Discover the unique gastronomic profile of the region
The gastronomic profile of the area is strongly influenced by its geomorphic position, the mountain Pelion between the Pagasetic Gulf and Aegean Sea, the unique microenvironments, as well as the contact with other cultures and the local tradition. Different raw materials coming either from sea or mountain, such as vegetables, wild greens, herbs, fish and meat are harmonically blended with the hospitality of the locals resulting in tasteful and colorful dishes. Tsipouro, a strong distilled spirit is the basic accompaniment of locals to their gatherings and meals.
Let aromas and flavors be your local guide!
Pelion is the birthplace of one of the most diverse cuisines, consisting of different materials combined in a unique way. Lift the lid of an earthenware pot and let the journey in the local flavors begin.
Strolling around the villages in Pelion Mountain you will be fascinated by the plethora of the wild vegetation that offers to the locals the raw materials needed to create tasteful dishes. Mushrooms, wild greens, herbs and colorful vegetables, such as aubergines, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, overflow from houses’ small gardens spreading color all around. Pelion is famous for the salads made by wild greens, such as «tsitsiravla», «vergia» and «kritama», which accompany tastefully every main dish. The most predominant element of the local cuisine since ancient times is the olive oil. It is produced by the olive trees that flood the slopes of Pelion Mountain and adds the distinctive taste, making every food cooked with it unique.
The adjacency of Pelion Mountain with the sea offers a wide variety of fish and seafood, which mixed with the crops of the mountain creating delicious matches. The saltiness of the fish mixed with the sweatiness of home-cultivated vegetables can satisfy even the most demanding palate. Don’t miss to taste the famous crab pasta, which is one of the most popular dishes that locals prefer during summer time.
The gastronomy in Pelion is strongly influenced by the many microenvironments that favor the cultivation of a wide range of crops in every season, giving to the locals the sufficiency they need during the year. Strolling around in the villages of Pelion you will be tempted by the scents that evolve from every house, revealing the housewife’s food. There you can taste the famous «spetsofai», sausage cooked with green peppers which is the most characteristic dish in Pelion. Every meal in Pelion is completed with the traditional spoon sweets, widely known around Greece. Various fruits, such as apples, oranges, cherries, strawberries, watermelon, and even vegetables, like carrots and tomatoes following a specific method of cooking are transformed into delicious desserts.
Volos is famous for its flourishing food scene offering another strong component of the area’s gastronomic profile, tsipouro. Tsipouro is a strong distilled drink with an alcohol content of 40% made from crashed grapes. Tsipouro arrived in Volos hidden in the luggage of Greek immigrants from Minor Asia in the early 20th century and since then it constitutes the basic option in locals’ gatherings. It is widely known that nothing compares to a visit in one of the 400 tsipouradika, the famous stores selling tsipouro, where the locals and the visitors hang out together. The most useful phrase that you need to know when you visit a tsipouradiko is “Grab a little bottle of tsipouro” and your table will be filled with the scent of tsipouro along with seafood and tidbits (named mezedes).
This is a culinary journey, a cultural exchange that goes well beyond the list of ingredients. You will taste flavors that bring with them a sense of continuity and unity, which consist central values in the Greek lifestyle. Hide inside them and experience with all your senses the colors, scents and flavors that the Greek soil offers so generously.
Local Recipes Lavish Memorable Taste Experiences
Spenzofai with Sausage
Spenzofai is a dish prepared in the pan, not in the casserole. Spenza means green pepper.
- 1kg peppers, well washed, cut in two, no seeds (Optional: one hot green pepper)
- 1 oblong sliced eggplant
- Local sausage, cut in pieces 1-1 ½cm thick. Never pork sausage.
- 3-4 big ripe tomatoes, grated
- A little black pepper
- ½ small cup of olive oil
- Maybe a little sugar
Place the sausage in the pan on the cut side and fry, first the one side, then the other. Transfer on the plate on a tissue paper if we want the food a little lighter. Add olive oil in the pan and fry the green peppers and the eggplants on both sides, just like the sausage. Salt lightly and transfer on a plate and place tomatoes in the pan along with the hot pepper. When it starts boiling, add salt, pepper and a little sugar if the sauce is too sour for your taste. Soon after add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and cook till it’s ready.
