The flavours of Santorini are the pride of Greece. Take some time to taste and appreciate some of the locally grown produce … there’s nothing else quite like it!
The islands of Santorini, Greece were created by volcanic activity. The volcano – which is still active today – is buried in the sea, but its eruptions created the elements in the soil that are responsible for the growth of many sought-after fruits and vegetables. Even though the last eruption occurred about 3600 years ago, the land is still rich with ash deposits.
There are many varieties of produce grown in Santorini, but a few fruits and vegetables really stand up to the competitors we have come to appreciate in the Americas. When in Santorini, you’ll want to make a point of tasting these exquisite flavours.
You’re not likely to find a caper bush just lying around – they grow along the slopes of the volcanic caldera. Both the leaves and flowers are used in many dishes in Greece, offering a robust, spicy addition to a recipe.
Split peas are the seed of the pod in which they were grown in. They are dried and split (hence the name) and their quick cooking time and simple preparation make them a staple amongst many Greek households and restaurants. Their mild flavour allows them to marry well with a wide variety of ingredients.
The cherry tomato of Santorini provides a perfect example of how the terrain affects the end product. The dry soils cause the tomatoes to develop excess sugars, which are responsible for their sweet taste. While cherry tomatoes are grown and exported from several countries around the world, the Santorini cherry tomato is a breed all its own.
Also referred to as “white aubergine”, the ghost eggplant attributes its color (or lack of) to the ashen soil of the islands. It contains a milder, sweeter flavour than many of the common bitter-tasting purple eggplant. While the seeds of the ghost eggplant may have been brought over from Egypt, the Santorini soil gave it its most unique features.
What would Greece do without its beloved wines? The islands of Santorini produce about 40 different grape varieties used for making wine, or simply enjoying straight off the vine. Since the weather does not cooperate with the vineyards, often the harvest produces low results, but there is never a decrease in quality.
You can try out the flavours of Santorini in many of the dishes served in local restaurants … go forth and discover!