9 foods you should try in Mykonos
Mainly famous for its beautiful beaches and lively nightlife, the Greek island of Mykonos also promises a tasty culinary journey for those who settle in to its many exceptional restaurants. From internationally acclaimed upscale restaurants and quaint local bakeries, to street vendors and small cafes, Mykonos is a superb place to sample myriads of traditional Greek delicacies and Cycladic dishes.
When looking for food in Mykonos, visitors will find no shortage of traditional and international restaurants in Mykonos Town, as well as plenty of quality food at most beach bars. But if it’s authentic Mykonian cuisine you crave, then exploring the island’s charming villages – particularly Ornois Mykonos, Tourlos and Ano Mera – opens up traditional Greek tavernas serving local delicacies. Which of these delicacies is worth trying?”, one might ask – the answers being as follows.
Sometimes called “Myconian prosciutto”, louza sausages are traditionally made after the island’s annual pig slaughter during a lively festival that takes place each fall. This was the time when Mykonian families slaughtered their pigs which they had fattened up throughout the year. Once the meat has been acquired, the pork tenderloins and tenderloins are left in salt for 24 hours, then rinsed and left to dry in the sun at the start of winter.
After that, the meat is marinated with salt, pepper and other spices, then stuffed into a pig’s intestine to form sausages, which are then left to hang and cure for about 20 to 25 days. Once ripened, the louza can be kept all year round in the freezer until summer without losing any of its freshness. When ready to eat, the end product is incredibly delicious cooked meat served in thin dark slices, finished with savory herbs and lots of pepper.
Popular for its aromatic and spicy taste, kopanisti is a Mykonian cheese that goes well with “mezedes” (Greek tapas) and wine. It is a delicate soft cheese which is the result of a special maturing process – which lasts about two months. During maturation, a fungus develops and the end product is a cheese rich in texture, aroma and irresistible flavor. Kopanisti can be eaten as desired, but is especially fantastic served with bread, tomatoes and wine as a delicious appetizer before enjoying a delicious Greek main course.
You thought kopanisti was the only Mykonian cheese? Think again; the island has two of its own dairy delights – and Ksinotiri is next on the list. This sour, sharp cheese is produced by fermenting and straining buttermilk and is then left out in the sun to firm up – a step that gives it its distinct strong flavor. Like most cheeses, it pairs well with most savory dishes, but ask any local and they’ll probably tell you how great they go with tomatoes, pasta, and bread.
Melopita is a honey pie made with a traditional Mykonos cheese called “tirovolia”, which is made from goat’s, sheep’s or blended milk. The original recipe consists of two crispy sheets of dough, each enveloping a mouth-watering filling of tirovolia, honey and cinnamon. A longtime Mykonian favorite, the sweet treat is usually served in a baking sheet, although it can also be formed into small, individual rolls. Everyone loves melopita so much that it has even become its own flavor of ice cream in Mykonos.
This traditional Greek dessert has a catchy rose aroma and almond taste and is considered one of the healthiest desserts in Mykonos thanks to the almond oil used in the recipe. Other Greek islands have their own versions of Amygdalota, but in Mykonos the delicacy is shaped into an oblong before being cooked – unlike other Cycladic islands. The baking step forms a slightly hard exterior with a nice soft interior to savor with a bite.
Mostra is a quick and easy recipe made with a large barley rusk followed by a spread of kopanisti cheese with a large diced ripe tomato placed on top (sometimes grapes are used instead of tomatoes depending on the season ). The whole plate is then sprinkled with oregano, capers and olive oil. Overall, the spiciness of kopanisti cheese is perfectly harmonized with the sweet flavor of tomato, creating a unique taste and aroma reminiscent of Mykonian cuisine.
3 Sausage from Mykonos
Sausage may seem like one of the less authentic Greek dishes, but Mykonos truly prides itself. Combined with appetizing black-eyed beans called “Kafematika”, Mykonos sausage is a tasty specialty formed exclusively from pork meat and fat.
Unlike other parts of Greece, Mykonos sausage is sun-dried and not smoked. It is sun-dried due to a lack of wood on the island, needed to smoke the meat. The traditional Mykonos sausage also contains spices, salty herbs, salt, pepper and finely chopped oregano. It is not difficult to find these sausages as they are served all over the island in restaurants, street vendors and beach bars. Alternatively, customers can also buy them directly from the butchers who make them – three of the the most famous who make these sausages are Madoupas, Menagias and Markaras.
Kremidopita is a Mykonian onion pie and is commonly associated with Easter. The pie contains a lot of onion, which gives it a tangy taste – but this is balanced by the creamy Tirovolia cheese that often accompanies the dish. For added flavor, other ingredients added to the recipe also include dill and a menu of various spices and herbs.
What also sets Kremidopita apart from other Greek pies is its consistency; unlike most recipes, this one uses just two sheets of thick filo pastry, which are wrapped around the delicious filling. The result? A crispy texture on the outside with a soft and creamy center.
Rafiolia are sweets made of fried dough with orange, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It is quite common for the dough to be filled with Tirovolia cheese, which gives it a slightly tart flavor that pairs deliciously with the sweet taste of honey and orange. Best eaten fresh, this treat is one of the best in Mykonos and is commonly served at hotel breakfast buffets. You can also find savory versions with onion or herbs instead of fruit.
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