Small, tight, tasty, the delicious Tinos artichokes are cultivated in the valley of Komi near Exomvourgo, and of the 600,000 that constitute harvested every year, the lion’s share goes to feed Athenians.
In recent years, serious efforts have been made to spread their reputation to the rest of Greece; one of these is the artichoke festival at Komi.
In the charming square of this lovely village, under the spreading plane trees, islanders and thousands of visitors gather to celebrate the special characteristics of the local artichoke. At the feast that follows, they consume, according to custom, something in the range of 10,000 artichokes prepared in a variety of ways:
- Artichoke omelette with local potatoes and lard
- Pastitsio with artichokes
- Artichokes stuffed with mincemeat
- ‘Sfougato’, a Greek-style omelette with artichokes, leeks, grated carrots, manouri (fresh white cheese)
- Breaded fried artichokes
- Artichokes au gratin
- Artichokes with peas or broadbeans
- Batter-fried artichokes
- Kid baked with artichokes and yogurt
- Lamb and artichokes with egg-lemon sauce
- Artichokes with salt cod
- Artichokes with octopus
Finally, any remaining artichokes can be pickled and kept all year in brine, vinegar or olive oil.
Of all the recipes one finds on Tinos, the one that I’m most mad about is artichoke pie made with a series of thin slices of bread, layered with thinly sliced artichokes and local grated cheese, mixed with green onions, thyme, pepper and salt and topped with béchamel sauce!
- AddressValley of Komi, Exomvourgo, Tinos