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Greek Dakos Takes First Place in List of 100 World’s Best Salads

Dakos Greek salad
Dakos, a Greek salad from Crete, was named the best salad in the world by TasteAtlas. Credit: Valentin Heyde / Flickr

Greece has taken first place recently in the TasteAtlas list of 100 best-rated salads in the world with the dakos salad from the island of Crete.

Four other salad recipes from Greece also made it onto the list with one even making it into the top five, further cementing the country’s strong culinary reputation.

Last year, two Greek salads were selected in a previous listing of the world’s best salads by TasteAtlas. Owing to the fresh ingredients available and the culinary passion of the Greek people, the country has some of the best food on the planet!

Greek salad at the top of the rankings

Dakos, a delicious speciality from the island of Crete, secured the number one spot in this year’s TasteAtlas list of the 100 best rated salads in the world.

“Dakos or ntakos is a traditional Cretan dish consisting of a dry barley rusk called paximadi that is topped with crumbled myzithra cheese, chopped ripe tomatoes, whole olives, capers, fresh oregano, and a few generous splashes of high-quality olive oil,” reads the description on TasteAtlas.

“It’s recommended to use olive varieties such as Koroneiki, Lianes, or Tsounates. Myzithra cheese is traditionally used, and not feta, which is usually reserved for tourist restaurants. The rusk is often gently rubbed with a small piece of garlic and lightly sprinkled with sea salt,” the description continues.

The other contenders

Dakos was not the only Greek salad to make it onto the list. Horiatiki salata (Greek:χωριάτικη σαλάτα), meaning village salad, but more commonly called Greek salad, took the number five spot.

Despite its simplicity, this classic dish is one of the most iconic Greek recipes. As per TasteAtlas’ description, the humble Greek salad typically consists of “quartered tomatoes, sliced red onions, and chunky slices of cucumber. Depending on the region, there can also be olives, green peppers, feta cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, or a typical dressing made from olive oil and lemon or vinegar (optionally).”

“When feta cheese is present in the salad, it is usually just sliced, but in some cases it’s mixed in with a fork until slightly crumbled. Its name suggests that it was a rural dish, when farmers would take some essential ingredients to the field and mix them together.”

At the number 24 spot, the horta salad can be found. A typical Horta salad is composed of cooked greens and various wild plants that are seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice. The salad greens may include dandelion, vleeta, nettles, wild spinach, mustard greens, and chicory, with the bitterness level varying based on the particular plant used.

In 34th place is patatosalata, or Greek potato salad. This is another simple dish that derives its culinary appeal from delicious and high quality ingredients. Typically, the salad is made up of sizable potato pieces that are coated in a tasty dressing made from ingredients such as olive oil, mustard, yogurt, or mayonnaise. The salad can be easily customized with the addition of various vegetables, boiled eggs, olives, and fresh herbs such as dill or parsley.

Finally, no Greek potato salad is complete without lemon juice which is essential for achieving a fresh flavor.

Just below the Greek potato salad is pantzarosalata. TasteAtlas explains that “Beets are the main ingredient in this colorful Greek dish that comes in two different versions. Cooked beets are either coated in a yogurt-based dressing or simply seasoned with vinegar, while the whole dish can come in the form of a creamy, thick purée, or as a regular salad with diced beets.”


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