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The Cuisine of Paros

When the sea mets the earth and the sun generously spreads its grace in winter and summer, taste takes on a new dimension. Saltiness, aroma, sweetness - flavors that fill the senses and soar when skillfully combined.

The people invested in all they were given, despite the dry, windblown soil of the Cyclades. They invested in low, special crops, with high tolerance to the sun and heat, which compensated them... tremendously. Eggplant, zucchini, wild greens, green been and broad bean varieties that thrive and produce delicious and well-known vegetables.

Parian cuisine features recipes from the Cyclades. A center of both culture and taste, it comprises oily foods, baked and boiled legumes, many different kinds of "balls" prepared with herbs grown on the island: tomato balls, chickpea balls, zucchini balls, potato balls! Xerotigana (fried dough strips) and pancakes, both sweet and savory.
Meat cooked in a pot or in the oven, festive, stuffed lamb or wonderful combination entrées (vegetables and meat), open and covered pies and, naturally, fish and seafood.

Fish is cooked in a variety of ways. In addition to tasty kakavies (soup), they are grilled, fried, and cooked with vegetables, greens and legumes! Local fish include: gouna (sun dried, salted fish), salatouri (ray salad with a lemon & oil sauce and fresh herbs), mackerel and grilled octopus. And the karavoles (giant snails) have evolved from a humble dish into a gourmet delicacy. Whether boiled with garlic, boubouristi (lightly fried) or stifado (in an onion stew), they are a taste challenge that cannot be ignored.
The dietary habits of Paros are based on the Mediterranean diet. Fruits and vegetables, fish, olive oil, wine, spirits (souma) and dairy products. Fresh xinomyzitha (soft creamy cheese), oil cheese, excellent Gruyère, kefalotiri (salty cheese), bagged cheeses and kopanisti (sharp soft cheese). These cheeses are delightful when served with small koroneikes olives and the renowned rusks of Paros - the ideal companions for souma!

The island also produces aromatic honey, aromatic herbs (oregano, sage, thyme) and capers, while local meats are incomparable in taste and quality. The "meats" of the sea are delicious.

Preservation Methods

Simple, tasty raw materials carefully cultivated from land that is xeric and dry. To this day, most vegetable gardens are dry, with the exception of organized crops and greenhouses. Crops and varieties requiring little water are generally preferred. The people took advantage of the often difficult weather conditions and made them their ally in their struggle to preserve food longer.

Olives, vineyards, green beans, broad beans, capers and tomatoes.
The ingenuity of the people led to food preservation methods still in use today. They took advantage of the dry wind, the power of the sun and the salt of the sea and achieved ideal preservation methods. Dried figs, sun-dried tomatoes and gounes (sun-dried, salted fish). Everything is "baked" in the wind, sun and salt. Octopus, mackerel, tuna as well as local sausages and chops are dried in the clean air and stored for later use.

Figs, found everywhere in summer, are dried and filled with sesame seeds, almonds, marmalades and sweet preserves. Sun-dried grapes and tomatoes. Wonderful cheeses preserved in bags (touloumotiria) and vases (kopanisti - a sharp soft cheese). Must is turned into wine, jelly, molasses, cookies and sweets. Green beans and broad beans are dried and stored for the winter. Snails are gathered on rainy days and stored for later use.

In this way, they will be able to create their own "Wine Road" through which they will assist in the mapping of the Aegean, and wine tourism will take on another dimension.

The multitude of August visitors to Paros are bound to seek out wine and spirits related activities, and they already have one opportunity. The harvest and pressing usually begins in late August, at a time when the island is full of visitors. It is easy to observe or participate in the entire process, acquiring a deeper understanding of the challenges and the joy of the blessing: "kala krasia" (good wines)!

Visitors are welcome to participate in celebrations, festivals, food tastings and concerts. Local gastronomy programs in conjunction with vineyard activities and cultural heritage, ensure that wine tourism is an experience that cannot be missed.

A pleasant way for the island to "win over" visitors, a tasty and enjoyable experience.

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