Schinoussa


One of the Small Cyclades, Schinoussa is an almost flat piece of rock with low vegetation that was abandoned three times because of pirate raids and earthquakes. Its name stems from antiquity when it was covered by scrub, or schina, in Greek which over the centuries were removed or died. Nonetheless, their recycling into the soil is responsible for the fields’ fertility. The terrain is comprised of well-rounded hills crowned by deserted windmills. During Latin rule, the sheltered bay at Mersinos was used by pirates as a staging ground; today it offers safe anchorage to sailboats and yachts. Hora is a charming village built around a small, white-washed square. Messaria, a quiet and quaint village, has a few inhabitants but is surrounded by small vegetable gardens, fields, and vineyards that produce green beans, tomatoes, and watermelons. The island is crossed by dirt-paved roads framed by thyme and sage. The coast forms a dozen or so charming beaches that combine to conjure a turquoise paradise. Fresh-caught fish, still on the line, and local seafood are part of the cuisine. Goat is stewed with potatoes, garlic, tomato, and bay in a dish called kokkinisto patatato. Flavorful local fava (yellow split peas), goat stuffed with a mixture of rice, spring onions, dill, and entrails and slowly baked in a wood-burning oven, and an array of vegetables stews comprise the main gastronomic memories of the island. 

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