Folegandros


The island’s capital, Hora, ranks among the Cyclades’s most alluring villages. The island’s beaches, lapped by crystalline waters, soothe body and soul. Folegandros, or Polykandros as it was known in antiquity, captures visitors’ hearts on sight. Tranquil and welcoming, the island’s wide embrace is reflected in its curved topography. Karavostasis, the harbor, greets arrivals warmly while the stone-paved lanes and passages of Kastro and Hora offer respite from the heat by day and entertainment by night. The cozy farmhouses or themonies of Ano Meria reflect the traditions of an infertile yet charming place. Container gardens in Ano Meria overflow with mint, parsley, basil, and nutmeg geranium, and other aromatic herbs—rosemary, oregano, chamomile, and sage are picked wild, dried, and prepared as tisanes in winter. Crocus blossoms are gathered in November for their saffron stems that add color to dishes. In spring, locals dig up bulbs and in summer they pick capers, which are both pickled. Campanula laciniata is an endemic species of bellflower found on the island and grows in short, rounded shrubs with dense foliage and blue flowers. The cuisine also features fish from the sea; souroto, a salty cheese made from the milk of sheep and goats, thickened with enzymes extracted from the sheep’s stomach; capers preserved in coarse salt; and amber-colored honey produced in ceramic hives by bees fed on the blossoms of thyme and savory. Dough is rolled out to a thin crust, then cut into strips for koulouridi, aranto, and matsata—local pasta shapes—cooked and then served with mizithra cheese, tomato sauce, or goat. Other specialties are ladenia (dough baked in pan with olive oil, tomatoes, and onions), crispy golden chickpea balls, aromatic tomato patties, thick chickpea soup cooked in a ceramic pot placed in a wood-burning oven, roast goats with potatoes and aromatic herbs, fluffy watermelon pie, and chewy honey-and-sesame pastelli bars offered at weddings and folk celebrations.

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