The Ottoman Empire’s occupation of Greece for nearly 400 years had a lasting impact on Greek cuisine. Greek cooks were exposed to new ingredients such as tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers, which are now considered essential in many Greek dishes. It is likely that the introduction of these New World crops was facilitated not only by the Ottomans but also by the Venetians, who were active traders in the Mediterranean during that time.
Ottoman culinary traditions also introduced pastries like baklava and kataifi, as well as the practice of slow-cooking meats in clay pots. The Venetian influence on Greek cuisine is evident in certain regional dishes, particularly in the Ionian Islands, which were under Venetian rule for several centuries. Here, you can find dishes that showcase a unique blend of Greek and Venetian culinary techniques and ingredients.
By incorporating the possibility of Venetian influence on the introduction of tomatoes and other New World crops, the revised section provides a more accurate account of the factors that contributed to the development of Greek cuisine during the Ottoman era and beyond.