Santorini’s dry volcanic soil is the origin of some unique indigenous varieties; we all know of the famous Santorinian wines, and most have probably heard of the cherry tomatoes, the white eggplants and the fava beans. The latter is a legume, honored by the locals almost as much as bread, with a history that goes back to the prehistoric era.
As a matter of fact, fava beans and seeds where discovered in the excavation of the ancient settlement of Akrotiri, definite proof that the cultivation of fava on the island dates back more than 3500 years.
Fava in Santorini grows without any water, hence the “anydro” appellation, which literally means without water. That’s where Petros’ shop in Megalochori got its name as well, in case you were wondering, and in Anydro you’ll find great quality, organic Santorinian fava.
Fava was planted next to vines, and both were never watered but only absorbed the moisture from the morning mists and the ground.
Its harvest was a celebration, just like the grape harvest, where the locals gathered the fava plants and transported them to the miller’s on the donkeys’ backs.
When cooked, fava becomes creamy and mushy, with a delicious velvety taste that made it famous and sought after worldwide. Petros from Anydro suggested that fava is best served with cappers, a sprinkle of oregano and a generous splash of olive oil along with a glass of Assyrtiko wine, but every local family have a recipe of their own and it’s worth trying each and every one.
So far our favourites were fava with caramelized onions and fava with cherry tomatoes, and it is evident why this humble legume was considered a staple in almost every home; its sweetness and smooth texture are mouthwateringly delicious, and it practically goes well with almost everything!
Find your favourite fava dish in one of the tavernas in the cool shadowy square of Megalochori, or try a traditional recipe yourself; you will be rewarded with the authentic taste of Santorini!