Traditional local products of Folegandros

The small windswept island of Folegandros, located between Santorini and Milos is known for its large mountainous areas, the rocky formations and steep seashore cliffs. Its main town (Chora) is perched on the edge of a sheer rock face. This is an island where traditions remain a strong part of everyday life, and that is reflected on the local cuisine, too.

Folegandros has a distinctive bread making tradition which in the past entailed housewives kneading and baking bread for the daily table once a week in wood-fired ovens using brushwood. The island has two bakeries that caringly make fresh bread using white or wholemeal flour. The puff bread, which looks like lagana bread, is very popular, as is pavli, a delicious sweet, crunchy small loaf stuffed with pumpkin.
Lazarakia are small buns stuffed with raisins, in the shape of a little man and they are consumed on the feast day of Lazarus on Saturday before Easter, but you can buy them in the local bakeries all year round.

The pies of Folegandros, either sweet or savoury, have a long history while some of the traditional recipes are truly unique. Sourotenia is the most famous local pie, with a filling of souroto cheese and onions enclosed in two thick phyllo sheets. The kolokithenia pie is a sweeter option made with yellow pumpkin, rice, raisins, sugar and plenty of cinnamon. The chortenia pie is stuffed with local flavourful greens, and manouropita is made with mizithra and manouri cheeses.

Local cheeses
The local cheeses of Folegandros are souroto, manouri, mizithra, melichloro and skliro, and they are popular and very tasty. Souroto is a white, soft and lightly-salted cheese made of goat’s and sheep’s milk, usually during the warmer months of the year. It’s a cheese that almost everyone gets to taste as it is used to make kalasouna, the famous cheese pie of Folegandros. Manouri, which is known to most people due to the excellent products made from it in Macedonia and Thessaly regions, has a different character on Folegandros. It is also made from goat’s and sheep’s milk, and it takes about 24 hours before it is ready for consumption. It is often used in pies, mixed with a similar cheese called Mizithra, which is also very tasty. Melichloro and Skliro are two other local cheeses made from manouri, and they are absolutely worth trying. Melichloro is made from salted manoura cheese (another local name for manouri). It is dried on reeds and once it has acquired a semi-hard texture, after about two months, it is ready for consumption. Skliro (meaning hard) is a solid and quite piquant cheese that is dried in the air for three months. It is served on matsata, a traditional homemade pasta of Folegandros.