Santorini’s cuisine is characterized by dishes that contain ingredients that are inextricably linked to the Mediterranean diet. The agricultural production of the island, which due to the volcanic soil, offers special gastronomic pleasures, satisfying even the most demanding palates.
After your arrival in Santorini, you will probably be hungry. If you are wondering what delicacies to try, we have prepared a list of traditional local dishes for you to enjoy during your stay in Santorini, breaking away from the usual flavors.
Santorini is a leader in flavors and is another example of the richness and variety of amazing local products of the Greek islands.
The fava of Santorini is one of the most important products of the island, along with the amazing local wines, cherry tomatoes, as well as the local capers. The fava is derived from the plant lathurus clymenum, a local variety of yellow pea (not to be confused with what the English know as beans). According to the archeological findings of the city of Cape Bronze Age, the exploitation of fava beans has been developed consistently and exclusively on the island for more than 3,500 years.
The fava of Santorini is a staple food for the locals that is served in different ways, depending on the time of year.
In summer it is cooked with red tomato sauce and is called “married”. The winter fava is accompanied by fried kavourma (smoked pork).
One of the most popular appetizers you can try in Santorini is the tomato meatballs (or “fake” meatballs as they are called on the island), which consists of Santorini tomatoes, basil and mint.
The famous tomato meatballs of the island, which have as their raw material the Santorini tomato or the Santorini cherry tomato, have a special aroma and a unique taste that will surely whet your appetite before the main meal.
Today the cherry tomato is one of the characteristic products of Santorini and there is a pulp factory that gives reasonable hopes that the local tomato variety will continue to produce various products.
If when you visit a place you are looking for inspiration in its traditional local cuisine, then Kopania deserves your attention. They are usually made in small rolls from barley nuts, raisins and sesame. It is a very simple delicious delicacy and at the same time it is healthy and nutritious. If you want to eat something sweet but avoid fats then Kopania is the answer.
Kopania is considered one of the most authentic sweets of Santorini and you can find them in many variations, such as the one that contains wine.
In Santorini, melitini are sweet delights offered on various holidays as well as weddings. They are made with salted mizithra and yogurt, which are then flavored with mastic. You can find them in the traditional bakeries of Santorini, while they are very similar to the cakes that are also made and served at celebrations and weddings.
Apochti is the pork processed in a specific way that includes its cooking 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 in slices or used in other foods. Apochti has Byzantine roots, as evidenced by the name “apochti” (the Byzantine term for this gourmet delicacy is apoktin).
The traditional local cheese of Santorini is called “Chlorotyri” and is made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. It is creamy and slightly sour and if you find it to be served somewhere while you are in Santorini, definitely try it! It is produced in very small quantities by local producers and therefore it is difficult to find!
This is a local variety of cheese of very limited production, which you will not find anywhere else in Greece. Spread the cream cheese on slices of bread or mix it in the salad.
Santorini is not only known for its unique beauty but also for its unique tomatoes. The tomatoes of Santorini are so small that most visitors to the island find it hard to believe that they are indeed tomatoes. The tomatoes of Santorini are unique and grow exclusively on the island, as the volcanic soil of the island and the night humidity of the caldera contribute to its production. It has a deep red color and its exterior is somewhat hard, in contrast to its juicy interior.
For traditional tomato cultivation, small holes are made in the ground at a distance of 30 cm from each other, in which several dried seeds are planted and thrown. The sowing takes place in February while the harvest takes place from the end of June to the beginning of August. The harvest season is a real celebration for the island of Santorini.
Another rare product of Santorini soil with many comparative advantages is the white eggplant. It has very few seeds, does not absorb much oil when fried and has a very sweet taste. You will find white eggplant in various restaurants on the island, which is definitely worth trying, while our suggestion is to choose eggplant salad made with white eggplants. It is the perfect accompaniment for ouzo or wine.
Santorini is a wine region. Wine has been produced on the island since antiquity, but during the Middle Ages Santorini wine became world famous under the influence of the Venetians. Italian influence is still present in modern Santorini winemaking: Tuscany’s most famous sweet wine is called Vin Santo. Santorini Vin Santo (marked “Vinsanto” to differentiate it from Tuscan wine) is made from grapes that have been sun-dried after harvest.
In Santorini are in a Greek version of the Napa Valley, many wineries that you can visit to see the production method and taste various local wines. This is Santorini, one of the most beautiful places in the world. There are about forty domestic grape varieties in Santorini and the vines are low to protect them from strong winds.
The peculiar character of Santorini wine comes mainly from the unique volcanic soils of the island
Garlic Macaroni consists of pasta, fresh Santorini tomatoes, oil, plenty of garlic and salt. A really elegant and delicious dish!
Το “Κουφέτο” είναι το πιο γνωστό παραδοσιακό γλυκό κουταλιού στη Σαντορίνη, το οποίο ακόμα και σήμερα σερβίρεεται κατά τη διάρκεια γάμων και εορτών αλλα πλέον πωλείται ευρέως σε καταστήματα σε όλο το νησί.
Be part of a beautiful and delicious wedding tradition of Santorini and all of Greece, tasting these amazing little sweets made by the Union of Cooperatives of Santorini with your coffee, your cake, and even your ice cream!
The Koufeto is made only of honey and almonds. These ingredients are considered symbolic of the couple’s future. Honey symbolizes sweet life, while almonds symbolize fertility.
Cardamides is an extremely green herb that works wonders in fighting cholesterol. They are collected in late spring in fields and vineyards throughout Santorini. During this period, they can also be found in the market of Fira and in some stores. They are an excellent accompaniment for eating fish and because it is not easy to find, wherever you find it, try it!
Katsouni is the name given by the locals to the cucumbers grown in Santorini. It is larger than the common cucumber and has thicker skin and more seeds. If not picked in time, it becomes sweet and has a melon flavor! Katsouni is special for Santorini because it grows only on the island. It has a lighter, fresher taste than regular cucumbers and is a key ingredient in local salads.