Karpathian gastronomy is characterized by a delightful blend of traditional Greek dishes mixed with its own unique flavors and influences.

Karpathos' signature dishes

Karpathos Island offers a range of local specialties and delightful sweets that you absolutely must try if you find yourself spending your holiday here. Some of the most popular items include makarounes, psilokouloura and Karpathian bread among others.

Makarounes are a type of handmade pasta that is a beloved dish on the island. The pasta is typically prepared by mixing flour and water to form a dough, which is then hand-rolled and cut into small pieces. It is usually served with a flavorful tomato-based sauce and sprinkled with grated cheese.

Psilokouloura are traditional bread rings that are baked until golden and crispy. They are typically sprinkled with sesame seeds, giving them a nutty flavor and a delightful crunch. Psilokouloura are enjoyed as a snack or served alongside dips and spreads.

Local Seafood

Given its island location, seafood is a staple of Karpathian cuisine, offering a rich variety of traditional dishes that showcase the island’s fresh and flavorful ingredients. 

Freshly caught fish and seafood, such as octopus, squid, and shrimp, are often prepared simply and grilled or fried to highlight their natural flavors. Popular seafood dishes include grilled octopus, marinated anchovies (gavros), and stuffed calamari (kalamaria gemista). In addition, Psarosoupa is a classic Greek fish soup that is commonly enjoyed on Karpathos. It is made with various types of fish, such as cod, hake, or grouper, along with onions, tomatoes, potatoes, and herbs. It is a comforting and hearty soup, often served with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Local Meats

Karpathos is known for its high-quality lamb meat, which is often slow-cooked or roasted to perfection. Karpathian lamb dishes, such as lamb chops or roasted leg of lamb, are flavorful and tender, often seasoned with local herbs and spices.

Goat is another meat that has been and continues to be very popular on the island is goat meat. Most religious festivals on the island feature traditionally cooked goat with rice pilaf.

Karpathian sausages are a local specialty made with a blend of ground pork, spices and herbs. They are typically seasoned with garlic, fennel seeds, and black pepper, giving them a distinctive flavor. Karpathian sausages are often grilled or pan-fried and served with a slide salad or vegetables.

Karpathian Cheeses

Karpathos Island in Greece is known for its unique and delicious cheeses, which are an integral part of the island’s culinary heritage. Here are some notable Karpathian cheeses you can discover:

Sitaka is a soft, white cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It has a creamy texture and a slightly tangy flavor. Sitaka cheese is often enjoyed fresh, crumbled over salads, or used in traditional Karpathian recipes like pies or omelets.

Mizithra is a soft, fresh cheese made from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It has a mild and slightly sweet flavor. Mizithra cheese is versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, spread on bread, or incorporated into various dishes like pasta, desserts, or pies.

Anthotyro is a fresh cheese made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It has a delicate and creamy texture with a mild flavor. Anthotyro cheese is commonly enjoyed as a table cheese, paired with honey or preserves, or used in baking and dessert recipes.

Traditional deserts

Karpathos Island has a delightful selection of traditional desserts that showcase the island’s culinary heritage. These desserts are often made with local ingredients and carry the flavors of the Mediterranean.

Baklava is a well-known dessert in the Mediterranean region, and Karpathos has its own variation. Karpathian Baklava typically features layers of filo pastry filled with a mixture of nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, and sweetened with honey or syrup. It is baked until golden and crispy, then soaked in a syrup made from honey, lemon, and spices.

Loukoumades are golden, crispy dough balls that are deep-fried and then soaked in a sweet syrup. They are often served warm and drizzled with honey, sprinkled with cinnamon, and sometimes garnished with chopped nuts. Loukoumades are a popular dessert throughout Greece and are enjoyed on Karpathos as well.

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