Some of the island’s delicious products can be found in supermarkets and Greek specialty shops around the world. Others are made purely for local consumption and can be found only on the island.
Thassos has numerous delights to tempt even the least adventurous eater. At the same time, the island offers delicious surprises for even the most seasoned traveller.
By exploring all of the villages and their local tavernas, or by eating with locals who befriend you during your holiday, you will get to know new tastes and aromas that are unique and out of your world.
If you are determined to experience as many of the best local specialities and delicacies that you can, then here are some that you should particularly look for during your holidays.
- Peppered Cabbage
- Stuffed Zuccini Flowers and Sarmadakia
This is mainly a winter dish, consisting of the local variety of pickled cabbage, combined with white beans and flavoured with peppery spices. The tart and spicy flavours combine perfectly with local red wine and this is served in the mountain villages throughout the winter, as a warming and nourishing meal. Thassians.
This is a dish which is served in the spring and the early summer. It can mostly be found in the more sophisticated, elegant restaurants and is enjoyed by visitors who are ”in the know.” It is a dish which comprises local fresh vegetables and spring herbs, combining together to give an absolutely delicious and fresh combination of tastes. Tatarska can contain zucchini, zucchini flowers, sweet, fresh chillies and peppers, local herbs, and local greens. It is a simple dish, whose fresh and local components give it a glorious appearance and it is bursting with flavour. If you do come across this being served in the restaurant, try it and dive straight in, nobody will blame you!
STUFFED ZUCCINI FLOWERS AND SARMADAKIA
The flowers of small courgette plants, quite apart from the fabulous orange colour, can provide the basis for a number of traditional dishes. They are picked early in the morning before the sun rises while they are still open, and then they are stuffed with cheese and eggs, dipped in flour and fried in fresh olive oil. They can also be filled with fresh herbs and rice and served along with Sarmadakia (stuffed grape leaves), which can also be stuffed with rice and herb filling. This is an excellent dish for a light summer lunch, especially when served together along with a cool, fresh yogurt.
Pitarakia are a type of very light fritters made from slices of courgettes. They’re dipped in flour with mint and spices, quickly fried, and then served together with zucchini relish which gives them a delicious and sweet taste. They are an excellent compliment to a glass of retsina or ouzo, but take care not to overdo it!
The locals love producing a strong and tasty alcoholic beverage called “tsipouro”. After the island’s grape harvest at the end of October and the beginning of November, big pots are put to work to produce this traditionally prized drink. Certain flavourings like anise and fruit are added to give a unique mild and fruity flavour. It’s the drink of choice for many of the locals because it’s made of all-natural ingredients and contains no chemicals, making hangovers and other bad side effects virtually non-existent.
Tsipouro resembles ouzo, a traditional drink of Greece familiar to most people. The basic difference between the two is that tsipouro is an all-natural product of distilled grapes, while ouzo is distilled alcohol containing chemicals. The flavour of tsipouro is normally milder and more aromatic than ouzo, but both can be drunk with good company, as long as it’s in good moderation, too!
The drink goes very nicely with a dish of salty appetisers and a variety of salted or smoked seafood. Most tavernas and restaurants serve their very own tsipouro, if requested!
The crystal-clear sea surrounding Thassos is blessed with an abundance of fish and other species that are freshly caught and offered at the island’s tavernas and marketplaces.
Whether it is caught or bought and prepared by you, or ordered at one of the island’s many excellent fish tavernas, you will enjoy some of the most tasty and fresh fish of your life.
Farming has been a part of Thassian life since ancient times. The island’s lush vegetation and pristine environment provides a healthy habitat for herds of goat and lamb.
You can try local goat and lamb specialities in many of the tavernas on the island, especially in the mountain villages of Theologos, Kazaviti, Panagia, and Maries.