Tinos is a farmers’ island. Barley, oats, and wheat are cultivated, as well as olives and figs. The orchards are full of trees, particularly lemon and orange ones, while the island is well reputed for its white wine varieties Askathari and Aspropotamisio.
Animal husbandry involves sheep, cows, pigs, poultry and, of course, pigeons.
Delicious cheese (the famous round or ball cheese, boiled cheese and an unsalted soft cheese called “myzithra”) and mouthwatering meat products (such as sausages, sissera or syglina, and louzes) prove the island’s farming tradition, as well as its special cuisine.
Fresh fish, tomato dried in the sun, local cheese and meat treats and “froutalia” (an omelet with potatoes and sausages) await you at the island’s tavernas. Some typically Tinian products are syglina and louzes.
Chopped pork boils in salt and then it is kept in clay containers: that is the sissera or syglina, while louzes is meat from the pig’s ribs, matured for a week in sweet dark red wine and then put inside the large intestine of the pig. When dry, it is consumed in thin slices.
Of all the sweet delights with which the locals treat themselves and the visitors, we should definitely refer to “lychnarakia” (it means: little oil lamps), an Easter sweet made with mizithra cheese, cinnamon, orange and/or vanilla.
Its Santorinian version is also known and called “melitinia”.