The Flavor of Kythera
Kythera! An island that has been spoken of since ancient years. Herodotus, Aristotle, Xenophon and Isidoros have all spoken of this island. It’s names derives from the verb “keftho” – which means to hide. But it’s beauty and charm is nothing to be hidden, and as beautiful as the island is, the flavors are the sweet “extra” you won’t want to leave behind!
Kythera, the island of Aphrodite. The name of the island derives from the verb “keftho” which means “hide”, but those who make love in Kythera, discover its hidden erotic passion. Yet many modern as well as the Greek composer Giorgos Katsaros with Dimitris Mitropanos gave the song “Kythera, we will never find it.” But we did find it! And we have no intention of losing it! The beauty of the island unparalleled. Its history deep in the passage of centuries
Our visits to the island are so often and so common that we are now considered as locals! Every time relatives and friends learn we’ll be visiting the island, they call and call, reminding us not to forget to bring them local products that the residents produce with extreme passion!
Pure thyme honey, the kind of which you will not find in no other place. The produced quantity cannot cover the high demand, so when you find that viscous aromatic treasure, don’t leave without it!
Pure virgin olive oil of excellent quality from perennial trees, salt from the “alikes”, aromatic herbs from the mostly inaccessible mountains of the island, crispy oil rusks that many have tried to copy, but none have succeeded…
The vineyards with indigenous varieties of Arikara and Petrolano that meet in Kythera, give the raw material for the creation of exceptional wines. From the winery Stratigos, Eleni, Frosso and Filio have introduced us to the delicious Tsirigotiko wine, and it doesn’t stop there.
The red Arikaras, the traditional vine variety of the island, will surprise you with its dynamism, and aroma of strawberry and wild cherry, bringing about nostalgic memories.
The goddess Aphrodite, arriving in the ancient land of Kythera, sowed Petrolano. The white godsend lands with aromas of citrus and citron, leave no one untouched.
The wine labels of the winery Stratigos are many – Lyrite, Logades, and Viglaki. “Wine gladdens,” the Ancients said, something we realized when we opened and tried the first bottle of wine. A glass of red wine accompanied by local cheese warms us on the cold winter evenings, while in summer we cool with a glass of colorful fresh fruit and white wine.
And if wine isn’t your first choice, it’s okay. Kythera has taken care of it, try Faturada. It’s a local liqueur with deep red color and intense intoxicating aromas of cinnamon, cloves and orange.
The gastronomy of Kythera is unique and a tasty companion to its sumptuous wines. Rich kalisunes (kind of spinach), spicy pumpkin pies, juicy stews like xinòchondros (a kind of trahana, made of sour milk and ground wheat) with eggplants and potatoes, all made by sweet grannies! Taste and enjoy.
Mrs. Rita, a “golden handed” lady is known not only on the island but also in many parts of Greece and abroad as her sweets have traveled everywhere. Every time we visit the island, she opens her home to us; her huge smile, big heart and golden hands take us on a tasty journey. The palate is always stays satisfied.
In Kythera they give great attention to traditional sweets. Xerotigana – a kind of fried pastry, served with local honey, cinnamon and sesame – is the required dessert at every pleasant event including engagements, weddings and baptisms.
The same applies to the almond-shaped, individual pastry, made with the main ingredient white almonds and aroma of freshly grated lemon.
The rozedes are sweets that are made with almond fermented with cinnamon, cloves and naturally fragrant local honey.
The mill paste is a sweet dish, almond paste and white vanilla glaze. Its name comes from the mill in which the old housewives were grinding almond.
Mrs. Rita, with her experience and knowledge, points out that for the sake of her sweets, passion and love are blended with the pure materials that she uses. There is no skimping on quality!
Kythera, History, mythology, music, literature, nature, gastronomy. They compose an array of colors, aromas, and memories that blend into complete harmony. That is Kythera we love!