also has its fair share of quirky and hilarious food traditions? In this article, we will explore five food traditions from Greece that will leave you laughing and wondering if they're real. So, get ready to dive into the humorous and unexpected side of Greek cuisine.

1. Smashing Plates at Greek Weddings

When it comes to Greek weddings, there's one tradition that stands out from the rest - plate smashing. Yes, you read that right. During a Greek wedding reception, it's not uncommon to see guests dancing and then suddenly throwing plates onto the dance floor, shattering them into countless pieces. The origins of this tradition are unclear, but it is believed to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. Plus, it adds a certain level of excitement and entertainment to the celebration. Just be careful not to get hit by a flying plate!

2. Vasilopita and the Hidden Coin

New Year's Day is a special occasion in Greece, and it's celebrated with a delicious cake called Vasilopita. But what makes this cake truly unique is the hidden coin inside. According to tradition, the person who receives the slice with the hidden coin will have good luck throughout the year. Families gather around the table, eagerly waiting to see who will be the lucky one. It's a fun and lighthearted tradition that adds an element of surprise to the New Year's festivities. Just make sure to eat with caution to avoid a dental mishap!

3. Raki, the Grape Spirit

When talking about quirky food traditions in Greece, we can't forget to mention Raki. This strong spirit is made from fermented grapes and is a staple in Cretan culture. But it's not just the drink itself that's interesting; it's the way it's consumed. Greeks have a unique way of drinking Raki called "tsikoudia." Instead of sipping it slowly, they down it in one gulp, often followed by a loud exclamation or a hearty laugh. It's an experience that's both exhilarating and hilarious, especially if you're not used to strong spirits!

4. Cheese Rolling at Apokries Festivals

Apokries is Greece's version of Carnival, and it's a time for festive celebrations and wild traditions. One of the most hilarious food traditions during Apokries is the cheese rolling competition. Participants gather at a designated spot and roll large rounds of cheese down a hill, trying to catch it before it reaches the bottom. The catch? The cheese usually takes an unpredictable path, bouncing and spinning in unexpected directions. It's a sight to behold and often leads to fits of laughter as participants chase after the rolling cheese.

5. Hanging Up Braids of Garlic

In certain regions of Greece, you might come across houses with braids of garlic hanging outside their doors. While this may seem like a peculiar decoration choice, it actually serves a purpose. In Greek folklore, garlic is believed to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. By hanging up braids of garlic, the residents are protecting their homes from any unwanted supernatural visitors. It's a quirky tradition that adds a touch of whimsy to the streets and leaves everyone wondering about the stories behind those garlicky charms.


Greek cuisine is not only known for its delectable dishes but also for its quirky and hilarious food traditions. From smashing plates at weddings to rolling cheese down hills, these traditions add a sense of joy and laughter to Greek culture. So, the next time you're exploring Greek cuisine, keep an eye out for these unique and amusing experiences. Who knows, you might just find yourself participating in a lively plate smashing session or chasing after a rolling cheese. Good luck and enjoy the culinary adventures!