Picturesque Andros might well be an imagined geographic extension of Evia and the central mainland as its fertile meadows are thick with orange and lemon groves, citrus, mulberry, and pomegranate trees as well as crops like select onions and the humble Siam cabbages introduced via France. The island produces olive oil, wine, and citrus digestifs. In the past, the island had also been known for its silk, barley, and wheat, while it also boasted 165 working watermills. The berries of the strawberry bush (Arbutus unedo) and black mulberries are distilled into “koumari”, a slightly sweet raki. Citrus fruits are preserved in syrup as spoon sweets or candied, figs are tied together with string and left to dry into tsapeles, and almonds are finely ground into nutmeat and shaped into sweets dusted with confectioner’s sugar. The villages of Korthi, Batsi, Gavrio, and the capital Hora, are not just places on the map but destinations whose natural beauty is reflected in the bountiful meals and sense of well-being. Pigs are commonly raised on the island and their meat consumed cured rather than cooked as alantes, ziladia, and syglina—all types of local cold cuts. In Hora, chicken Milanese, a dish introduced by the Venetians, remains popular along with other vestiges of this gastronomic heritage like fourtalia (omelet with potatoes, mint, local sausages, and pork) and two flavorful cheeses—fresko (an unsalted fresh white cheese) and the full-fat manouso.

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