Gastronomic experience of Leros Island

The leading role in your gastronomic experience of Leros will be the island’s housewives, in the cafés and the taverns, where the tastiest and simplest food is served. The island’s culinary feast is based on regional products, fresh fish, various pies, patties and tartes, the delicious local myzithra cheese and thyme honey.

In Leros, the vitality of authentic and simple cuisine is dominant everywhere. The journey into the island’s cuisine, beyond the clichés of mass tourism, is as fascinating as the island’s architecture, serene landscape and the warm hospitality of its inhabitants, who welcome you, with an intensely earthly and simple code of communication. You will not find “five star” restaurants, nor taverns full of hundreds of tourists, here.

Leros, the island surrounded by the enticing blue waters and sand rich seas, has a particular tradition in fish dishes. Its waters are truly rich with a variety of different species of fish and shellfish, providing the Lerian housewife with numerous possibilities for her culinary choices of the day. Consequently, Traditional fish dishes are characterized by many and unique variations. You can enjoy fresh fish at Panteli, Xerokambos and Mplefoutis with a view to the sea.

Although Leros is one of the islands where fish and seafood are in abundance and an important part a household’s daily meals, this does not mean that meat is entirely absent from the local menu. It enhances the list of many tasty, traditional recipes. Pork, beef, lamb, chicken and other meat products are directly linked to the great celebrations and festive occasions. Meat is cooked in every home, when marking an important event or success in one’s life. At Lakki, Alinta and other parts of Leros you will enjoy delicious meat dishes.

On the island, the women indeed know how to charm with their cooking and their vegetable dishes cooked with generous doses of olive oil, rich in nutrition. All kinds of vegetables from nature’s bounty like fresh beans, okra and aubergines are the basic ingredients of a surely successful gastronomic delight.

Even today, in most areas throughout Greece, the classic treat for welcoming a guest is the traditional Greek sweet, spoon delicacy. On the island you will be offered caramelized quince, bitter orange rind, small aubergines and the other hand-made syrupy delights.

A wedding celebration for the Lerian family is a very unique and important event which demands particular preparations and presentation. For this reason, Lerians put in a lot of hard work into the preparation of the pastries and sweets that will be served to guests and locals alike. This is a happy contribution to the festive celebration and event. Thin layered turnovers, “pougia or pouches and “soumada a drink refreshment”, “amigdalota or almond biscuits or macaroons all add a particular tone to the marital feast. The primary ingredients of these sweets are honey, icing sugar and syrup. Metaphorically speaking, pure, sweet wishes accompany the newly-wed couple.

Ask for the popular macaroon biscuits at any one of Leros’ pastry shops. In the picturesque traditional villages, the simplest, well-made food is served in the wonderful tavernas by the sea or others located further inland. The dynamics of taste and the secret to the local cuisine is in the use of fresh, local ingredients. Examples of such delicacies are the irresistible, home-made myzithra cheese, any one of the delicious fish recipes and the tasty home-made pies. Most certainly, you must try the “koukouvades,” a sweet bread adorned with a red egg which is baked only at Easter time, fish marinated in rosemary and small, individual pies with “fava” which is split green peas.

A tantalizing dessert choice would be the wonderful taste experience found in “laggites”, “pastavouropita” and any kind of dessert pouches or “pouggakia”. Don’t pass up the opportunity to quench your thirst with a glass of “soumada” and a final touch is to refresh yourselves by tasting a tropical fruit called “gavafes” which is harvested in autumn and found only on Leros.