Rhodes, the island of sun and light, whilst having a long history in shipping, is also highly developed in the farming of livestock and agriculture.
The transition of traditional rural cuisine to urban was rapid with the growth of tourism, but the locals do not currently cultivate the land as much as they used to, hence the local production doesn’t suffice to meet all needs.
For hundreds of years, however, Rhodes was self-sufficient. They only used their own products with a great variety in wild greens (horta) but also vegetables, cereals, pulses, olives, cheeses, meat, poultry and seafood.
Their preparation was simple and cooked mainly in clay pots ... with spices and herbs from Mother Earth with a particular tendency to cumin. Thus, the Rhodian gastronomy is based on pure ingredients ideal for a balanced diet.
A visit to any village in Rhodes will allow you to the get a taste from a wide variety of food, the basis of which is crushed wheat. Fried vegetable fritters (pitaroudia), stuffed vine leaves (yaprakia or dolmades), special wedding pasta (koulouria), pies filled with wild greens (hortopites), pies filled with sesame pulp (tahinopites) are just some of the island's traditional dishes, and accompanied by a variety of home-made pasta such as macaroni (macarounes, hilopites) is the base for an excellent meal.
From village to village you will find the same dishes but with a small variation. Other dishes like lamb in caserol (kapama or Pikamas), goat with crushed wheat or chickpeas baked in a wooden oven ... Rouzetia (fried small fish) served with garlic sauce, marinated fish cured with vinegar and rosemary, spinach with rice (spanakorizo), are just some of the food that charm the visitor.
From the Rhodian culture, there are also the sweet delicacies such as Melekouni (sesame with honey health-bar), Xerotigana (fried pastry topped with sesame and pure honey), syrup sweets made from various fruit such as grapes, figs, tomatoes etc, Mosxopoungia (another sweet with sesame and pure honey).
Today, there are over 6000 acres of vineyards on the island. The most famous varieties are Moschato, Athiri, Mandilaria with the right of designation of Origin of Superior Quality (OPAP), and from these varieties White, Rosé, Red, Semi-sweet wines are produced as well as the excellent local Souma.
The visitor deserves to experience and get to know the Rhodian gastronomy which really stands out and the taste of any place is an important element of its culture ...