Sample the local products of Kythira
Famous for its fine quality and characteristic taste, and considered by many who have tried it to be the greatest honey in the world, Kytherian thyme honey is a regular award-winner at major exhibitions. The rich flora of wild island herbs and hard work of local beekeepers produces a product worthy of its reputation and history – evident from the first spoonful!
Fatourada (Spiced Raki)
A traditional drink of Kythira, this heady brandy is based on the island’s local grape pomace, tsipoura (or raki) . The spirit was originally produced at home by the locals, and the most common recipe is prepared with cinnamon and cloves. A tasty digestive with a sweet characteristic aroma, Fatourada is drunk warm, cold, with crushed ice or in cocktails. Some rarer homemade varieties of the lighter Fatourou also exist, which are likewise produced from tsipoura and natural fruits. The original recipe contains only tsipoura and natural flavours, with no industrial alcohol or colourings added.
The systematic cultivation of olives began on Kythira under British rule. Today, olive trees are the economically most important crop on the whole island. The most common varieties grown are Koroneiki. The low acidity and exquisite taste palette ranks Kytherian olive oil among the finest in Greece.
Coarse salt, pure and crystalline white, an unrefined natural product which brings the ocean breeze onto your plate. The salt flats on Kythira are locally owned and are rented out to salt castors, or “alatares” as they are called on the island, who manually collect large slabs of sea salt before reducing them to the salt we use.
A small, robust yellow flower, its name means ‘always alive’ and comes from Latin sempre = always and vivere = to live. It was given it’s name by the Venetian conquerors, who noticed that when cut and hung to dry, the flower would stay fresh rather than wither over time. Collected along the rugged southern coast of Kythera and islet of Chytra, this hardy plant favours rocky substrates. It is unique to Kythera, however there are closely related species growing in remote parts of Crete.
Traditional pasta produced in a Kytherian family workshop; the secret to the delicious taste and exceptional quality is the use of pure local ingredients such as fresh island eggs and goat’s milk.
Ladotiri (Oil Cheese)
Cheese made from goat’s milk and bathed in oil after at least 2 months of drying. It has a smooth texture and a strong and distinctive flavor.
Ladopaximada (Oiled bread rusks)
The handmade Kytherian rusks, produced with local virgin olive oil, are easily among the best in all of Greece. Although many have tried to copy the recipe, the locally baked original is not to be matched in taste and quality. A characteristic product of Tsirigo, Kytherian oil rusks are shipped to many areas of Greece. However, rusks are still traditionally prepared in local homes today, baked in the oven and using excellent local olive oil. Varieties include wheat, whole grain (wheat), and the less common smigadera (half-half mix of wheat & barley flour).
Finely crafted into a delicate flower-like shape, this crispy sweet is certainly an aesthetical masterpiece. Made from flour, egg and sugar, the thin pastry is sprinkled with fine honey, cinnamon and sesame. A traditional Kytherian sweet that is typically offered at festive events such as weddings or christenings.
A fine almond-based Kytherian sweet with a recipe originating from urban homes. A smooth blend of thyme honey, almonds, sugar, semolina and cloves, coated by a thin layer of caster sugar (white-rosé colour). For a healthier alternative, opt for the uncoated version (dark rosé colour).
A very tasty sweet that originated from urban home recipes. Ingredients are almond milk, semolina, eggs, vanilla and bitter almond. They are served with a sweet white glaze.
Voutirotsikouda (local butter)
Delicious meze which is collected during the preparation of flower milk from sheep (mainly) milk. It is always flavored with salt added as it is prepared. Usually It is smeared on bread or in local crispies (paximadia).