Chios, also called the fragrant island, is putting its spells on every traveller with the aromas of mastic and citrus trees.
Born and bred Chian I can’t tell the traditional Chios food since the island’s cuisine was influenced by its occupants.
However, the local cuisine is heavily influenced by Izmir and me, personally, believe that everything made by a Yaya smells like an authentic Greek dish.
For me, that dish would be the local handmade pasta with rooster cooked in wine. Every Sunday we visited my Yaya in the village, and I remember her sitting next to the fireplace where she would leave the homemade pasta to dry.
The pasta is called “herissia” or “spartou”. Spartos is the twig on which the pasta is rounded and takes its characteristic shape with a hole in the middle for a better boiling. When the pasta dried, she boiled them in salted water and served them with a rooster which cooked in red wine, cinnamon, allspice, and fresh tomato for many hours. Oh, that smell filled us with impatience to eat!
Chios Cooking Class
Sunday’s lunch star was always the rooster with the past, the homemade bread and the handpicked fried potatoes. When the table was set, and my Yaya would sit it would be the signal for the meal to start. Every Sunday meal finished with sweetened fruits or tyritompa, a cookie with a loukoumi in the middle and sand-roasted Greek coffee.
When I think of Chios gastronomy, I smell the Mastic, the citrus fruits and my Yaya’s favourite dish.
A Chios food from the Traditional Recipes book was published in 1998
1 kg flour
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon salt
1 spartos twig
Put the flour, oil and salt in a pan.
Pour warm water and mix until the dough becomes tight.
Cut the dough in small balls and take a long spartou twig.
Rub the dough around the sparto and then remove the sparto. The past with the hole is left ready!
Spread, cover and let them to dry.
Cook them in boiled salted water.
Serve them with fresh tomato sauce and grated goat cheese.