February 7, 2017 Eugenia Papadopoulou

Delicious local flavours: What you must taste when in Santorini

veggies

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. “

Traveling to Santorini is an experience that can be compared to a colorful puzzle composed of thousands pieces. A wild but beautiful and blessed place, a small piece of land characterized by its geographical position and topography, its volcanic soil which is completely anhydrous, the terrain’s morphology and the special microclimate. If you blend all the above mentioned elements together you will get particular local signature products with distinctive flavor, which alert all five senses. Therefore you should definitely have a try when you visit Santorini.

Without any doubt the king of all agricultural products of Santorini is wine.  The locals are proud of their long wine making tradition that dates back to prehistoric times, as well as the indigenous varieties of Santorini grow which is responsible for the unique character of the wines.

Other signature products with distinctive flavor include:

  • Santorini’s tomatoes: A star of the local cuisine, the “humble” Santorini tomato has been classified as a product with Protected Designation of Origin since 2013. This tiny fruit, weighing just 20 grams, has a thick skin, compact flesh and a bitter-sweet flavor. It forms the cornerstone of a simple yet inspired style of cooking. The ντοματοκεφτέδες- tomato fritters is the most traditional dish of the local cuisine and of course, the cherry tomatoes of the island are  the main ingredient. Do not miss the chance to taste them!
  • The eggplants in Santorini are white, , with no seed andrich flesh. Sweet in taste, juicy, and quite delicious, their flavor is indescribable! This eggplant is the chefs’ beloved one since it does not absorb oil. Lovers of good cuisine should be aware that only in Santorini can one sample this unique delicacy. Since yields are very low, it is extremely difficult to find off the island, with the supply being only sufficient to cover demand in Santorini, so don’t pass up the opportunity to taste it either incorporated as one of the main ingredients in various dishes, or as a purée, or just fried in olive oil together with the other “strange” and unique product of Santorini. The zucchini-  courgette! I am sure that you already got it, could the zucchinis be “common or normal”?! No! The zucchinis in Santorini are very small and round.
  • The katsouni- κατσούνι is the Santorinian cucumber.It is smaller than the original one, yet very tasty because it grows without water, but only with the moisture of the land.Taking all these into consideration I think that during your stay in Santorini you should forget the delicious, beloved but typical greek salad and go for the santorinian version of it!  Instead of the common tomatoes and cucumbers, which are the main ingredients of the classic Greek salad, you will be served the santorinian tomato and cucumber. The feta cheese will be replaced by χλωρό – chloro cheese. This fresh, mild goat cheese has its long tradition in Santorini where the its handmade process passes from mothers to daughters. It’s very hard to find this cheese in restaurants even in Santorini, let alone markets. Occasionally, it could be on the menu of some of Santorini’s taverns, either as a cheese plate, or in the “Santorini Salad”. Chloro cheese is truly homemade, and home consumed. Its production is minimal not because the locals and residents of Santorini vigorously “keep the secret”. An extra hint will be given to your salad: capers. Caper is a small, dark green seed that encloses all of the wildness of the nature of Santorini. Caper is a necessary accompaniment for Santorini salad, fava, and many other dishes. It comes from a bush that grows in the rocky areas of the island and gives us, apart from the capers, the caper buds and caper leaves.
  • However, the product with the longest history is the famous yellow split peas – also known as the Fava beans. The excavations at Akrotiri have revealed that the variety Lathyrus Clymenum grows on the island for more than 3,500 years.Fava is a rich source of protein and a complete meal on its one. Its size is no bigger than a grain of thick sand. The split-peas are a basic ingredient of many other dishes; the yellow puree with the creamy texture that you get when you boil them marries really well with tomato sauce, capers, onions, meat, octopus and herbs like mint and parsley.

To sum up, a journey to Santorini cannot be considered complete unless you try, explore, and taste the agricultural treasures of this unique place!

Καλή όρεξη! Buon appetite!

Lots of love,

Eugenia,

your Santorini guide :-)

 

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