Ano Meria Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Discover Ano Meria's unique cuisine, top local dishes, notable restaurants, and authentic recipes. Explore flavors today!

Ano Meria Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Ano Meria Cuisine: Local Dishes, Restaurants, and Recipes

Nestled in the rugged landscape of Folegandros Island in Greece, Ano Meria offers a culinary experience that captures the essence of Cycladic cuisine. The region is known for its traditional dishes, which are deeply rooted in the island's history and culture. This comprehensive guide will take you on a gastronomical journey through Ano Meria, detailing the local dishes, highlighting famous restaurants, sharing authentic recipes, and uncovering fascinating anecdotes and facts about the local cuisine.

The Essence of Ano Meria Cuisine

Ano Meria's cuisine is characterized by simple, fresh, and flavorful ingredients. The local dishes reflect the island's agricultural heritage, with a strong emphasis on seasonal produce, fresh seafood, and homemade staples. Herbs such as oregano, rosemary, and thyme are ubiquitous, adding aromatic flavors to the dishes. Olive oil, another cornerstone of the cuisine, is often produced locally and used generously in cooking and garnishing.

Local Dishes

Here are some traditional dishes that you should definitely try when in Ano Meria:


A sweet treat, Melopita is a honey pie made with a creamy cheese filling flavored with local honey and cinnamon. This dessert is often enjoyed during festive occasions and is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.


One of the more adventurous dishes, Karavoli is snails cooked in a savory tomato sauce, enriched with garlic, herbs, and wine. This dish is a true testament to the resourcefulness of the island's inhabitants.


Matsata is a traditional pasta dish of Folegandros, typically served with a rich and hearty tomato sauce, often accompanied by beef, goat, or chicken. This homemade pasta is known for its firm texture and is often a staple in local households.


This iconic dish is similar to ratatouille and is made using a medley of vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and onions, all slow-cooked in rich olive oil. Soufiko is a vegetarian delight that captures the essence of Mediterranean flavors.

Historical Context

The cuisine of Ano Meria is heavily influenced by its geographical isolation and agricultural practices. Historically, the inhabitants relied on farming, fishing, and livestock for their sustenance. The simplicity and resourcefulness of the people are reflected in their cooking methods, which emphasize the use of limited ingredients to create flavorful dishes. Traditional cooking techniques, such as slow-cooking and baking in wood-fired ovens, are still prevalent, preserving the authentic flavors of the island.

Famous Restaurants

1. To Spitiko

Address: Ano Meria, Folegandros 840 11, Greece

Known for its cozy atmosphere and homemade dishes, To Spitiko offers a true taste of Ano Meria's culinary heritage. The restaurant’s friendly staff and traditional décor make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

2. Irini’s Taverna

Address: Ano Meria, Folegandros 840 11, Greece

Irini’s Taverna is renowned for its fresh seafood and picturesque views of the Aegean Sea. The menu features a variety of grilled fish, marinated octopus, and other seafood delights, prepared with local ingredients.

3. Petrino

Address: Ano Meria, Folegandros 840 11, Greece

Petrino is a family-run taverna offering a range of traditional Folegandros dishes. The outdoor seating area provides a charming setting for enjoying meals made with love and care.

Traditional Recipes

Soufiko Recipe

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 eggplants, diced
    • 2 zucchinis, sliced
    • 3 tomatoes, chopped
    • 2 green peppers, sliced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Instructions:
    1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
    2. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent.
    3. Add the eggplants, zucchinis, green peppers, and tomatoes to the pot.
    4. Season with salt, pepper, oregano, and thyme.
    5. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the mixture simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
    6. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley if desired.

Melopita Recipe

  • Ingredients:
    • For the crust:
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup ice water
      • Pinch of salt
    • For the filling:
      • 2 cups ricotta cheese
      • 3/4 cup honey
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Instructions:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2. To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the chilled butter and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    3. Gradually add the ice water, mixing until the dough comes together.
    4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and press it into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim any excess dough and refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
    5. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, honey, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and lemon zest until smooth.
    6. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread it evenly.
    7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
    8. Let the pie cool before serving. Drizzle additional honey on top if desired.

Local Anecdotes and Interesting Facts

Ano Meria is not just about delicious food; it's also about the stories behind the dishes and the people who make them. Here are some local anecdotes and interesting facts to enrich your culinary adventure:

  • The local tradition of making Matsata pasta dates back centuries. It is said that the recipe is passed down from generation to generation, with each family adding their unique touch to the dish.
  • Despite its small size, Ano Meria has a vibrant agricultural community. Many families grow their own vegetables and raise livestock, ensuring that the ingredients used in their dishes are fresh and organically sourced.
  • Olive oil production is a significant part of the island's economy. Many households cultivate their own olive trees and produce high-quality olive oil, which they use in their cooking and even sell to visitors.
  • The island celebrates various food festivals throughout the year, where locals and tourists can enjoy traditional dishes, participate in cooking demonstrations, and learn more about the island's culinary heritage.
  • One of the most beloved customs in Ano Meria is the communal meal. During special occasions, families and friends gather to share a meal, often featuring a wide array of local dishes. This tradition emphasizes the importance of food in bringing people together.

As you explore Ano Meria, you'll find that the local cuisine is not just about satisfying hunger; it's about experiencing the cultural richness and hospitality of the island's people through their food.