Greek Food and Recipes
Products, Tastes and
recipes of Santorini
Fava Santorini, a yellow split pea which is a specialty of the
What makes the Santorini fava the best among the varieties
cultivated in other parts of Greece and the Mediterranean region in
general, is the volcanic terrain of the island, it’s the most arid
in Greece, are extremely harsh. The very little amount of humidity
in the ground means that the few vegetables growing have a very
Santorini fava is characterized by its dark yellow color and its
taste reminding dried fruits. It takes more time to cook and
housewives of the island let it simmer for many hours in order to
achieve a dish of creamy texture.
This simple food is a basic raw diet material for the island and the
corner stone of the local cuisine. It is found in dozens of
different plates like the common mashed split peas, in balls and
soups. The leftover fava can be mixed with other ingredients like
cooked onions or cooked dry capers and in these case the local
people call it “Fava pandremeni” (wedded). One of the tastiest dishes is fava accompanied by cooked eggplant on top.
SANTORINI CHERRY TOMATOES
The folklore scientist from Santorini
I. Kyriakos in 1875 mentions the Santorini tomato as 'chrysomilo'
(golden apple). The cultivated variety is anhydrous with small fruit
and bushy. The size of the tomato sometimes can reach the size of a
cherry! Its bark is hard and has a unique flavor. As it is obvious
the flavor of the tomato paste produced by the Santorini tomato is
tomato production was a big enterprise in Santorini before tourism
changed the landscape. In a region with such a dry climate, only one
unique variety could grow.
Until the ‘50s, the
cultivation and canning of the tomatoes played the most basic role
in the Santorini economy.
of the dishes bearing the signature of the island is the
“pseftokeftedes” (fake meat-balls). These are fried balls prepared
with tomatoes, herbs and batter.
Another unique vegetable of Santorini is the small, white eggplant
which arrived to the island from Egypt together with the rich
families who dominated the practically feudal economic life of
santorini during the beginning of the previous century. These are
beautiful, rather small eggplants with very rich taste and mild
Caper can be considered the “national” dish of the Cyclades, mainly
of Santorini, Sifnos, Tinos, Andros and Syros. Indeed, the Cycladic
islands with their arid terrain and the legendary strong winds seem
to be the most suitable part of Greece where caper thrives.
Caper is collected in may end June. The finest one is smallest in
size. After it is collected, it is either put in brine where it
should stay three weeks to one month before it is ready for
conception, or, in rarer cases, it is simply salted. The lives of
the caper are also highly esteemed, particularly in salads as well
as in the preparation of pickles.
This is specialty of Santorini and Tinos and by all means one of the
most unusual dietary products of the Greek pantry. It is the big
sprouts which are sun-dried. During spring and the beginning of
summer, one can see these spouts which look like small,
grey-yellowish balls, drying in trays in the sun, on the roofs and
terraces of the island. The biggest spouts are cut in two and the
sun-dried caper is the base for one of the most authentic dishes of
Santorini: the two pieces are put together, they are cooked with
tomato and onions and served on top of fava. The most famous dish
This is a specialty of santorini and the nearby islands. It is
prepared with blanched almonds boiled in syrup from local honey.
This is the traditional sweet for weddings. Indeed, even before
tasting it, its appearance makes us feel we are about to experience
a delight of the palate.
MELITINIA FROM SANTORINI
These are Easter sweet cheese-pies which
fresh, unsalted myzithra (ricotta). This cheese is prepared only
during the Easter season. In the filling various herbs are used.
Some cooks add mastic, others cinnamon, orange and vanilla, or a
mixture of those. Since these are festive sweets, their shape is
special, resembling small tarts; the may even look like a star, in
the center of which the filling is added.
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