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Gastronomy in Santorini

  Santorini Travel Guide  

Santorini Gastronomy

. Santorini food and wine


Santorini's cuisine is primarily based on the island's own agricultural products. Products nourished by the volcanic soil, the sea breeze and the sunshine of the Aegean Sea, giving them a unique taste. When combined with the almost exclusively organic cultivation of the island the result is top quality ingredients that produce original, tasty and healthy food.

Traditional dishes such as tomato balls, Santorini salad, split peas in all their variations, white aubergines, stuffed round courgettes, omelette, cooked capers, fresh cheese, and local specialities including apohti (a type of cured ham), sausages, wild rabbit with a cheese and egg sauce, brantada, sweet melitinia, and saffron bread rusks, all portray the tasty culture of the island.

If you add the great variety of wines produced on the island, from the dry whites to the sweet Vinsanto and the wonderful taste combinations that they create, then you will understand why the many restaurateurs, the gastronomy experts, Greek and foreign journalists have embraced and promoted the tastes of Santorini.

Santorini, a small island that has already made a name for itself in the world of taste and is considered by most, a gastronomy destination which offers some of the country's best restaurants, wineries and taverns.

Santorini is frequently acclaimed in international publications referred to gastronomy during the last years for both its unique natural products as well as its superior cuisine. This line of development is usually discouraged by the excessive tourist exploitation but we have here an exception to the rule and the answer lies in the islands past.

Historically, Santorini's exceptional volcanic soil and its microclimate have proved to be ideal for the growing of outstanding products of unique taste, highly praised not only in Greece but also internationally, including: the wine, the small tomatoes and their paste, the split peas, and the white aubergine.

When most of the local people turned their backs on agriculture and went after their chance in the tourism industry, these unique products began to face the possibility of extinction.

However, the decline was luckily reversed, around the late 1980's, when some of the wine producers and restaurant owners linked the local products and cuisine and attempted to integrate them within the fast growing tourism industry of the island. This was achieved by keeping the tradition of the island and by adapting and promoting the products to suit modern gastronomic demands.

The media, concerned in gastronomy and tourism, both in Greece and internationally, supported this effort with enthusiasm. The endeavor had its followers which increased the demand for the unique local products thus encouraging the interest of the local producers and, naturally, the competition for higher quality amongst them. Under this agenda Santorini started to develop as a gastronomic destination.

The wineries opened their doors to the visitors for tasting and multimedia presentations, the restaurants begun cooking courses and various gastronomical groups and associations started visiting the island.

International sommelier meetings took place, and slow food participations, thematic conferences focused on local products were organized (maybe the only ones in Greece). Many plans are currently underway for the promotion of the island as a fist class gastronomic destination.

If one adds to all these "taste experiences" the most "tasty" of all, which is the island of Santorini itself and its extraordinary landscape then I think we can claim that Santorini is a remarkably "tasty" destination.

Stuffed Santorini cherry tomatoes
Ingredients:

1 kg Santorini cherry tomatoes
2 large finely chopped dry onions
1 bunch fresh basil
250 gr rice
Salt, pepper, olive oil, pinch of sugar

Preparation:

Open up the cherry tomatoes and remove the contents. Put a little olive oil into a frying pan and roast the onions. Once they have browned, add the basil and the contents of the tomatoes. Once it comes to the boil point leave it for 10 minutes and then add the rice, salt and pepper. After 5 minutes turn off the heat and stuff the cherry tomatoes.

Cook at 220 C for approximately 200 minutes.

Octopus with Vinsanto and saffron
Ingredients:

1 medium-sized octopus (1 1/2 kg)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of all spice
1 sachet of Greek saffron (from Kozani)
150 ml Vinsanto
150 ml olive oil

Preparation:

After washing the octopus carefully, put it in the cook pot with the bay leaves, the all spice and the saffron. Cover and let it simmer in its own juices for about 1 1/2 hour. Add the wine and boil until the sauce thickens. Remove from the fire and stir in the olive oil. Serve with rice as a main dish or without as a starter.

Restaurants in Santorini
Restaurants are not a place to have a taste to eat before an evening of entertainment, they are the entertainment. And whether you go to a local tavern or to a chic restaurant you will see that the Greeks take their time over food. Taverns are usually more inexpensive than restaurants - they feature simple but tasty dishes...

Santorini Wine
After the devastating volcanic explosion, about 1650 BC, the island was covered with volcanic ash, lava and magma stone. This catastrophe created the foundation for perfect soil conditions which now help produce the very distinctive wines of Santorini. For this reason, one of the qualities of cuisine of Santorini is the wine..
 

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