Graviera of NaxosΠ.Ο.Π.
Graviera Naxou is a hard cheese traditionally produced from cows’, or a mixture of cows’, ewes’, or goats’ milk, with either of the latter not exceeding 20% of the milk net weight.
Exclusive to the island of Naxos, the liqueur – a Greek traditional product with P.D.O (protected designation of origin) distinction -- is made from distilling the leaves of the citron tree. Kitro comes in three varieties and “colors” (green, gold and clear) as to distinguish the potency (ranging from 30% -40% alcohol) and sugar levels.
Arseniko is a kind of spicy kefalotyri cheese produced in the traditional way in the pens of Naxos uplands, using sheep's or goat's full milk with the addition of whey. After the cheese thickens it is drained in special baskets called tirovola. Its color is light yellow and in the beginning it tastes sweet but after a few weeks it becomes spicy. Arseniko is ideal for spaghetti, as stated by acknowledged connoisseurs.
Is a cured pork leg and is offered sliced as an appetizer. It is similar to Italian prosciutto in appearance but has a spicier and saltier taste. According to Apiranthos locals, for the zamponi to be a success the pig should be slaughtered when northerly winds blow because only then is the meat drained properly. After draining, the entire leg is coated with a mixture of salt, pepper and cinnamon and is kept in a chest covered with coarse salt. It is left to ripen for about six months.
Potatos of NaxosΠ.Ο.Π.
Naxos is well-known for the quality and taste of its potatoes, which are cultivated especially in the valley of Livadi. Are readily available in shops in Glinado and widely so in the rest of Naxos and elsewhere on mainland Greece.
Τhyme honey of Naxos
Due to its rich flora and high fluctuations in altitude, Naxos is ideal for the production of honey.Bees mainly feed on thyme and heather, and in the summer, on sage, oregano and spring flowers. The largest part of the 35 to 40 tons produced annually is thyme honey - the rest being mainly heather and spring flower varieties.
Kopanisti of NaxosΠ.Ο.Π.
Another PDI cheese is kopanisti. Depending on the era it is made with pasteurized goat’s or cow’s milk of Naxos. It is soft cheese ripening with flavor quite strong and quite spicy.
Xinomyzithra of Naxos
Another well-known Naxian cheese is xinomyzithra, a cream cheese with a slightly sour taste, mainly made with goat’s milk. It is ready in 24 hours after the milk has been drawn and has to be consumed within a few days because it is fresh and contains no preservatives.
Xinotyri of Naxos
Is the same cheese as xinomyzithra, only it is left to dry for several weeks, until it becomes hard.
Thilikotyri of Naxos
Besides Arsenico “masculine,” Naxos also produces thilikotyri (“feminine cheese”). This is produced right after arseniko, it is white in color, with a velvety texture, light buttery flavor and a balanced salty taste. Despite being low-fat (19%-21%), it has a pleasant taste and it best accompanies wine.
Another cheese worth tasting is komos, prepared as a sequel to thylikotyri. The cheesemakers would gather what was left of thylikotyri and let it ferment with aromatic mountain herbs. The retult was komos, a very low-fat cheese that best accompanies spirits, ouzo and tsipouro.
Spoon sweets of Naxos
Endowed with a wide variety of fruit trees, Naxos also offers an array of spoon sweets and preserves, the most characteristic of them being the varieties of cherry, citron, quince, sour cherry and papilona (a cross fertilization between bergamot and bitter orange), which are sold at many outlets on the island.
Recipes have been handed down from mother to daughter for generations and are prepared in the traditional way with pure local products. A large variety of them can be found in most villages. One of Naxos’s best-known traditional sweets is melachrino, a walnut pie containing a small quantity of locally produced citron liqueur and usually served with kaimaki ice cream (made from sheep’s milk).
Xerotigana of Naxos
Traditionally, the Naxians make xerotigana (diples) offered at various festivals, mainly weddings and are made of flour, fried and sprinkled with honey and sesame seeds.
Οlive Οil and Olives of Naxos
Olives and the oil extracted from them figure prominently among Naxian farming products. More than 270,000 olive trees are cultivated on some 3,000 hectares on the island -- roughly half of them in the Tragea basin. The main olive variety is throumpa but manaki and koronia are also encountered. Modern and restored olive mills in several villages attest to the importance of olive cultivation in the economy of Naxos varieties.