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Traditional cuisine - Prefecture of Evros

The cuisine of Evros uses the local products such as cereals, vegetables, pulses, meat as well as fish (sandy ray, britt) as well as sea fruit fished in the Thracian sea. “Babou” (Christmas recipe made of a pork intestine stuffed with comminuted meat, rice, leek, entrails and flavorings), kavourmas (pork lean meat browned and placed in marmites covered with fat) are two of the most widely spread local recipes. 

Nowadays, the kavourmas is prepared at butcheries as a handicraft and thick pork intestines are used. It is considered the ideal appetizer in assortments for ouzo and beer drinking. 

Another typical product is petoura or gioufkades (pasta made of thick fyllo pastry leaves for pies with milk and eggs, which are shaped by a rolling pin, cut in rectangular pieces, dried in the sun and kept in fabric bags). 

The same ingredients are used for couscous (grated in small pieces), the pligouri or bulgur (selected wheat species dried in the sun and smashed by a hand-mill. It is cooked separately, like the pilaf, or with various kinds of meat.

Other renowned local products are: 

  • kolbourek (wrapped pie)
  • kiul (chicken soup with flour and porridge)
  • Couscous, trahanas
  • Cabbages and various types of pickles
  • Laggites (crepes made of light pastry and cooked on the satzi- a round stone and smooth plate placed on an andiron over a brisk heat, is overheated and rubbed with a piece of onion - which are served with sugar or sweet grape syrup) and tarator (type of tzatziki).

The most renowned dish in Samothrace is the kiddling. All the animals come from Samothrace and graze freely all over the island. 

Other specialties of the island include the manti (browned minced pork meat and fyllo pastry stuffed with rice), 

  • Pilaf with gorgovrasto (meat of a big animal boiled in water accompanied with pilaf, the meat juice and some milk)
  • The lioto (meat cooked in tomato sauce with smashed walnuts),
  • The haslamas (halva prepared in a frying pan), 
  • Spoon sweets (glyka toy koutaliou) pragouoti (white plum), kaisi, fresh walnut, wild fig, cheese and kasseri made by the small cheese dairy located at Makrylies
  • The sour trachanas
  • The gorgi (flour bread rusks with chick-pea ferment),
  • The labriatis or labirgiats (an Easter dish made of kiddling or lamb meat whose belly is stuffed with rice, green onions, dill, raisins, blanched liver in small pieces and baked in the oven),
  • The zmaroupatou (a Lenten pie made of flour, oil and a stuffing of grated courgettes and mint),
  • The chortopita (a pie stuffed with various greens), 
  • The chylopites (Greek pasta, the large ones are known as mats(i) and the fine ones known as floumaria).

RECIPES

Chicken with pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken (preferably home-bred)
  • Fermented cabbage (depending on the quantity you want to prepare)
  • 1 carrot (optional)
  • 1 red pepper (optional)
  • Olive oil (the quantity depends on the fat the chicken will bear. Usually home-bred chicken have enough. If we keep this fat, the quantity of added oil must have to be very small).

Preparation

Finely chop the cabbage, drain it and sauté it in some olive oil. Add the diced pepper and carrot and let them boil. If necessary add some water. At the same time, place the chicken in another pan with some salt (be careful with the quantity of salt you use, as there is a lot in the fermented cabbage). When boiled, the contents of both pans are placed in a baking dish and baked until the chicken becomes brownish. It is good to add the cabbage during frying so it does not become too dark on the upper side.

Milinakia

The Milinakia is a delicacy mainly for children, prepared by Thracian women usually by fyllo pastry which was left after making a pie. The preparation was quicker, so the little children, who waited for the pie to be cooked, were kept busy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water, 
  • 1 spoonful of vinegard, 
  • 1/2 small spoon of salt, 
  • 1 egg (optional), 
  • flour (as much as the pastry needs), 
  • oil for frying

Stuffing

You can use various ingredients to prepare the mixture: Myzithra (soft cheese), or cheese and eggs or spinach with cheese and eggs or browned minced meat with onion or leek.

Preparation

Place all the ingredients of the pastry in a bowl and blend them together. Be careful: the pastry must not be too hard because the stretching will be difficult. 

Let the pastry rest (the more it rests the easier the stretching will be). 

Split the fyllo pastry leaves in 12 pieces, one per milinaki. 

Stretch the pastry with the rolling pin (oklavou as it is known in Thrace), make them the thinnest possible and stuff them with the ingredients you have chosen.

Fold them so as to give them the shape of a big square and fry them.

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