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Santorini becomes a gastronomic destination as well

16 January 2013 / 22:01:34  GRReporter
7605 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Sun, summer, blue sea and beautiful sunsets. This is probably the shortest description of one of the most popular Greek islands, Santorini. Every year, it attracts huge numbers of tourists who want to enjoy the unique view of the sun dipping into the azure waters of the largest volcanic caldera in the world, which is repeated every afternoon.

But the island has other resources such as the traditional products that are manufactured only there. Aiming to integrate and systematize the efforts of local hoteliers, restaurateurs and other entrepreneurs involved in tourism, the island municipality has launched a campaign entitled "2013 Year of Gastronomy in Santorini."

During the presentation of the campaign in the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, Santorini’s Mayor Nicholas Zorzos stated that years of work in this area have created the prerequisites for the island to be able to rank among the top gastronomic destinations.

"The island of Santorini was formed after an enormous volcanic explosion in the middle of the Aegean Sea. The soil of the island is volcanic and it cannot hold water. So, the people there grow crops that absorb water through their leaves. The result of all this is their intense flavour.

One of the traditional products is white eggplant. In Greece, it grows only on Santorini. It is sweet and does not have any bitterness.

The other product is capers that grow freely. They are very spicy. They are prepared with vinegar and salt and are added to salads as seasoning. They can also be used for the preparation of sauce for pasta.

Fava beans are cooked with olive oil and onions. The housewives on the island make mashed fava that has a unique taste.

The cherry tomatoes of Santorini are like bonsai plants. Their taste is twice as strong as the taste of ordinary tomatoes.

All this is complemented by 3-4 varietals of superb white wines, the best of them being "Asirtikos," to which the microclimate of Santorini gives a great flavour.

The people on the island have managed to do great things with these simple products. They are part of the identity of Santorini and can support the tourism development of the island, although it does not particularly need it since it is among the 100 most popular destinations in the world," the prominent journalist and chef Ilias Mamalakis told GRReporter.

He talked about the couples from all over the world who yearn to bind their lives on the caldera. "Every year, over 500 weddings take place against the sunset of Santorini." The video of his presentation shows such a romantic wedding and in the end, he wishes the couple happiness and treats them with the traditional products of the island.

According to the mayor of Santorini, the traditional architecture is also something that attracts the interest of tourists. "A series of events associated with the products of Santorini, the geomorphology and history of the island will be running throughout the year. They will involve all the restaurants, wineries, hotels, owners of rented rooms, cultural associations, the municipality," he told GRReporter.

The logo sign of the campaign is the image of the jug from the 17th century BC that was discovered recently in the area of Akrotiri. It depicts a man pouring wine into a container held by another man. According to the archaeology professor and head of excavations Christos Doumas, it is a proof of the place of gastronomy in the ceremonies of the ancient inhabitants of Santorini.

Information about the events of "2013 Year of Gastronomy in Santorini" is available on www.santorini2013.gr

Tags: CompaniesTourismGastronomyTraditional products
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