The volcanic soil of Santorini and its unusual climate, with the scarce rains and cool morning mists have resulted in some unique agricultural products with strong, delicious tastes and wild, fiery character like the island that sprouts them. Everything that grows in Santorini somehow tastes better, but there are some products that can’t be found anywhere else; and of course, the Santorinians took what their land provided and created some exemplary dishes, worthy of its glorious ingredients.
The most recognized product of Santorini is probably the sweet cherry tomatoes. Underneath their thick skin hides their sumptuous flesh and vivid juices that lie at the base of numerous gastronomic creations; from the simplest salads with sundried tomatoes to rich sauces and the traditional tomatokeftedes, fried tomato “balls” that praise this exquisite ingredient.
A close second is the fava beans. The amazing quality and delectable piquant taste of the Santorinian fava has devoted fans all over the world and what was one a humble staple is now a highly sought after – and equally high priced – delicacy. It can complement almost every food, from feta cheese to olives, and from seafood to cured or smoked meats. A beloved summer recipe pairs fava with a lush cherry tomato sauce and capers, and in the winter, locals love it with cured pork; yet, it is truly delightful on its own with a simple drizzle of olive oil.
The white eggplant of Santorini is yet another distinctive product. Not only this eggplant taste amazingly sweet, it has an impressive property: it absorbs minimal oil, unlike its most common counterpart. Needless to say, the melitzanosalata (eggplant paste) of Santorini is probably the tastiest you will ever try.
You can taste these products all around Santorini, in traditional, homely recipes of small tavernas or in innovative gourmand dishes of high-end restaurants. If you wish to incorporate these ingredients – and many more from this wondrous land, to your own culinary exploits, Anydro in Megalochori offers an extensive selection of high quality, fresh or preserved organic Santorini products, so that you can bring the taste of Santorini back home with you.
If you wish to find a wider range of Santorini’s traditional products then visit the SantoWines Winery in Pyrgos (Tel. +30 2286 028058, www.santowines.gr).