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As Greek dishes go, Moussaka is probably ‘the’ most popular one worldwide. Back in the 1920s, when Greece was still under Ottoman rule, French-trained chef Nikolas Teselementes created the moussaka that we all know and love today.

The actual origin of Moussaka isn’t known for certain, however, speculation and scattered evidence suggest that it was made somewhere in the southeast region of Europe/north western part of the Middle East. The word moussaka originates from the Arabic word musaqqa’a, which means ‘pounded’ or ‘cold’.

So, what is moussaka?

First and foremost, it’s absolutely delicious. The dish consists of three layers – which are all cooked separately. Starting with the initial bottom layer of sliced sautéed eggplant, the base of the moussaka comes to life. Next up, the middle layer of lightly cooked ground lamb with puréed tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spices (cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper) is added. The top layer is a creamy béchamel sauce or savory custard, which turns slightly golden brown after all three layers have been baked in the oven.

Some of the best ways to enjoy Moussaka:

  • Served with a side dish of crusty bread & butter
  • Cucumber salad
  • Spanakorizo, a rustic dish made with rice & spinach
  • Wilted spinach & garlic
  • Greek green beans

Be sure to try the authentic Moussaka during your next stay at any of our hotels in Greece and Cyprus