Santorini is, without doubt, one of the most popular Cycladic islands. The one-of-a-kind architecture, the incomparable sunsets, and its breathtaking volcanic scenery create an indelible experience that captivates every visitor. But the unique island landscape isn’t the only charming thing Santorini can offer. Traditional food isn’t going to fail even the most demanding palates.
Due to Santorini’s volcanic terrain, the crops produced there can’t be compared to any similar fruit or vegetable grown at a water available soil. The anhydrous volcanic soil is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium with its pH well regulated therefore very fertile and suitable for high-quality agriculture. This could be enough of a reason why you can’t leave the island without savoring its most delicious traditional food made with local products. The gastronomic heritage of the island dates back to the Minoan times 5000 years ago and nowadays it incorporates elements and techniques of modern cuisine making the island a “must” destination for international culinary connoisseurs.
A very rare variety of cheese that cannot be found anywhere else in Greece except Santorini. It is a creamy slightly sour cheese made from goat or sheep milk. It is made exclusively by local producers in limited quantity, therefore, don’t miss the chance to enjoy it if you find it.
Fava is one of the most significant foods you must try at Santorini. It is made of a special yellow bean variety “Lathyrus clymenum” a variety found only at Santorini’s soil. The bean origin can be traced back to the Bronze Age when residents used to make fava according to archeological findings. This food usually is combined with a sauce made by fresh local tomatoes, sometimes seafood or smoked pork. You can order it at any restaurant you visit as a starter and because of its topics variety, it can easily be converted from a vegan/vegetarian to a whole meat plate.
Tomatokeftedes is a fried tomato-based patty (tomato fritters) which are really popular all over Greece. It is a highly recommended starter dish with tomato, basil, and mint as its basic ingredients giving an explosive dimension and scent to the flavor. (small tip try it with tzatziki….this just does not get any better! :_) So the main ingredient is usually the Tomataki, a cherry tomato which is a small sweet-flavored tomato from Santorini, a delicious veggie that you just can’t miss the chance of trying, in any form and recipe you can find at the island.
Apohti is basically pork meat that is processed under a very specific procedure including slow roasting with salt, black pepper, cinnamon, vinegar, and parsley followed by drying for at least four days. Apohti is an excellent meze with wine.
Atherinopita (pie with “atherina”)
Atherina is a kind of small fish which is an integral part of the Greek summer as it is usually served in every tavern you may visit. Beyond the simple version of plainly fried fish which you can find everywhere, in Santorini Atherina is mixed up with onions and flour and served as a pie.
Tomataki Santorinis (cherry tomato)
Tomataki is a P.D.O. product (protected designation of origin) and it can’t be omitted from the list of food you have to try in Santorini. Tomataki is cultivated in ideal volcanic, non-watery soil and encloses the necessary humidity which comes from the summer fog spreading through the island at night. Additionally, essential minerals and trace elements provided by the soil create this full of the characteristic sweet flavor of tiny tomato which you surely can’t miss if you visit Santorini. Many chefs use it in many ways as an ingredient for their dishes so you can taste it in different versions.
Meletinia (Sweet Cheese Tartlets)
For those who look for an intriguing traditional dessert, Meletinia is the ideal choice. A tasteful dough as the first layer is topped with a mixture of mizithra cheese (a fresh soft greek cheese), cinnamon, sugar, and Mastiha. These simple pies are considered the cheesecakes of antiquity, mentioned so often in many ancient texts. Mostly considered an Easter treat, but also makes a wonderful breakfast or snack on the go.
Kopania from Santorini
There is another dessert you should definitely try on your trip to Santorini called Kopania and its name literally describes the way locals make it. Kritharokouloura (a Greek traditional wholegrain barley rusk) is beaten with raisins and sesame until it becomes a homogeneous mixture. A beautiful local sweet treat, vegan, and extremely healthy too!
Santorini has a long history in vineyard cultivation which started at approximately 2000 B.C. when agriculture was the main financial activity of the island. Santorini’s wine owes its widespread fame to its high-quality grape crops as volcanic soil enriches the flavor. One of the most distinctive wines on the island is the Santorini Vinsanto a dessert wine made from sun-dried Assyrtiko and Aidani grapes. You definitely can’t leave the island without tasting it. There are also several famous wine varieties in Santorini such as Assyrtiko which is a wine with rich flavor and intense acidity, Athiri, Mandilaria, and Maurotragano. All these fine wines are produced by local winemakers.
Santorini’s white eggplant
White eggplant is another unique product growing in Santorini’s special soil. It absorbs only a little oil when it’s fried making it a healthier choice compared to regular eggplants. Its fried version tastes notably sweet and you can find it at many restaurants on the island. We highly recommend trying them in a “melitzanosalata” which is mashed white eggplants with spices and olive oil.
To wrap things up, whilst visiting the Island remember that at Blue Island we offer some of the best Rental services on Santorini. If you wish to Rent a Car, or rent an ATV and scooter, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team and we would be more than happy to assist you.
For more information or questions feel free to contact us:
We remain at your complete disposal!!
The Blue Island Team