Food is a distinct chapter in Sifnos. The island has a great gastronomic tradition; you can taste it in every single bite. There’s no wonder why Nikolaos Tselementes, the Greek cook that changed the course of Greek gastronomy, was born here. While Greece is well-known for its cuisine and most of the travellers are interested in tasting traditional dishes, the food in Sifnos has something unique that differentiates it; maybe it’s the way that humble ingredients transform into an explosion of taste.
The majority of traditional dishes are made of simple ingredients (usually fresh seasonal vegetables) and are slowly cooked in a wood oven. Vegetables and legumes are the base of Sifnos food, but there are dishes with fresh fish and meat as well. Of course, the long tradition of Sifnos in pottery has played a significant role in its cuisine, as many ceramic utensils have been used and continue to be used in cooking, undoubtedly positively affecting the final taste of the food. Moreover, in Sifnos travellers and foodies can find cheese, charcuterie and other fresh ingredients of unprecedented taste. Especially the manoura cheese is one of the best things you can try in Sifnos.
If you are planning to visit Sifnos, you should certainly taste “revithada” and “mastelo”, the two most famous main dishes. Also, look for traditional “melopita”, “loli” and almond macarons.
Revithada & Mastelo
“Revithada” is a chickpea soup with onion, garlic and bay leaves, slowly-cooked in a wood oven for 6 hours. Don’t be mistaken from the humble ingredients, its taste will simply blow your mind! The secret lies in the slow cooking and in the utensil used for baking called “skepastaria”. “Revithada” has always been part of the Sunday meal, but nowadays you can find it in almost every restaurant in Sifnos. “Mastelo”, on the other hand, is a festive dish, usually made for the Easter Sunday lunch. It is also slowly-cooked within a utensil called “mastelo” and contains lamb, wine and dill. After 6 hours in the oven, the meat becomes very tender, while the dill and the wine add a very delicate flavour.
Melopita, Loli & Macarons
Generally, the traditional Greek desserts are made with ingredients that can be found in abundance, like honey, milk and eggs. The same happens with Sifnos desserts. “Melopita” is a pie without pastry, made of honey and a fresh cheese with delicate flavour called “anthotiro”. Along with other ingredients, honey and “anhtotiro” create a mixture that is baked in the oven. The taste is absolutely incredible, but at the same time you won’t believe how light this dessert is!
In Greek, “loli” means “crazy”; in Sifnos, if you ask for “loli”, you will get a pumpkin cake with raisins, honey, orange and sesame seeds. The main ingredients are the same, yet every housewife makes this cake in her own way, that’s where this weird name comes from. Finally, there is no chance you visit Sifnos and don’t try “amigdalota”, the greek macarons. They are a very popular dessert, especially in all Greek islands; actually, each island has its own variation. In Sifnos, there are four different variations of “amigdalota”, all of them made with almonds, sugar and citrus zest. This dessert is traditionally offered to guests during weddings and christenings.
How could we complete an article on Sifnos food without mentioning the most special local product? “Manoura gilomeni” is an aged cheese made of goat and mutton milk, that is preserved into red wine sediment. Its appearance usually makes people doubt its taste; imagine a small round piece of cheese with a red and black exterior. However, without a question, it is one of the most luscious cheese you will ever try. Thanks to its acerbic and spicy taste, “manoura” is best accompanied with dried fruit and aged wines, like porto and vinsanto. Can you think of a better gastronomic combination for a summer night by the sea?
BOSTANI BAR & RESTAURANT
Casual fine Greek cuisine
Summer holidays in Sifnos? Get ready to experience the Bostani Bar & Restaurant at the Verina Astra Hotel. Lying at the heart of a garden with fragrant herbs and plants, overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean Sea, the Bostani Bar & Restaurant is the perfect spot to savour fine Greek cuisine with a creative approach to the culinary heritage of Sifnos and the Aegean region.
At Bostani we offer you the opportunity to reconnect with simple, traditional tastes, yet elevated by high-level cooking techniques. Combine it with the summery and relaxed atmosphere of this unique location for the ultimate fine dining experience on the island.
Sifnos is an island of 74 square km in the western Cyclades. A well-watered and fertile island with easy slopes is guarded by steep cliffs, broken by only a few deep-cut bays.
Sifnos was inhabited from at least 4000 B.C. The island was very wealthy in ancient times since gold, silver, and lead were being mined there as early as the 3rd millennium B.C. Remains of ancient mines, some dating back to prehistoric times, are still to be seen on the island, most notably at Agios Sostis. Remains of ancient fortifications, dating from the third millennium to the sixth century B.C. have been found at Agios Andreas, Agios Nikitas and Kastro. Another indication of the wealth of Sifnos is the fact that it was one of the first places in Greece to mint coins, beginning around 600 B.C.
Today Sifnos is an attractive destination for people who wish to discover the real Cyclades. There are few places in the world where you just have to keep coming back. Sifnos is definitely one of them. An island of unparallel elegance, offering high-quality facilities and services embedded in an authentic environment of perennial character and rich tradition.
The moment you arrive on the island, the magic of the place lightly and gently settles over you. It does not take long to decipher this unbelievable feeling – its graceful beauty engulfs you in the first moments.
WHERE TO STAY
Verina Astra – THE TRANQUIL OPTION
Sprawling on the side of a steep hill with nothing between you and the endless Aegean blue, Verina Astra leaves you speechless and transcendent. The impressive panoramic view will take your breath away, especially at night when the stars are lit and you feel like every corner was designed to invite you to infinite star gazing. It is no wonder that this stunning complex has taken its name from the Greek word for stars – Astra – and each suite is named after a constellation.
Verina Terra – THE RELAXED OPTION
A few steps from the beach
Set amidst ancient olive trees and with the sea just a few steps away, Verina Terra at Platys Gialos is an exclusive boutique Greek hotel complex comprised of 4 apartments, 4 double rooms, 2 separate suites and one family apartment. The hotel became a favourite of Sifnos fans as Verina Suites and was recently renamed to better reflect its special character.