A Greek Food Experience

Loukoumi's Taverna & Greek Restaurant Blog. The famous across New Yorker's place now shares Greek traditional recipes and health information for the Greek kitchen.

Greek Island Cuisine Part 2

greek-island-cuisine-part-2

Chios is a hospitable island all year round and offers a world of images, colours, tastes and aromas. The mild Mediterranean climate in combination with the island’s rich soil yields quality products that are used to create a range of unique local dishes. Welcome to the land that boasts beautiful medieval villages, extraordinary beaches and the lovely Chios town that open-handedly gives savoury mandarins, home-made liquors, ouzo, spoon sweets and the famous mastic. Let’s travel together to this magical island and taste Chios’ particular dishes that will definitely make a lasting impression on your taste buds.

Mastic: The Queen of Chios Island

A unique treasure that is cultivated only in this part of the world, the mastic tree hands over its precious teardrops! You can enjoy it in different forms: as an ingredient in ypovrychio sweet, liquor, ouzo, cookies and even as a chewing gum!
Did you know? The technique used to harvest mastic is called kendos (meaning embroidering); this is because in order to collect the mastic drops, the producers make slight incisions on the bark of the tree with a special tool that recalls the art of embroidery.

The "golden apples of the Hesperides"

Chios is famous for the uniquely pleasant taste, quality and characteristics of its citrus fruits, the juicy oranges and the unique mandarins from Chios. The island’s mandarins are among the finest varieties in the world and have been registered as a PDO product thanks to their intense aromatic tender flesh and sweet flavour. Try out the fresh juice, mouthwatering fruit salads or the delicious spoon sweets from Chios’ citrus varieties! And don’t forget to taste the local and very fragrant lemon flower spoon sweet.
Did you know? The uses of citrus fruits are not limited to mere consumption or juicing but also in the production of sweets and essential oils. The peels of the fruits are given to the island farmers by the factories for animal feed as they are considered to be of high nutritional value.

Drinks of Chios

A famous, remarkable and high quality product of Chios is “Ariousios Oinos” a supreme red wine well known since antiquity as the nectar of the Gods. Spirits produced in abundance on Chios Island are the perfect treat for liquor lovers, and some of these are souma, a spirit made from figs, ouzo flavoured with anise, coriander, fennel, lemon flowers or mastic.
Did you know? Chios has its own blonde beer with orange highlights, fruity taste and discreet bitterness while the aromas of fennel and citrus stand out! It is a blonde ale made in Kampos, Chios Island from selected varieties by malt and whole hops cones, and it is unpasteurized and unfiltered.

 

 

 

Autumn: hunting for mushrooms

If you happen to be on Chios Island when the first autumn rain arrives, you can come across amanites (a type of mushroom), that grow in the northern part of this land. You can purchase the mushrooms either by taking part in a “mushroom hunt” or in local groceries around the island. Accompany your ouzo with fried or grilled amanites and you’ll thank us for the tip!
Did you know? Amanites grow under pine trees alone or in groups of 2-3!

White Cheese from Chios

Taste the excellent quality white Chios cheese with its soft texture; milky and slightly salty flavour which it due to its short stay in brine. Try it grilled or raw in fresh salads or traditional pasta.
Did you know? The Chios white cheese will complement your meals adding, apart from a wonderful flavour, significant amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals.

 

Pasta from Chios

Chios gastronomy also includes several types of pasta which are a fine complement to meat or seafood. Don’t forget to try the fytilaki short twisted, the curly tagliatelle with mastic flavour and the traditional spartos pasta that are all topped with cooked tomato sauce.
Did you know? The striftaria (twisted) pasta with mushrooms from Chios is a great dish to accompany white meat or seafood.


Corfu’s microclimate- heavy rainfalls and humidity- as well as the mild relief of its territory are the key factors related to the fertility and fruitfulness of the blessed Corfiot land…

Ever since Homer’s time, the olive tree has undoubtedly been the trademark of Corfu. The sight of vast ancient-old olive groves comprising about 4,5 million olive trees fill us with awe and admiration for the grandeur of nature.

Olive oil of excellent quality, delicious black little olives, pure natural soap and handmade furniture are some of the products deriving from this blessed tree.

Hillside vineyards put down their roots among vast olive groves, producing many kinds of grape varieties; the white kakotrygis, muscat, the red petrokoritho, skopelitiko and rozaki are the most famous mouth-watering wine varieties of Corfu, an island boasting a rich wine-making tradition.

All kinds of citrus fruits, such as Merlin sweet orange trees, lemon trees, tangerine trees and bergamot orange trees giving off a marvelous scent, are to be found on the island. Their “king” is the exotic kumquat, a product with protected designation of origin, which grows in the area of the Nymphs. This tiny, aromatic “sweet orange” is a perfect ingredient for spoon sweets, marmalades, fruit glace or for the bitter sweet kumquat infused liqueur, the traditional drink of Corfu and one of the visitors’ most beloved products!

Another distinctive flavour of the Ionian Island is “tsitsibira” (ginger ale) a kind of beer which is exclusively produced in Corfu. Lemon juice, natural lemon-oil, freshly grated ginger, water and sugar, are the ingredients of this sparkling drink which is actually fermented inside the bottle.

No description of the Corfiot cuisine would be complete without mentioning its fresh dairy products; Corfu is renowned for its high quality cow butter and its mouth-watering golden graviera cheese. The island raised its culinary reputation thanks to its excellent hams as well, such as salado (a local ham) and nubulo fumicado or nombolo (smoked pork fillet), which is prepared in the traditional way in the area of Oros.

Before leaving indulge your palate with the island’s unique local dishes, which are deeply influenced from the Venetian cuisine:

Pastitsada: veal meat or rooster cooked in red sauce flavoured with spices. It’s served with a special type of thick pasta.
Sofrito: a casserole dish with thin slices of veal meat cooked in white sauce. It’s served with mashed potatoes or rice.
Bourtheto: scorpion fish or school shark cooked in red spicy sauce. Add some lemon sauce before removing from the fire.
Savoro: the food of the sailors. Little fried fish marinated in a white sauce with garlic, rosemary and vinegar.
Pastitsio of nonna (of the granny): an alternative version of pastitsio, in which the pasta is put into pastry sheet like a pie.
After completing your meal, indulge in a delicious local sweet, such as mantolato, which is made of ground sesame, honey and whole almonds; fokatsa (the Corfiot version of the famous Italian “focaccia”) a kind of Venetian origin brioche; kolombina, a “hristprosmo” (Christmas cake) in a dove shape and mantoles, made of roasted caramelised almonds.

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Greek Island Cuisine Part 3
Greek Island Cuisine Part 1
 

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Loukoumi is the child of Chef/Owner Kostas Avlonitis, who is credited with opening one of the first Greek restaurants in New York City.
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