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Island Cuisine - Ios

The island cuisine includes a variety of dishes and pastries made of local products (wheat, barley, pulses, vegetables and dairy products):

  •  Tsimetia - Pumpkin flower stuffed with rice
  •  Matsi – handmade traditional Greek type of pasta
  •  Mermitzeli – handmade pasta (it is called "small barley weed” because of its shape)
  •  Sougli - small pancakes made of flour, water and olive oil
  •  Aranto and Tsiaride – type of sougli (small pancake)
  •  Mazali – type of cream for children and old people
    are some of the typical dishes.

The meat soup accompanied with pasta, chic-peas or potatoes was always part of great Christian celebrations, feasts, engagement parties and weddings.

Furthermore, tzares (clay pots with olive oil), kioupia (tuck boxes) with smocked meat or figs, cheese in salamoura (brine) and olives were the main products found in every house.


Ios local pastries and sweets

There was also a variety of local pastries and sweets. Sarpi is thickened milk offered at weddings as a dessert.
Pastelia (mixture of sesame and honey – very hard to chew) is a traditional sweet that accompanied all great Christian celebrations and weddings, engagements or christenings.

Kalasounia or kaltsounia are pies made of flaky pastry, mizithra (skim-milk cheese), honey and cinnamon.

Mosenta or watermelon pie is made of watermelon juice, flour, sugar, sesame, honey and cinnamon. The watermelon sweet is made of small pieces of watermelon rinds with honey, cinnamon and gillyflower clove.

The so called peltes was just quince juice. 

Pumpkin pie: small pieces of pumpkin with flaky pastry, sugar and honey.

Other pastries were melitinia and avgokalamara made of plain dough.
Xirotigana that were made like avgokalamara but with the addition of milk and egg, tortoletia and finikia were some other kinds of pastries.


After the wedding ceremony the married couple accompanied by a group of people playing music, would go to the bride's house where her mother would offer them a spoon of honey in order their life together to be "as sweet as honey". The family was also offering pastelia, avgokalamara, xerotigana, melitinia, kalasounia and tsikoudia (drink that tastes like ouzo).

The main course of wedding celebration was boiled meat accompanied with potatoes, pasta or chick-peas. Wine or tsikoudia were the main drinks offered during the celebration. At the end of the celebration they would offer sarpi - cream made of milk in which women added yeast to make it thicker.

Food and pasties were usually made in large mess pots and the two families shared all wedding expenses.



Fragkoulis D., “Island Communities, Images of the past and the present”, published by: Ellinika Grammata, Athens 2002.


Traditional Island's Recipes

  • Chick-pea balls


  • ½ kilo chick-peas
  • Parsley (according to your taste)
  • Celery (according to your taste)
  • Mint (according to your taste)
  • 2 onions
  • ½ kilo flour (self rising)
  • Salt-Pepper

Leave the chick-peas in the water for at least 8 hours until soft. Strain them and squash them in a blender. Mix the squashed chick-peas with the flavorings, chopped onions, flour, salt and pepper and add as much water as the mixture needs. Cover the mixture with a towel and leave for few minutes until it rises. Fry in hot oil pouring the mixture with a table spoon. Cook the balls from both sides.

  • Scad Bourgeto


  • Scads
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • Fresh tomato (chopped)
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt-Pepper

(All ingredients according to your taste)

Fry the onion in a pan with olive oil until brown. Add the tomato, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir. Add the fish and cook from both sides. Serve them in the sauce.
(You can replace scads with other smaller fish perfect for the size of the pan).

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