Wild Greens with Eggs
This is a traditional Pelion recipe that combines aromas of Greek nature, amazing greens that only this region produces and fresh eggs! You have to taste it!
- 1kg wild greens
- Well chosen and washed or ¾ spinach mixes with white beet cut in pieces
- 2 large grated onions
- 2 big red ripe grated tomatoes or 2 tablespoonfuls tomato paste
- 2-4 sliced green peppers without any seeds or red dried peppers
- 1 tea cup parsley
- 4-5 eggs
- Salt, pepper
- 1 tea cup olive oil
- 1 tea cup water
In a plot, simmer the onions with half the olive oil till they are slightly colored and add tomatoes. Soon after add the wild greens, peppers, parsley and cook until softened. Add salt and pepper and water stirring once more. When almost cooked add the rest of the olive oil, eggs on top, a little pepper, placing the lid over the pot to bake the eggs.
Eggs with Green Peppers (Strapatsada)
Strapatsada makes the difference! Pure and fresh ingredients are the secret of this recipe! Easy and delicious!
- 1 kg green peppers, sliced without the seeds
- 3 large, ripe, peeled and grated tomatoes
- 4 – 5 eggs
- 1 small teacup olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
Fry the peppers with the olive oil and transfer on a plate. In the same pan, pour the tomatoes and when it starts boiling, add the peppers and the beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well. The food is ready as soon as the eggs are cooked.
Crayfish and Lobster Spaghetti Pasta
Tradition is everything that goes from the one generation to the next as a way of living and Pelion cuisine is part of this tradition. Each generation of people enriches it though with new elements, keeping it alive. Pelion cuisine has also been evolved over the years being the living expression of the people. It is important to mention here two recipes based on the local sea production. Pagasetic gulf provides with the large quantities of crayfish, very delicious. On the east coast of Pelion, opposite North Sporades islands there are plenty of lobsters.
Consequently all villages on the coasts, Aghia Kyriaki Trikeri, Katigiorgis and Trikeri Island prepare and offer the lucky visitor crayfish and lobster pasta, two excellent dishes.
- 1 ½ pack of spaghetti pasta
- 1 kg crayfish or 1 medium size lobster
- 2 big red pepprs
- 4 – 5 big ripe grated tomatoes
- 2 tablespoonful tomato paste
- 4 – 5 big onions
- 4 – 5 big cloves of garlic
- 2 chopped carrots (optional)
- 1 tea cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoonful sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoonful oregano
- Salt and pepper
Put crayfish in a casserole with water covering it and as soon as the water boils, remove it from the heat and drain. Don’t dispose of the water it boiled into. Keep it. If, instead of crayfish, there is lobster, before putting it into boiling water, seal the end of its bowel with a piece of cotton. Drain it as well keeping the filtered water. In a pan, simmer garlic till it’s colored along with the tomato paste. Add grated onions and peppers sliced in small pieces. Add salt, paprika, pepper and oregano and when the mixture in the pan thickens, add tomatoes and a glass of the water where the crayfish or the lobster has been cooked. Add the rest of the olive oil. Soon after add the crayfish and stir well. If there is lobster, this might be a little difficult. Spaghetti: According to package instructions. Use the water from the boiling the crayfish adding more if necessary and some salt. When spaghetti is ready, drain and add 2 tablespoonfuls of olive oil. Finally, serve spaghetti on a big plate putting on top the sauce with crayfish or lobster.
Apple Sweet in Syrup (Firiki)
Spoon sweet is the welcome treat for all the houses up to this day. Thousands of years ago the need of the households to preserve abundant fruit and vegetables of the production, created the idea for the spoon sweets.
- 40 apples (variation firiki of Pelion) of medium size
- 6 glasses of water
- 1 ½ glass of water
- Lemon juice of 2 lemons and some more
Remove the seeds and the stem from the apples with a special toll. Peel them carefully. Put them in a large ball full of water and the lemon juice so as not to get blackened. In a casserole put the water, the sugar and the apples on the heat. When boiling starts, add a little lemon juice and vanilla flavor. Test the syrup before, removing the casserole to be thick enough. When it’s ready, remove from the heat, put a clean cloth on the casserole and the lid on top and leave overnight.