Amorgos


The romance island. The splendor of simplicity and Doric beauty permeates this island. There’s nothing unessential. The white-washed homes trimmed in blue or burgundy trim, the natural grey of the stone-paved lanes, and the fuchsia flowers of the bougainvillea adorning every corner create a gorgeous image. The terrain is rocky but between the sheers you catch glimpse of verdant valleys, ancient towers, and stone-built windmills. This mountainous Cycladic island’s spectacular landscape is home to rare flora like the endemic rokkela once used to dye the local flax woven into robes. Another endemic plant is Origanum calcaratum, a particularly flavorful species of oregano. The pod fruit of the native species of Pisum sativum is the pea which is boiled and pureed for the Amorgos fava, which is kneaded with fennel and spring onion into the favokeftedes, or fava balls, fried in olive oil to golden perfection. Wheat, barley, apples, citrus, and vines are cultivated in the plains. Locally-raised sheep and goats provide the meat for a slow-cooked casserole along with tomato paste and potatoes. Tender local greens called sefkoula are braised then combined with spring onions, wild fennel, and mint as the filling for the Amorgos hortopitakia (individual pies with greens) in hand-kneaded dough. A thick mizithra (unpasteurized fresh cheese made from sheep or goat milk and whey) ripens lazily in molds woven from reeds (tsimiskadia). At Ksilokeratidi, you can watch the sun set behind the nearby island of Irakleia while sipping rakomelo, warmed raki with honey and herbs, and psimeni raki (alcohol distilled from grape pomace) also flavored with honey and local herbs.

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