Located one breath away from Athens, the Saronic Golf Islands have become a popular holiday destination, mostly for the Athenians. Thus, except for tourism, there are hardly any other professional activities developed and namely in the primary sector. The Sorros dairy farm in Aegina, of a family with a long tradition in meat and dairy products, is a shining exception to this rule.
Nektarios, the father, is responsible for the cattle. Epistimi, the mother, runs the butcher shop that is located next to Aegina’s Fish Market. Recently, a new productive member has been added to the family, Sarantis, the son, who recently graduated from the Dairy School of Ioannina, a city at the north of Greece. Although novice on dairy farming, Sarantis produces traditional Aegina cheeses, such as gkeremezi (a soft cheese with a sour taste) and ladotyri (literally oil cheese), made according to his grandmother’s or local traditional recipes using local milk. The cheeses of Sarantis are in high demand, so now Sarantis is getting the extra milk quantities needed from two young milk producers on the island.
Currently, Sarantis produces at his plant graviera (a cheese with a sweet buttery flavour made from a combination of cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk), ladotyri (a cheese with a peppery and piquant flavour preserved in olive oil for 8 months) and feta cheese. As from Aegina’s traditional cheeses, Sarantis produces the traditional gkeremezi cheese. For producing this soft cheese with a sour taste, the milk is boiled and then placed in cheesecloths (called tsantiles in Greek) where it is left to mature for 4-5 days. The range of the traditional cheeses produced here also includes giaourtotyri (literally yogurt cheese), a cheese made from yogurt, salt and freshly produced feta, as well as tsigara (whey butter).
Quite recently, the Sorros dairy farm started producing also fresh pasta (lasagne, noodles, screw-shaped and barley shaped pasta, pasta made from vegetables, a kind of large pasta called makarounes), all produced using eggs and milk from Aegina.
The Sorros family (the two daughters of the family are now also involved in the family business) is much appreciated by the residents of Aegina. This family really sets an example for Greece.