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Trachanas: Greece’s Healthy Comfort Food Will Warm You Up

Trachanas with onion and croutons. Credit: SophiavsSophia/Twitter

Trachanas is a staple Greek recipe, found in every home — ready in minutes, filling, and full of vitamins.

If you ask any Greek person about the delicious, comforting soup, they will probably be hit with a wave of nostalgia, remembering winter evenings at their grandmother’s house, warming up with a homemade bowl of trachanas.

While its cooking time is quick, the process of making trachanas actually takes months. In order for the delicious soup to reach your bowl on a chilly winter night, the trachanas, made from a mixture of flour and milk or yogurt, must be left to ferment and then dried out during the summer months.

Making trachana by hand. Credit: Polligr/Twitter

Once dried, the trachanas is crushed to form small chunks, ready to be stored for the coming winter. Although some still make their own trachana by hand, it can also be found in all Greek supermarkets.

Extremely filling and rich, yet low in calories and fat, trachanas is the perfect comfort food for those who are health conscious. A bowl of the tasty soup is extremely nourishing, chock full of protein, vitamin B, magnesium, and iron.

Trachanas keeps you full long after you’ve eaten, providing a large dose of vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

Trachanas can be made in its simplest form by just boiling the dried, fermented grains in water, milk, or stock; but by adding tomato sauce, spices, vegetables, meat, cheese, and butter to the dish, deeper and more complex flavors can be enjoyed.

Each region of Greece has its own special recipe for the perfect bowl of of the hearty dish.

In Cyprus, the dish is made with bulgur wheat instead of flour, and is cooked with the country’s iconic halloumi cheese.

Gourmet trachanas. Credit: Belle-Amie/Twitter

As the thick, unique texture of the soup allows it absorb flavors easily, gourmet chefs in Greece have begun to include the dish, once considered a humble comfort food, in their top-rated menus.

Possibly due to its simple ingredients, great nutritional value, and quick preparation, dishes similar to the Greek comfort food have been found all across the Mediterranean since ancient times.

The dish is traditionally made across not just southern Europe, but North Africa, and the Middle East as well.

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