This section highlights the characteristic produce of various areas of Greece that represent the whole spectrum of what constitutes food.
Some of these products may be charged with history and symbolism or intertwined with the culture of each place. They may give it its culinary identity, form the basis of the local cuisine and define its gastronomic singularity.
Some of these have become identified with Greek life both in the present and in the recent past, but also in the distant past, stretching back in some cases to Greek mythology. We think of the olive associated with the goddess Athena, wine with Dionysos and wheat with Demetra.
Other foods carry with them a grand history, such as the currants of Corinth, which played a vital role in Greek economy of the 19th century representing 70% of Greek exports and enormous profits for the areas where they were grown and marketed.
Many choice products have been awarded PDO – PGI (Products of Designated Origin or Products of Geographic Indication) by the EU because they are so closely identified with the food ways of specific areas. Some examples are the mastiha of Chios, the saffron of Kozani, the Corfiot kumquat, the apples of Pelion, Aegina’s pistachios, the figs of Kymi (Evia), the graviera cheese of Naxos, Zakynthos nougat, Thessaloniki’s sesame rings…