If you are a foodie, then you will definitely love tasting the most famous dishes and products that originate from this part of the world. Kefalonia island is a destination that has it all, offering the visitor a myriad and one exciting stimuli. It is a place that beguiles and seduces with its astonishing beaches, quaint fishing villages and picturesque seaside towns, fascinating natural attractions and the verdant landscapes that are home to the livestock that inhabits the island. Did we miss something? Oh yes, and the delicious Kefalonia food. Each one of the dishes you will find here belong to the most famous Kefalonia food which we highly recommend you try during your island visit with a stay at Meliti Waterfront Suites.
Kefalonia food: the local dishes you must try
- Pies – all kinds and all sorts. The staple pie is a fragrant meat pie that includes three different types of minced or finely chopped meats, usually a mix of lamb, pork and beef braised in a tomato sauce with nutmeg and cinnamon. The filling also contains egg, local kefalotyri cheese and rice too, all of which is wrapped in phyllo pastry. Apart from this traditional meat pie, you can also try any other of the pies you come across. Creamy feta cheese pies, pies with loads of greens, others with vegetables such as artichoke, even a cod or an octopus pie which you won’t find anywhere else.
- Cod with ‘aliada’ – If you are not a huge fan of garlic, you might want to give this one a miss. However, those who love garlic will be excited to try this dish. Aliada is a Kefalonian version of ´skordalia᾽, a smooth spread made with garlic and bread. But in Kefalonia, they take it to the next level, using more garlic and substituting bread with potatoes that give aliada even better texture and a more intense flavour. The cured cod is desalinated well before being dipped in a flour batter and then fried.
- Pork with potatoes & quinces – One for those who love the combination of savoury and sweet in a single dish. The quinces are roasted in an orange juice that softens them and enhances their sweetness before being added to roast potatoes. The pork is also added into the pot with a mixture of herbs, spices and condiments while it all roasts in a wooden oven traditionally.
- Bourbourelia – a vegetarian and vegan friendly dish made with an assortment of beans and various legumes that stew in a pot altogether with lots of zingy lemon juice and herbs.
Kefalonia food: the local products you must try
- Cheese – Kefalonia is quite special when it comes to cheese. Starting with the local feta, which locals call barrel cheese, we highly recommend you try it whenever you come across it. In salads, on its own, in pies, in all its variations. It will delight your taste palate. Apart from the white barrel cheese, Kefalonia makes kefalotyri, a hard, white cheese used for grating as well as graviera (the local gruyere), mizithra (a dry, white crumbly cheese) and pretza which is almost like a cheese spread made with soft feta trimmings and dill.
- Wild greens – The various wild greens that grow on the island are handpicked, cleaned, boiled and served with olive oil and a wedge of lemon. Order any kind of wild greens that are available, since they are all high in vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and iron as well as antioxidants.
- Honey – Thyme honey in particular. The island’s shrubbery includes a lot of fragrant thyme that grows in the landscapes. Bees feed on thyme which is abundant, resulting in an incredibly aromatic honey that is simply delicious and packed with nutrients.
- Wine – Wine lovers have three local Kefalonia wines to taste: the white grape variety of Robola which is light and citrusy, the dark red, semi sweet wine called Mavrodaphne (also made in Patras) and the Muscat, the golden hued, dessert wine.
- ‘Mandola’ – Are you a sweet tooth? If so, you will definitely want to try the local almond candy we call mandola or mandoles (plural), where whole almonds are individually coated in sugar and then roasted. The characteristic red colour comes from a local type of seaweed which is traditionally used for food colouring. Mandolato is a nougat bar made of almonds, honey, sugar and meringue. Pastokidono is also another local sweet treat, essentially a hardened quince marmalade-paste to which roasted almonds are added.