Samian cuisine ingeniously combines local traditions with fresh products and influences from the West and East. The local cuisine focuses on dishes with vegetables, seafood and meat in many interesting variations to suit all tastes. Some typical recipes:
- Pancakes, kneaded with care, sprinkled with goat cheese or honey.
- Lamb wrapped in aubergines, braised in the oven, with tomato sauce and red wine.
- Fresh vine leaves wrapped with rice and dill – the well-known “dolmadakia” (or “giaprakia” as known locally), accompanied by yoghurt
- Chickpea balls with fresh tomato or courgette balls with spearmint and cheese.
- The famous Samian “bourekakia” with handmade filo pastry, stuffed with sweet pumpkin “lyra”, feta cheese and cinnamon flavour.
- Barbecued seafood accompanied by wild mountain herbs, olive oil and lemon sauce.
- Octopus in sweet Samian wine sauce and onions.
- Local goat, stuffed with rice and herbs, baked in a wood-fired oven.
The local delicacies form an ideal accompaniment for award-winning Samian wines with fruity flavours of muscat grape. The Samian ouzo, the “souma” and other spirits are the perfect accompaniments for mezes or simply a refreshing aperitif. The local sweet dishes include sweetened fruit, made with care, and a variety of fruits of the Samian land. Kserotigana (known as “diples” or “katimeria”) sprinkled with grated walnuts and local honey. Mustalevria, a pudding made from muscat grape must with cinnamon and sesame.
Muscat wine, Samos designation of origin, is produced from the grape “Small-berry (Mikrorogo) Muscat of Samos” which is cultivated in terraces, up to an altitude of 900 metres. Its distinctive features are the rich aroma and the full, fruity taste. The Samian wine is renowned since antiquity and mythology mentions that the vine was a present from Dionysus to Samos.15th century travellers refer to wine making as the main processing activity of the island at that time. Since the late 19th century, international markets are supplied with Samian wine, while the Catholic Church obtains it for the Eucharist. Dry and sweet wines produced by the Union of Winemaking Cooperatives of Samos are awarded with dozens of gold prizes and hundreds of distinctions.
Samian Olive oil of exceptional quality stands out for its mellow taste, its clarity and texture.
Honey, with unique flavours, textures and rich aromas, thanks to the various aromatic herbs and trees. Pollen, propolis and royal jelly are also produced.
Ouzo is one of the most famous and traditional distillation products of Samos. It stands out for its special flavour and aroma of anise. Souma is another traditional distillate, similar to raki. It is made using grape marc in traditional family distilleries of mountain villages.
Orchids have been cultivated since 1980 in several varieties, and are exported worldwide.
Herbs & essential oils of superior quality are cultivated on the island and used not only for their beneficial properties, but also in cooking.