Archestratos, an ancient Greek writer was the one ever to compile the first cookbook in history (around 330 B.C.).
Gastronomy in Santorini has a history of over 4,000 years and it is based on products that are grown on their land. Over the centuries, only few species of plants were able to adapt and survive in the inhospitable island ecosystem of Santorini. It is only natural, that one of the islands that produces such unique quality local agricultural products is Santorini.
The Volcanic soil and lack of water is the secret ingredient that makes all Santorini's products so tasteful. The island of Santorini was formed after an enormous volcanic explosion in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The soil of the island is volcanic and it cannot hold water. So, the people there grow crops that absorb water through their leaves. The result of all this is their intense flavour.
If there was ever an island worthy of the nickname “the wine island”, then it is undoubtedly Santorini. The excavations at the site of Akrotiri have proved that wine making and trading used to be among the most important activities for prehistoric locals.
Vinsanto, a wine with a rich gold colour and an exceptional aroma achieved thanks to many years of maturation and aging in the bottle and the extra-mature sun-dried white grapes with which it is made.
Accounting for 80% of the island’s production, Assirtiko is widely cultivated throughout Greece due to its high adaptability to different bioclimatic conditions. High acidity and freshness are characteristics of the wines made using this variety. Tasting the Assyrtiko is a unique experience that goes far beyond “another local wine”, ideal accompaniment of the gastronomic treasure of Santorini.
See our recipe of Zabaglione with Vinsanto
Santorini Fava (fava beans) has PDO indication
Used in many recipes, ranging from freshly boiled plain fava to fava with pork or with tomato puree, or as a soup, with rice or in an omelet, these peas are popular with visitors to Santorini thanks to their fine taste.
The magic thing about this variety of aubergine is not just that it has been colored white by the volcanic soil. It is also that the bitterness sometimes found in aubergines is completely absent and instead the flesh is sweet and juicy.
Check out our salad recipe with White Eggplant Salad and Octopus
Capers flowers and the leaves
As a staple within the cuisine of the Santorini, capers are used in lots of dishes. Both the flowers and the leaves are included in local cuisine for their spicy sharp aroma. It is a delice that all visitors must try and actually take home with them, so they can enjoy divine dishes home.
See our recipes made with capers:
Chickpeas with roasted pepper and caper
Caper and cilantro sauce
How to make pickled caper
The famous Santorini small tomato, known as “Tomataki Santorinis”, is a unique variety that flourishes thanks to the arid soil of the island. It is unique of its kind. It was in the 18th century that the locals first cultivated this variety of tomatoes, which owe their unique taste to the arid soil of the island. The tomataki also has PDO indication.
See our recipe for Pasta Sauce with Tomatoes from Santorini and Fresh Herbs
The famous Santorini tomato paste is also produced from this variety of tomato.
Santorini's Beers: Volkan and the Donkeys
Santorini was up till recently known for its natural beauty, deep blue seas, and the above delicious food and wines, but now it is also for its beer. Santorini Brewing Co. opened its doors on the road from the airport to the quaint beachside town of Kamari and created the Donkey beers. The brewery has an annual production capacity of 75,000 liters.
A volcano of a beer! Produced on the island, the beer Volkan was awarded as "Product Innovation of the Year" at the International Beer Awards 2013 in Prague for its special recipe and its unique taste.
Cheers!! The screw top bottle of the Volkan beer was designed by the renowned Greek artist Alekos Fasianos.
You can see a wonderful video that the mayor of Santorini has created to honor the Gastronomy of the island. All pictures belong to the city of Santorini and were taken by photographer Antonis Eleftherakis.