During your visit to Mani do not miss trying the local traditional products distinguished for both their fine taste and their excellent quality.
The cuisine of Mani enjoys a privileged position in the preferences of locals and visitors due to the variety and quality of materials, the wise and beneficial combinations and the centuries-long knowledge.
Creative cooks and chefs, working with local products on traditional recipes, will impress you with their culinary talent and their imaginative yet simple, everyday dishes of Mani will be one of the highlights of your travel.
In Mani, except for meat and fresh fish, you can also try home made products such as syglino, sausages, thyme and floral honey of excellent quality, taste and aroma, also rusks, noodles, “trachana” (a sort of buttery pasta), salt, cheese, caper, folds, sesame nougat, traditional pies and excellent ouzo. Do not forget to taste the local spoon sweets.
All of these foods can be found in every local home and can be bought at shops selling traditional products.
Traditional Recipe Index
cock in red sauce: a typical dish of Mani, usually prepared on Sundays and special days, accompanied with thick spaghetti with a hole running through the centre and local “myzithra” cheese.
diples (folds): made with fluffy dough (flour and egg), honey, cinnamon and thickly ground nuts, they are favourite treats for parties, weddings and births as they symbolize joy and abundance.
galopita (milk pie): a sweet pie with milk, flour and eggs, flavoured with lots of cinnamon, usually made at Easter time.
kagianas: a quick and easy dish with fresh tomatoes to which we add beaten eggs and feta cheese. Sausage or syglino are usually added too.
kremmydes: a wild weed found in just one village, Drys. Its leaf looks like the leaf of fresh garlic and smells and tastes like onion, which is where it takes its name from (kremmydes means onion-like weed). They make pies and mini pies with it. Try the “kremmydopitaria”(kremmydes pies) at Drys.
lalagia or tiganides: fried dough, in the past, customarily prepared twice a year, at Christmas and Epiphany. Today you can find them almost everywhere. Their neutral taste makes them possible to combine with salty crushed feta cheese or dry myzithra cheese or with jams and honey.
Marathia: Fennel and dill, herbs predominantly used in Mani, as they are called in Areopolis.
omaties or maties: stuffed pork intestine and chopped pork entrails with rice, browned wild weeds, garlic and onion.
paspala: cream made of flour, prepared with browned entrails and lard.
pitarakia: pieces of pastry sheet fried in olive oil, they are the well known “travihtes” (pulled at the edged) traditional fried pies that got their name from the pulling of the edges of the dough when they are dropped in the pan. They are made with bread dough.
quail: salted, a favourite delicacy, in the past, kept in glyna for up to two years, cooked in a pie. They were caught at the bay of Prosiliaki Mani, Porto Kagio, and they were prepared with red sauce and rice or trahana, a buttery pasta. They used their entrails to prepare “paspala”. In Mesa Mani, people made a pie of unique inspiration with quail, tomato, onion and homemade pastry sheet, called kouzouni. Thrushes were boiled or baked with orange juice.
sarakiniko: “sgouros”, “hristagatho”, sow-thristle, “kafkalithres”, “gotzinnes”, “skatziki”, “agrioprasa”, onions etc. are the weeds used by the women in Mani to prepare weed pies, mini pies and “lachanorizo”, weeds with rice. “Agrioprasa” are cooked with meat, while legumes and especially beans are stewed with tomato, onion and “kafkalithres”.
spaghetti “tsouchti”: handmade thick spaghetti with a hole running through the centre, mixed with dry myzithra cheese browned in olive oil, served with a fried egg.
syglino: salted syglino is consumed uncooked as a delicacy, or it is cooked with vegetables in oil, with “Kagianas”, with eggs or with “trahanas”. It is usually fried in a pan, in a little of its fat or in oil, cut into pieces.
tyropita (cheese pie): pie made with homemade pastry sheet, fresh cheese and dill. It is customarily prepared mainly for Easter.
fricassee (pork with celery): a traditional dish customarily prepared for Christmas with pieces of the shoulder of domestic pigs, a custom still alive today.
A recipe with “syglino” and quinces.
Syglino with quinces “giahni” (prepared with tomato and browned onions)