In the main town fresh fruit and vegetables go on sale every day in the open air municipal farmers market at Pallada, between the new and old harbour of Tinos island. The local products that you’re likely to find at the Municipal Market of Tinos, depending on the season, are artichokes – wild and cultivated, that are cooked in dozens of ways – sundried tomatoes, capers, prickly pears, samphire, wild herbs like dittany, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, camomile and fresh local cheeses that have just come out of the dairy.
From autumn to spring, wild mushrooms (two types of oyster mushrooms) may also join them, as well as many different types of greens.
From spring time until late autumn, garden veg predominate – green beans, broad beans, radishes, carrots, leeks, courgettes, black-eyed peas, followed by tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, peppers, and such fruits as melons, watermelons, grapes and many types of figs.
At the stands of the producers/vendors who shout their wares, in one corner you’ll also come across capers, newly picked and lightly salted, spread out on large trays. They are used in a delicious salad of black-eyed peas or Tinos chickpeas, which are distinguished by their microscopic size. Or you may be taken by little bottles of petimezi, grape-must molasses, which the islanders turn into a piquant sweet and sour sauce called ‘savori’ that they sprinkle on small fried fish and artichokes preserved in olive oil, and jars of Tinos thyme honey. Other delicacies include sun-dried figs and oven-dried figs (the latter sometimes sprinkled with sesame seeds and seasoned with bay leaf, or split and stuffed with a walnut half. But the stars of the show are the garlands of dried tomatoes that hang from the stands and fill the market with their bright red colour.
A stroll through the Municipal Market of Tinos is really worth doing, especially just before you leave the island because you may be enticed to shop and take some of these treats as souvenirs back with you, thus prolonging that ‘taste of the island’.
- AddressTinos Town