Gastronomy
Gastronomy
Gastronomy

Most traditional recipes of Rhodes have their roots in Dorian Rhodes, the days when the cereal had a special place in the diet of the Rhodians. The Athenian in his “deipnosofistai” says the Rhodians at the beginning of the dinner brought bread among them the “Escharity” a cake with olive oil, something like today’s pancake with honey. In ancient Rhodes, fish soup was particularly favored.

The fact that marine products had a very little place in the traditional diet indicates that the recipes were formed during the late medieval and modern times when the shipping in Rhodes declined due to historical circumstances, and turned the island’s inhabitants towards agriculture and animal farming.

One encounters in some of the eating habits of the Rhodians in many Mediterranean regions such as Asia Minor and southern Italy, reflecting the ancient family ties and contacts Rhodes had with them. The cuisine was not only used for the satisfaction of biological needs but to strengthen socio-cultural relations with different people and groups.

Some food has initiatory or religious character, such as recipes for meat, fish and sweets that surround engagements,weddings, baptism and religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas and the Assumption (15th of August).

Given that Rhodes has always been a crossroad of culture so the taste and the nutrition information derives from Asia, Europe and Africa. The basis of Rhodian cuisine was always wheat and olives, while most food items came from island’s farming and fishing.

Today Rhodian culinary delights are based on the delicacies of the sea, salads created by new products such as avocado, arugula and tarragon grown on the island and cooked meats with new modern recipes.

Food

What to Try

  • Avranas(wild asparagus): Wild asparagus roasted with olive oil and onions and topped with flour and lemon juice.
  • Stuffed Easter Lamb: Lemon roast stuffed with rice, pine nuts, raisins, cloves, cinnamon and garnished with baked potatoes.
  • Whole meat patties: A kind of appetizer with ground beef, cracked wheat and tomato.
  • Stuffed vegetables: Tomatoes, zucchini, capsicums and eggplants stuffed with rice, onions and minced meat.
  • Casserole: Braised meat with potatoes in the oven, served with olive oil, fresh tomato, onion garlic and wine. Traditional village Kalithies recipe, served mainly at the weddings.
  • Karavoli (snails) giachnistoi: Snails boiled in a pot with onions, olive oil, tomato, pepper, bay leaves and cumin.
  • Goat stew: Traditional recipe, Psinthos village. Goat traditionally cooked with rice and cinnamon.
  • Traditional Easter Soup: Rhodian soup. Eaten at the dawn hours after the Resurrection and the church service.
  • Baked red pumpkin: Slices of red pumpkin, onion and mint baked in the oven.
  • Zucchini with eggs: Zucchini fried with eggs.
  • Zucchini patties: Fried patties with zucchini and cheese.
  • Koulouria: It is a kind of pasta. Served with plenty of grated cheese. In many villages of Rhodes it is traditional wedding food. Available in traditional festivals of the island.
  • Rabbit stew: Rabbit with onions in marinade.
  • Lacan: Beef or goat or lamb meat with wheat braised in the oven at a Lacan (clay pot with a lid).
  • Matsi: Handmade pasta cooked with plenty of cheese and fresh butter. It may be accompanied with cooked lentils, chickpeas and beans.
  • Milla and Tsirigia: From the fat of the pig that has a little meat. Placed over low heat until the fat has melted completely. Tsirigia is the cut that remains in the strainer when the fat has drained. Milla is a pure fat and replaces butter in pasta, in risotto, in pies, fried eggs and other food. It gives great flavor. It’s eaten spread on bread with sugar or salt.
  • Dolmades: Cabbage, stuffed with minced pork and oatmeal. Accompanied by egg and lemon sauce.
  • Ornitha me Loukoumi: Boiled chicken stuffed with rice, liver, kidney, onion, spices and garnished with noodles.
  • Pirgouri or Pergouri: Whole wheat cooked with Bay leaves and Bitter Orange leaves. It is used like rice for pilaf and soups It is delicious with baked pork in the oven.
  • Pirgouri with Tsirigia: Whole wheat cooked with porkfat and drippings. It becomes like a pilaf.
  • Pitaroudia: A kind of fried appetizer with chickpeas, onion and tomato.
  • Pouggia: Pies filled with greens.
  • Salad with Variety of Vegetables: Grilled vegetables accompanied with freshly ground pepper, yoghurt and white cheese.
  • Liver “Flegmoni”: Tasty appetizer. Cooked liver with olive oil. Very common in the villages.
  • Trahanas: Wheat and sheep or goats milk, made in August with the new crop of wheat. It is a nutritious soup accompanied by small pieces of cheese.
  • Barbounofasoula: Red beans with oil, chopped parsley, onion, tomato, pepper and salt.
  • Octopus: Fried patties with ground, cooked octopus.
  • Fish Marinada: Fish marinated with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and rosemary.
  • Fried Fish with fresh tomato sauce and whole wheat: Casserole. Fried fish accompanied by fresh tomatoes and whole wheat.
Sweets

What to Try
  • Almond white: Marzipan sweets from blanched almonds, lemon juice and rosewater, fashioned apple or pear- shaped, wrapped in sugar. An offering for the wedding guests.
  • Katimeria: Small rolls with a hole in the middle filled with honey. Eaten hot or cold. After some time they get softer and tastier.
  • Melekouni: It is a local sweet of the Dodecanese with sesame, almonds, herbs and honey that is offered with the wedding invitations, wedding preparations and on the wedding day.
  • Moschopougkia: Sweet from walnuts, whitewashed almonds, grated nutmeg, sugar and rosewater.
  • Takakia: Pastry filled with walnuts, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. The Sweet of St Andrew in many villages of Rhodes, the engaged girls offer to the grooms and best men.
  • Pancakes: Dough from wheat flour fried in plenty of hot oil. Served with honey or sugar and cinnamon.
Beverages

What to Try

On the island of Rhodes, one can find a wide selection of wines- white, red and rose. Sparkling wines, aperitifs, liqueurs, retsina and local ouzo. All known for their excellent quality that puts them in the first places in international markets and they are frequently awarded with international prizes and awards.

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