Local products and local cuisine gives a place an identity. The products of the island of Rhodes are unique products with special characteristics.
The most famous and most common product of Rhodes is “melekouni” , a dessert that is traditionally offered in weddings. According to local tradition, the abundance of sesame seeds symbolizes fertility, while the honey represents the union between the couple. It is truly a dessert full of vitamins and nutritional elements. it is made of sesame seeds , honey , cinnamon, almonds and orange juice.
The best vines grow at an altitude of 650-700 meters. The vineyards are low-yield and are exposed to the Aegean’s strong northerly winds that moderate the high temperatures and provide a favorable climate for high-quality grapes. The island’s main varieties are Athiri and Amorgiano, together with two Muscats, the petits grains (“small-berried”) and the Di Trani, a clone of Muscat introduced by the Italians from Puglia, that grow In the limestone-rich soil of Attavyros.
Rhodes Olive Oil and Olives:
Rhodes has 2 varieties of olive trees , Koroneiki and Ladolia. The extra virgin olive oil is produced from the Koroneiki variety of olive trees in the area of Kalamonas Rhodes , with special care throughout the production, from cultivation and pruning, to storage. Olives are harvested every year in the early November and transported into plastic crates to the mill. Cold extraction takes place on the harvest day in order to maintain all organoleptic features and nutritional characteristics of fruit. The oil is distinguished by its fruity character and the delicate taste which is balanced between bitter and spicy. Olives from Koroneiki variety is used only for the production of olive oil , mostly because the olives are too small . On the contrary Ladolia variety is mostly used for eating and when they have this dark brown colour and wrinkled surface , they are ready to taste.
Anise (ouzo) with coffee:
As the name suggests, Ouzo with Coffee is a mixture of ouzo and coffee liqueur. In the first moment, this may seem quite strange, but once you have tasted it, you know it tastes extremely delicious. Coffee liqueur removes a bit of ouzo “sharpness” and thus the drink becomes very interesting and full of flavor. Each sip of ouzo with coffee liqueur is an unforgettable taste experience. A genuine liqueur from Rhodes to drink as an aperitif or as an iced shot.
In Rhodes we produce honey of excellent quality in different varieties such as flowers, pine, conifers, thyme etc. The vegetation of the island is wild and self-seeded. Over 400 bee plants have been recorded. All mountains are full of herbs, wildflowers and coniferous trees such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, heather, pine etc. All these offer honey a high nutritional value and excellent taste. Rhodes has an excellent climate and long-lasting sunshine period (Island of the Sun). It is therefore ideal place for bees to work.
Rhodes is famous for the “Askadia”, dried figs that are boiled in a cauldron of water with various aromatic branches, ascik, alfalfa, myrtle, walnut, laurel, which will add aroma. Then leave them in the sun for a few days to dry and eat them in the winter with nuts or neat. Askadia are made from very mature figs that wither and fall from the tree. Then they are baked in the oven as well, but we take care not to overcook them because they harden when they cool down. Most famous in Rhodes are “Pastelaries”. These are large and soft dry figs with roasted sesame and cinnamon. They are baked in a moderate oven and, as they are hot, they are stacked in a tin box or plastic box, with myrtle or alfalfa leaves.
Traditional painted plates of Rhodes:
Another tradition of Rhodes that is connected to a traditional marriage of the local community is the colorful ceramic plates that tend to decorate the walls of the just-married couple. It is a symbol of heritage that passes from generation to generation and you will find it mostly in the small traditional villages of Rhodes. The decoration on the plates mostly are inspired by colorful Islamic herbal motifs, with tulips, carnations, a bouquet of flowers, but also other representations of various types of boats and pictures of animals and birds and even mythological monsters.