Santorini, a stunning island in the Aegean Sea, is not just known for its breathtaking sunsets and unique architecture, but also for its delectable cuisine. The island’s volcanic soil and unique climate conditions contribute to the distinctive flavors of its best local dishes. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the must-try dishes and wine pairings that every food lover should experience when visiting Santorini.
Deep Dive into Santorini’s Best Local Dishes
Let’s take a closer look at the dishes we’ve mentioned, and add a few more to our list, to truly appreciate the culinary richness of Santorini.
Tomatokeftedes (Tomato Fritters)
Tomatokeftedes are a testament to the incredible flavor of Santorini’s cherry tomatoes. These fritters are made by mixing chopped tomatoes, onions, and mint into a batter with flour and baking powder. The mixture is then shaped into small patties and deep-fried until golden. They’re typically served with tzatziki sauce for dipping.
Fava Me Koukia
Fava Me Koukia is a dish that showcases the versatility of Santorini’s legumes. The yellow split peas are slowly simmered until they break down into a creamy puree. The dish is traditionally topped with chopped onions, a drizzle of olive oil, and sometimes capers or chunks of salty Greek sausage.
The Santorini Salad is a fresh and vibrant dish that features the island’s unique produce. It typically includes cherry tomatoes, cucumber, capers, and chloro, a soft goat cheese. The salad is dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, and sometimes garnished with purslane leaves and local herbs.
Melitinia are sweet cheese pastries that are traditionally made during the Easter season. The filling is made from melitinia cheese, a soft cheese produced in Santorini, mixed with sugar, eggs, and sometimes a touch of mastic or vanilla. The pastries are baked until golden and often sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving.
Additional Best Local Dishes to Try
There are many more dishes to explore in Santorini. For instance, Kaparosalata is a salad made with capers, tomatoes, and onions. Sfougato is a traditional omelette with zucchini, onions, and cheese. And don’t miss out on trying the local seafood, such as grilled octopus or fried whitebait.
Santorini is famous for its unique wines, which are a result of the island’s volcanic soil and unique grape varieties. Here are some wine pairings to enhance your culinary experience:
- Tomatokeftedes with Assyrtiko: The crisp acidity and mineral notes of Assyrtiko, a white wine indigenous to Santorini, pair well with the savory flavors of Tomatokeftedes.
- Fava Me Koukia with Nykteri: Nykteri is a full-bodied white wine with high alcohol content and robust flavors, making it a good match for the rich, creamy Fava Me Koukia.
- Santorini Salad with Aidani: Aidani is a fragrant white wine with floral and fruity notes, which complement the fresh flavors of the Santorini Salad.
- Melitinia Cookies with Vinsanto: Vinsanto is a sweet dessert wine made from sun-dried grapes. Its rich, complex flavors and sweetness make it a perfect pairing for the Melitinia Cookies.
These are just a few examples of how you can enhance your culinary journey in Santorini with local wines. Enjoy exploring the island’s cuisine and viniculture!