Spoon sweets, jams, patés and marinades
A smiling young woman –indeed her smile never leaves her face – Maria Douvoyianni is the person behind the label “Messiniaki Paradosi” (Messinian Tradition) and its products.
Following family recipes that have passed from mother to daughter for generations, Maria reproduces heirloom products with the finest ingredients the Messinian soil has to offer. However, her main characteristic, apart from that smile, is her unfettered imagination and daring in constantly devising new creations and products as well.
On a visit to Maria’s atelier, we found a huge inventory, more than one hundred codes, and we had to study the fat catalogue of her Messinian goods in order to fully comprehend the breadth of her output at Messinian Tradition.
To start with, Maria separates her products into categories: spoon sweets, jams, patés and marinades, chutneys, condensed juices, sweets and jams with stevia. Among the spoon sweets, we saw plum, sour cherry, carrot, blueberry and orange, as well as unusual combinations such as olives stuffed with almonds and quince with pomegranate. There was also a similarly large range of jams, including blackberry, strawberry, lemon, onion in red wine, tomato with orange peel, orange with white chocolate and lemon . . . .
‘Our family has a large estate where we grow most of the fruit and vegetables ourselves. I also go regularly to the Kalamata farmers’ market to see what the small producers have that we do not. Once I remember sweeping up about 100 kilos of cherries from Taygetos from 5 or 6 stalls. I took them home and made a marvellous batch of cherry spoon sweet’.
And that’s why for Maria – with a little imagination and tweaking – everything the earth yields can be turned into a delicacy. Thank you, Maria, for this important lesson.