Despite its small size and cosmopolitan character, Lefkada boasts an amazing variety of delicious local products that grow on the ground of the island. Lefkas has always had its local history and since until the 60’s the island was partially remote from the rest of the mainland, the need for autonomy and self-sufficiency has been of critical importance. Following this principle, the central town had different culinary traditions from the various villages that were scattered across the surface. Town inhabitants were mostly employed with fishing while villagers cultivated their own land and were subsequently more self-sufficient.
During the old years and even today, the landscape of the island has been very stony and it prohibits mechanical interference with the ground which means that vegetable growing has not been extensive. One of the major production goods is olive oil which is virgin and accounts for the 50% of the island’s agricultural wealth. Lefkas also produces exquisite wine, the best of which is Bertzami. Lefkas also produces citrus and excellent honey. Many producers also make tasty liqueurs out of mint, rosoli and rose and naturally the most famous soumada, made of almond.
Lefkas also has the famous lentils that are locally cultivated and cooked in a stew with garlic and rosemary.
Although very inspired by the Greek way of living and the insular landscape, the cuisine of Lefkada has retained a lot of Venetian characteristics because of its long history under the Venetian rule. Meat and fish dishes dominate the cuisine while many specialties are available. Spicy sausages and fish cooked with garlic and rosemary are some of the most mouth-watering recipes. Fish lovers will definitely fall in love with the fish recipes that are so popular among the locals. Also, the Lefkadians have long traditions on pies some of which are ladopita, the pie made of olive oil, rice pie made with rice or even pasta pie which are some of the nicest Lefkadian recipes.
However, don’t you think that original Greek recipes are absent since mousakas, tzatziki, souvlaki and Greek salad, namely the most favorable dishes can be found in almost all restaurants. In Lefkas you will also find more delicacies including the Lefkadian salami with the distinct aftertaste of garlic and the peppercorns, the famous hard “kefalotyri” cheese and of course feta. Cheeses can be very nicely combined in delicious salads while salami is an excellent side dish for your favorite ouzo.
For those having a sweet tooth, “petimezi” (syrup from grape juice) and “soutzouki” (nuts covered in cream), as well as “sykomaghida” (dried figs with almonds and spices) are excellent choices. Moreover, in local patisseries downtown you will find famous sweets like “baklava”, “kadaifi” and kok while the original Greek invention of “pasteli” and “mandolato” await you in all corner shops and supermarkets.
Finally, when it comes to snacking, you can always have boiled crabs full of eggs or roasted corn with a pinch of salt on top.
No matter what your tastes are, whether you love fish or not, Lefkas has endless mouth-watering options that are certainly about to satisfy even the most demanding palates.