DISCOVER THE TRADITIONAL CUISINE OF KEFALONIA
During an holiday in Kefalonia, no one can miss to taste the most famous Greek dishes and some traditional food of the island.
During all day and night the marvelous smell of food that fills the streets will take you for sure into a traditional restaurant, where you will discover an unforgettable Mediterranean cuisine.
The Greek and Kefalonia cuisine is dominated by local products as meat, fish, olive oil, vegetables and cheese that will surprise
you day by day for their quality.
In all Kefalonia island are very important some traditional products as local honey, extra virgin olive oil and sheep yoghurt, but also some local recipes, like “Meat pie” and “Bakaliaros with agliada”, are really excellent.
We also describe the most important traditional dishes and some local recipes.
The Greek cuisine has so many tastes and so many choices that you can really
start and finish your meal only with starters!
Some traditional starters are Melitzanosalada, Taramosalda and Tzatziki that are creams made of eggplants, egg fish and Tzatziki, the most famous, of yoghurt, garlic and cucumber.
Avgolemono is a sauce used with meat and soup and the main ingredients are eggs and lemon.
You can also taste many different small meatballs prepared with potatoes, courgettes, fish and spices, or fried mixed vegetables, or for who love new tastes we recommend stuffed octopus and Dolmadakia (wine lives filled with rice and minced meat).
Finally we suggest you to try the Tyropithakia, a sort of salad pie filled with the traditional Feta cheese.
You can always order a fresh salad as a starter or together with main dishes.
The famous Greek salad (Horiatiki) is prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, Feta cheese, black olives and olive oil.
You can also find many other kinds of salads made with potatoes, tuna, chicken, lettuce, beans or sauerkraut (lakano).
Greek people love meat and in Kefalonia’s restaurants you can find a lot of meat dishes.
Famous all over Greece, you can not miss to try the “Souvlakia” (meat sticks), the Stifado (veal cooked with onions and tomato sauce) and the delicious Giouvetsi (lamb cooked into a large pot with rice).
Traditional dishes prepared with minced meat are the Bifteki (big meat ball filled with cheese, onions and peppers and then grilled), the Mousakas (different layers of potatoes, eggplants and cream) and the Papoutsakia (eggplants cooked in oven and filled with cheese).
A typical recipe of Kefalonia island is the meat pie or in greek Kreatopita which is a baked pastry stuffed with mutton, pork and beef, and the addition of other ingredients: onions, garlic, potatoes, rice, spices and tomato.
Come on, Kefalonia is an island, so... a lot of fish for any age and pocket!
Together with seafood and the classic fresh fish, that could be grilled or cooked, there is a local recipe very appreciated from the inhabitants of Kefalonia.
It is the stockfish or cod with agliada that is a sauce made of boiled potatoes grinded in a mortar with garlic, olive oil and lemon.
The agliada is similar to the mixture of breadcrumbs and garlic known as skordalia used as delicious side dish to fish.
In Kefalonia also the salt cod fritters are very famous.
For those who love to eat fresh fish, the waterfront of Argostoli it's a paradise because in the morning the fishermen dock and sell directly their catch. Shrimp, crab, scallops and all kinds of fish waiting to be weighed and wrapped in a sheet of paper to be sold.
The vegetables are not only served together with main courses, but very often they are the main ingredient of special dishes.
Some very famous and delicious dishes are the imam eggplants (eggplants filled with onions, tomatoes and baked into the oven), the briam (potatoes, eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes cooked in the oven), skordostubi (garlic grinded in a mortar with salt, olive oil and lemon) and stuffed tomatoes and peppers (they’re filled with rice and tomatoes).
A traditional dish of Kefalonia is the bourbourelia which is a bean soup with salt, pepper and olive oil.
They are very popular in Kefalonia the wild herbs that grow abundant: chicory, broccoli, mustard and many other whose name is unknown.
They are boiled or fried and together with a handful of rice they are the filling of tasty pitas.
All over Greece there’s a great production of cheese and in Kefalonia island you have the opportunity to taste most of them.
The most common cheeses that you can find in every restaurant are the Feta cheese (prepared of goat milk and with a hot spicy version), the Manuri (white and tasteful also made of goat milk), the Kefalotiri (a particular hard paste cheese that is ideal to be grated on top of spaghetti) and the Tirokafteri (a traditional soft kind of cheese with pepper; good to be smeared on the bread).
The traditional cheeses of the island are the feta of Kefalonia and its byproducts, the mizithra (cottage cheese) and the pretza.
If you don’t want to seat down in a restaurant, you can taste many kinds of traditional pitas.
The most famous one is called Tiropita, a sort of puff pastry filled with Feta cheese, but are delicious also other pitas filled with spinach, ham and cheese or minced meat.
For those who still don’t know it, the Pita Gyros is a strange kind of sandwich you can find everywhere in Greece!
The "pita gyros" consists of a pita filled with pork or lamb roasted meat, French fries, fresh tomatoes, onions and the Greek sauce called Tzatziki that is a great combination of yoghurt, cucumbers and garlic.
If you give a look into a pastry shop here inKefalonia island you realize that you can find everything you like with cream, chocolate or fruit.
Anyhow if you’re searching something traditional it will be easy to find it, just pay attention when you see a cake with nuts, almonds and cinnamon.
The most famous are the Kataifi and the Baklavà.
There’s also a puff-paste covered with sugar and cinnamon and filled with a special cream named Bougatsa or the Mantolato (typical nougat).
We also suggest you glazed almonds, pasteli (bars made of sesame, almonds and honey), Galaktompoureko (filo pastry filled with custard and syrup), amigdalopita (almond cake), Ravani (honey cake), the incredible karidopita (cake made with walnuts), moustopita (cake with must) and the mizithropita a cheese-based dessert that is reminiscent of some Italian flavors.
COFFEE, WINE AND LIQUEURS
The best way to finish the meal is a Greek coffee. For people from Kefalonia is like a ritual to prepare it.
You must drink it very slowly to allow the coffee to settle down in the bottom of the cup. You can order the Greek coffee bitter (pikros), sweet (metrio) or very sweet (glikò).
Moreover you can always order a Frape (cold coffee with or without milk), a cappuccino or espresso.
Kefalonia has developed so much the culture regarding the wine that today it's able to produce high quality wines like the Robola (white and dry), that is the most famous wine of Kefalonia, the Mavrodafne (red, strong and sweet) and the muscat (sweet and white).
The Robola is a very old grape native of the island.
Certainly it is also cultivated elsewhere in Greece, but it has a taste for the mountainous slopes of Kefalonia; for this reason the official name is "Robola of Kefalonia".
The Robola is round and flowers, fat in the mouth and with a length that evokes a little bit the style of the Chardonnay. This wine is pure and sensual, it is pale yellow, with aromas of citrus and a sweet and spicy taste, it has a freshness very surprising as Kefalonia is subjected to high summer temperatures.
The Mavrodaphne (which means black laurel) is intense, with a beautiful ruby-red colour and a fragrance of black fruits.
The Muscat is a dessert wine made of dried raisin.
Finally we can't forget to mention the Metaxa (local brandy) and the ouzo (the most popular greek liquor) that it's drinked with the starters and has a taste similar to aniseed.