Paros


This picturesque island with the soft geographic profile, white-washed houses, church of a 100 doors dedicated to the Virgin Mother, and a soil substrata of translucent, crystal-like Paros marble, has a temperate climate. This, combined with the fine dry mountain soil is ideal for growing full-bodied sweet aromatic wines with a high alcohol content. With vines claiming much of the arable soil and strong winds whipping over the island, grapes have emerged as the main cultivated crop on Paros as the economy has traditionally been rooted in the wine and barley production. In medieval times, the island’s olive trees were burned by the Venetian army, although the few that remain at the village of Lefkes produce a fine olive oil. There are both groundwater springs and cascades on the island, allowing for the careful cultivation of fields with fruit and vegetables. Today, the island is known for its melons while in the past it also produced sesame, wheat, barley, and legumes which were then wonderfully paired in the pot with partridges, wild doves, pork, and lamb—the latter two raised at home on stale bread and fruit. Sea, flora and fauna offer the palate dishes like kakavia (fish stew), gouna (sun-dried fish), salahi (skate) salad, golden-fried zucchini balls and tomato patties, revithada (stewed chickpeas), snails, kalfa with garlic puree, an array of cheeses—ksinomizithra, ladotiri, mizithra, and cheeses in brine—spoon sweets or fruit preserves, small pies like rafiolia and mizithropitakia, breads like lambrokouloura, and sweet biscuits like lazarakia, petimezenious, and skaltsounia. Dishes and treats are all accompanied by a glass of souma, the local tipple.

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