Discover the local products of Zakynthos!
Zakynthos (Zante) is very fertile and produces a great variety of agricultural goods. The island is particularly famous for its olive oil and wines, yet there is a plethora of products and recipes visitors are recommended to try during their stay.
Mantolato is a sweet found in all Ionian Islands because of its association with the Venetians, yet the one from Zakynthos is chewier. Its name originates from the Italian word for almond - mortorla. It is made with sugar, honey, egg whites and almonds and is mainly eaten during the Carnival. Even though the traditional recipe is with almonds, several nuts are added to the sweet nowadays.
Large areas on the island are used for the cultivation of black raisins. Those have been a major source of income for local farms for decades, as they are widely used in Greece not only as food but also for the manufacture of alcohol.
Ladotiri (oil cheese) is a hard spicy cheese made from goat's and sheep's milk. It is called oil cheese because it has to be left for a long period of time inside containers with olive oil in order to get its unique taste.
The island of Zakynthos consists of large areas of vineyards for the production of many different types of wine. The most famous wines are the white Verdea and the red Avgoustiatis.
Fitoura is another traditional sweet made with semolina. It is usually served on special occasions (weddings and religious feasts) with lots of sugar and cinnamon.
Zakynthos is home to numerous olive trees; thus, olive oil is one of the island's main products.
There are a lot of similarities between the food in Zakynthos and the food in the other Ionian Islands but the island has its own specialties. Some of the tastiest local recipes include rabbit stew, melitzana skordostoumbi (eggplants in garlic sauce), tsilipourdo (traditional Easter soup with lamb) and sofigadoura (yahni with potatoes and/or other vegetables).