As the locals have tended to seek their livelihoods at sea, there is no shortage of fresh fish and seafood prepared in various ways: boiled, baked, fried, or grilled over charcoal, drizzled with a simple sauce of olive oil and lemon. Particularly cherished is Kakavia, traditionally the “fisherman’s soup”, made by combining various kinds of fish or parts of fish, with tomatoes and plenty of egg-lemon sauce.
Pork also reigns supreme in Cycladic cuisine, tracing its roots to the ancient tradition of annual pig slaughtering. In the absence of refrigeration, every part of the animal was utilized, resulting in a bounty of sausages and cured louza ham.
Sheep and goats grazing on the rocky, arid lands offer their milk for tantalizing cheeses. From mild mizithra to sharp xynomizithra, beloved graviera, and flavorsome San Michali, these cheeses also serve as inspiration for delightful pies, both sweet and savory, taking on unique styles across the islands.
And while the Cyclades are predominantly arid, green exceptions emerge where natural springs foster crop farming. Indulge in must-try ambelofasoula beans, boiled into a refreshing salad, relish chickpeas that are slow-cooked in a clay pot for revithada soup, and savor the velvety yellow fava, skillfully crafted from split peas, and crowned with caramelized onions and capers.