The morphology of the islands and the microclimate of each and every one of them play a decisive part in what has become the local culinary culture. Besides, many of the ingredients accounting for the scrumptious food you can have here are protected designation of origin products. Meat of no massive production, fresh fish and seafood, dry tomatoes, potatoes, yellow split peas (fava beans), caper, top dairy products, fantastic honey… The Cycladic ambrosia finds its perfect match in the nectar of the renowned wine specialties, ranging from white (athiri, assirtiko, etc) to red ones (vinsanto, etc) many of which with international distinctions.
A culinary Ark
The sea around the Cyclades offers the islands wonderful and abundant treats: divine fish soups, grilled fish or cooked with vegetables, dried or salted so that you enjoy it with your ouzo: You just name the way and relish! The few sheep and goats give milk for rich milk and mouthwatering cheese. Even vegetables, although few and dry, are delicious. Low vegetation and thyme provide honey, one of the main ingredients of the Cycladic pastry. Aromatic plants and herbs add their touch to the delightful flavours’ palette too.
Either by the sea or in the villages away from it, a traditional Greek taverna will be there to introduce you to the delicious secrets of the local cuisine and specialties. Follow the “map of taste” we are proposing hereby:
Have meat with sour vegetables, mastélo (lamb cooked with wine and herbs) caper salad and chickpea balls on Sifnos, and fennel pancakes on Serifos. On Santorini, try sgardoumia, i.e. entrails wrapped in a bowel, tomato balls, fava beans with roasted onions, sweet white aubergines with lamb, and tomato and caper salad. Snails seasoned with garlic dip, saddled seabream cooked with potatoes and zucchini, artichokes with beans, chickpea soups, and sun-dried fish wait for you on Paros.
Cheese sauce with pepper (kopanistí) and looza (ham flavoured with herbs and dried in the air) are peculiar to Mykonos, whereas buttery cheese and pork cooked with onions, potatoes and wine will be served to you on Naxos. Octopus with tiny pasta on Schinoussa, wine-red wild rabbit on Antiparos and macaroons on Folegandros. Artichoke pie and celery cooked meat will definitely be something to remember from your visit to Tinos, whereas Andros’ “dishmark” would be fourtalia, an omelette with sausages or smoked and oily pork. Kea welcomes you with paspalá(pork chops with tomatoes and eggs) and, last but not least, Kimolos is know for its oily bread with tomatoes and potatoes.
Give in to the sweet temptation in the form of amygdalota on Mykonos and spoon sweets on Naxos. Have some delights and chalva pies on Syros, as well as some melitinia on Santorini. Tinos with its skaltsounia and Folegandros with its karpouzenia (which is a sweet pie with watermelon, honey and sesame, and would be called “watermelonia” in English) will give you no less satisfaction while you’ll be rounding off your taste visit to the Cyclades.