Sea, sun, sand and fun. And that’s not to mention great food and drink. These are what to expect when you embark on a holiday to Paros.
After all the perfect escapade requires an amalgamation of many factors; and culinary treats are always a non negotiable element of the mix.
Smack in the middle of the Aegean, apart from its stunning beaches, quaint villages and vibrant, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Paros also boasts a distinctly delectable, age old gastronomic tradition: One which is informed by the axioms of seasonality, balance and simplicity; and based on the sun kissed products of the local terrain and the sea’s gifts.
That is why this gorgeous, whitewashed island has been recently emerging as a leading Epicurean destination, amongst those in the know.
So all of you -aspiring or accomplished- foodies, are strongly recommended to base yourselves at the Yria Boutique Hotel and Spa Villas in Paros at beautiful Parasporos bay; enjoy some fun filled -lazy or adrenaline fuelled- days; and savor Paros’ edible wonders at the island’s various tavernas and restaurants, such as the renowned Nefeli at the Yria Villas in Paros.
A not to be missed local delicacies guide by Yria Villas in Paros
Amongst the treats you shouldn’t go without are souma and Parian wine; cappers, local cheeses and traditional recipes such as snails, gouna and chickpea soup. In case this sounds, well… all Greek to you, being ourselves enthusiastic gourmands at the Yria Villas in Paros, we have compiled a list of what above mentioned local delicacies are all about:
Souma: The island’s trademark drink, a clear and potent, typically 50% proof spirit which is made from the pulp of pressed grapes and is produced all over Paros. It’s distillation is a cause of celebration in itself, as locals -and friends- gather around the kazania (cauldrons) every autumn to sample the new produce, taste mouthwatering local tidbits; but also sing and dance to the sound of traditional organs. An integral -very characteristic- part of island life, souma is to be savored as an aperitif or digestif, at the beginning and ending of meals; in feasts and celebrations; in weddings and funerals; as a welcome to friends and strangers. In fact, as you’ll be able to experience first hand, in every occasion of everyday life.
Paros Wines: Hailing from antiquity, favored by climatic conditions and the dry, sandy and clay-like soil, the Parian vineyard dates back to the prosperous early Cycladic Civilization era. Nowadays, Santorini aside, Paros is the only island in the Cyclades which boasts Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) wines. White is produced from the Monemvasia (Malvasia) variety, which was salvaged from the Venetians and red comes from Monemvasia and Mandilaria. Building on age old, traditional techniques, local producers have become increasingly sophisticated over the years and are currently creating some veritable gems which have received international acclaim.
Cappers: Growing out of rocks by the sea, or out of cracks in dry stone walls, courtyards or abandoned buildings, cappers have been a dietary staple throughout the Cyclades since Byzantine times. Whether garnishing salads or enhancing with their distinct aroma and sharp taste many local dishes, these are little, delectable taste bombs, you’ll extensively sample and savor in Aegean cooking.
Parian cheeses: With about 40 different kinds of traditional cheeses in the Cyclades; islanders are determinedly cheese lovers. Parians are no exception. Local varieties include xinomyzithra (soft creamy cheese), an excellent parmesan-like gruyere, oil cheese, brine cheese, toumoumi (salted cheese cooked in goatskin) and mizithra (fresh white cheese). Savored as appetizers, as an accompaniment to meals or incorporated in various local dishes and pies, the cheeses of Paros are nothing short of amazing.
Snails: Once a humble, peasant dish, nowadays a mouthwatering, gourmet delicacy, Karavoles -giant snails– are typically served with a garlicky sauce. They may be also grilled, with red sauce or accompanied with vegetables (courgettes, anise, onions) and a rich lemon and egg sauce. However prepared, they are a palatable treat that will leave you wanting more.
Chickpea soup: Known by many different names throughout the Cyclades, Revithada -i.e slow cooked chickpeas in a traditional clay pot- has retained its ancient title in Paros. Primal and basic, the recipe’s ingredients are nothing but rainwater, sea salt, olive oil, chickpeas, patience and love. With heat they come together, their aromas and tastes seamlessly blending, to produce a unique dish with a slight smokey flavour.
Gouna: Making the best out of their limited, available sources, Parians have since time immemorial have used their potent solar power and salt from the sea, for cooking and preservation purposes. Gouna, another Parian specialty, is nothing but mackerel fish that has been dried under the sun and is served grilled, with a bit of lemon. It is almost impossible to miss this, as you’ll see it in the making in one of the island’s many tavernas.
At the Yria Boutique Hotel and Spa Villas in Paros, indeed we take matters of the palate very seriously. That is why gastronomic offerings are one of our major fortes. Set amidst Idyllic surroundings, the Nefeli Restaurant offers sumptuous Mediterranean dishes and Parian specialties prepared with the freshest locally sourced ingredients, along with select wines from the Parian and international vineyard. For an unforgettably romantic experience, you may savor a private candlelit dinner under the hotel’s pavilion by the pool. For the utmost privacy and luxury, Nefeli’s dishes may be enjoyed from the comfort of your opulent Room, Maisonette, or Suite with room service, or even at Yria’s Ktima Luxury Villa.
After all, plying you with food and drink, bespoke service and glorious facilities, loads of pampering and heartfelt, intuitive hospitality, our aim at the Yria Luxury Villas in Paros is to showcase to the world the manifold wonders of the place we are lucky enough to call home. Don’t hesitate to ask us for tips and ideas -we are more than happy to share our insiders’ intel on how to make the most out of your stay in the delightful island of Paros.