One of the most popular holiday destinations worldwide and the most visited of all the Greek islands, Santorini (or Thera / Thira), is one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen! It is still an active volcano and probably the only volcano in the world whose crater is below the surface of the sea.
The last big eruption occurred 3,600 years ago (during the Minoan Age). The eruption destroyed the thriving local prehistoric civilization, evidence of which was found during the excavations of a settlement at Akrotíri. The solid material and gases emerging from the volcano’s interior created a huge “vacuum” underneath, causing the collapse of the central part and the creation of an enormous “pot” –today’s Caldera– with a size of 8×4 km and a depth of up to 400m below sea level.
A visit to Santorini is the ultimate gastronomic experience, as the island is a true culinary paradise! Treat your taste buds to some famous traditional products like cherry tomatoes, white egg plants, fava, caper and chloro cheese, a special kind of fresh goat cheese found on the island, or why not try some of the exceptional wines produced from grapes grown in the volcanic soil of the island! Assyrtiko, Athyri, Aidani, Mantilaria and Mavrotragano are just some of the distinctive varieties that you can taste at the island’s famous wineries (some of them operate as a museum as well) or at restaurants.
Tomatokeftedes (pseudokeftedes) Santorini
One of the most popular meze you can taste in Santorini is the tomatokeftedes (or pseudokeftedes as it is called on the island), which consists of a sort of meatballs, replacing the meat with tomatoes of Santorini, adding basil and mint.
They are usually made in small rolls of barley, raisins and sesame seeds. If you want to eat something sweet but avoid fats then Kopania is the answer. Kopania is considered as one of Santorini’s most authentic desserts in Santorini Local Food and can be found in variations, such as containing wine.
Apochti is pork processed in a specific way including baking it with salt, vinegar, cinnamon, chopped parsley, and black pepper. It takes at least four days to prepare as its spices need to be dried in the sun, but when it is ready, it can be eaten several days later – either sliced or used in other foods.
Skordomakarona consists of pasta, fresh Santorini tomatoes, olive oil, plenty of garlic and salt.
“Koufeto” is the most famous traditional sweet in Santorini, which is still served today during weddings and festivals and accompany your coffee, your cake, and even your ice cream!
“Koufeto” is made only by honey and almonds, symbolizing sweet life, while almonds symbolize fertility.
Kardamydes are awesome green horta not easy to find that make wonders in fighting cholesterol. They are harvested at the end of spring in fields and vineyards all over Santorini. They are an excellent accompaniment to fish food.
Santorini Cucumber “Katsuni”
Katsuni is the name given by the locals to the cucumbers grown in Santorini. It is larger than common cucumber and has thicker skin and more seeds. If it is not picked up in time, it becomes sweet and has a melon flavor! Katsuni is unique for Santorini because it only grows on the island. It has a lighter, cooler flavor than regular cucumbers and is an essential ingredient in local salads.