Kalamata, the capital and central port of Messenia prefecture, is located at the site of ancient Farai. Kalamata was occupied by the Ottoman Turks since 1459 and was finally liberated on March 23, 1821. Following independence and thanks to the exploitation of the fertile Messinian lands it developed into a wealthy urban centre.
Magnificent Mt. Taygetos towers above a city that boasts modern cafes, beach bars, restaurants, hotels, markets, historic buildings, a significant port, a summer dance festival and a pulsating nightlife and a seemingly endless beach. Kalamata, is the blessed land of Messenia and Peloponnese.
The Kalamata region, Messenia is a very rich and fertile region with famous products and delicacies such as:
- Kalamata olives PDO
They have traveled across the world. All juicy, with their characteristic brownish color and a slightly fruity flavor, the Kalamata olives consist a treasure for the Messinian land together with the olive oil.
- Tsapeles fig trees
There are plentiful fig trees in the area of Kalamata and Messinia in general and the characteristic variety is the tsapelosykon. The figs are consumed fresh, even cut directly from the tree, or dried, after having stayed under the sun and dried in a natural way, with absolutely no chemical additives.
The Mt. Taygetos honey is made from many different types of plants, flowers, etc. Mainly we meet fir honey and heather honey, but there are varieties of thyme honey, flower honey, strawberry tree, sage and pine.
- The poliani apples
In the region we meet the specific variety of apples. Τheir rich aroma and flavor make them the first choice for the people of Kalamata.
- Wild artichokes
A nutritious vegetable met in the surrounding villages.
A special potato variety produced in the villages of Taygetos, mostly in Alagonia. It is round shaped, thick peel, thus can be stored fora long enough.
- Mung beans or psilofasoula
They belong to the category of pulses; their size is smaller than the lentil, while their color is green. Easily cooked, they do not require long cooking or any other special treatment.
- Aromatic plants and herbs
The area of Kalamata and especially mount Taygetos, with the great variety of indigenous plants and herbs, offer visitors the opportunity to get to know one of the richest and most interesting ecosystems in Europe
A semi-hard cheese from sheep or goat milk.
A local traditional delicacy. They are actually rolls with olive oil, which are formed with flour and water, folded into thin strips and fried in hot oil. They can be part of the breakfast meal.
Kalamata is famous for its balsamic vinegar with its elegant taste, its dark amber color and its thick texture. It is made from grape must, which is placed for maturing in wooden barrels and obtains the specific aroma and color, along with the intense flavor.
Interesting aromas and flavors claim a leading role in Kalamata tables. The local varieties Fileri, Fokiano, Assyrtiko, Moschofilero, Agiorgitiko, Mandilaria but also Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Grenade Rouge, Merlot, and Carignan make excellent wines taking advantage of low altitude, the ideal climatic conditions, and the fertile soil of the area.
- The pasteli
Typical traditional sweet made from sesame and honey. It occurs with many variations (peanut, almond) and different textures (soft-boiled, crunchy). A dominant Kalamata product is the melato pasteli (pasteli with honey).
- Messinian salad
It is the typical salad of the region and it includes only local products such as sfela cheese, singlino, dried figs, raisins, oranges, lalangia, olives, oil, eggs, boiled potatoes, aromatic herbs.