Traditional food recipes of Kalamata city

Kalamata, that at the time of Homer was called Fares is a town in the southwestern Peloponnese, the capital of the prefecture of Messinia and a port of southern mainland of Greece. Kalamata has a population of 54,100 inhabitants, while the Municipality of Kalamata has a population of 69,849 inhabitants, according to the 2011 Census. The city is built at the foot of mount “Kalythi” (the edge of Taygetos) in the heart of the Messinian Gulf. It is 223 km from Athens, 215 km from Patras and 715 km from Thessaloniki. It has a temperate Mediterranean climate, with warm winter and mild summers. Every day, more than 50,000 people are coming and working in the wider urban center of Kalamata from nearby towns.

The city of Kalamata is famous for its traditional cuisine. The way women used to cook is a part of the folk culture because they didn’t use recipes, their culinary tradition was oral. They were counting on their taste and smell. Additionally, they cooked by experience and as a result as the time past by the majority of the traditional plates got lost because they didn’t write down the recipes. Nevertheless, every city has recipes that are a feature of tradition. So, in Kalamata over the years the following recipes have been preserved.

Pie with Olives (Eliopita)

• 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cup black olives (without pips)
• 4 cups flour
• 2 cups lukewarm water
• 1 onion
• 1 tablespoon of dry mint
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
We chop up the olives, then we add the thinly sliced up onion and mint. We let the mixture rest. We mix flour, water, baking powder in a bowl. We add the olive oil and the mixture with the olives. Then, we homogenize with our hands until the dough is done. We spread a pan with olive oil and we put the dough in. We bake for 60’ at 180* C. When the pie is ready we sprinkle it with grated sfela cheese.

Lalagia

• 2kg flour
• 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
• ½ kg sourdough
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon clove
• White sesame
• Lukewarm water
In a utensil, we mix 1 cup of flour, the sourdough and water until it becomes a thick slop. We cover it and leave it to expand for 1 hour. At the same time we mix remaining flour with the olive oil and then we add the rest ingredients and blend them in. Afterwards, we make a hole in the middle and we stuff it with the expanded dough and the water. We knead it until the dough becomes elastic. We cover it again and leave it in a warm place for 1/5 hours. Subsequently, we separate the dough in small balls like plums and roll it to a thin string. We lay them on a table for 1 hour to expand again. We fry them in hot olive oil.

Pork with figs

• 1500gr chopped pork
• 1 teacup extra virgin olive oil
• 3 cups wine
• 2 laurel leaves
• 2 cloves garlic
• 3-4 small onions cut in the middle
• 2 tablespoons cornflower
• 15 dry figs
• 10 plums (without pips)
• Freshly ground pepper
We marinate the figs for 5-6 hours in wine. We wash and wring the meat. We put ½ cup olive oil in a pot and we sage the meat until it roasts. Then we add the onions and the garlic. We let them cook with the meat. We sprinkle the meat with cornflower and add the wine, the laurel leaves, salt, pepper, olive oil and let it boil. When it boils we lower the fire and leave it to simmer. Then we add the plums, the figs, and their marinade. We let it cook for a little bit more. We serve with whatever sidder we prefer.

Kayana with salted pork, sundried tomatoes, and sfela cheese.

• 4 eggs
• 4 pieces of salted pork
• 4 chopped up tomatoes
• 10 wringed sundried tomatoes
• 100-150gr sfela cheese
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 1 cup olive oil
• 3 toasts
• Sea salt, pepper

We cook the salted pork with the olive oil. We add the chopped-up tomatoes and baste them. Then we add salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and mix it up. We scramble the eggs and salt them. We add the toasts, the sundried tomatoes the remaining flour and then the scrambled eggs. We stir constantly and when they are almost baked we add the sfela cheese.

Brittle

• 640gr sesame
• 320gr sugar
• ½ cup water
• 160gr honey
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 10ml liqueur
• Roasted almonds

We roast sesame and then we take it out of the fire and cover it with a blanket. We boil sugar with water, we add lemon juice and honey. We leave the mixture boil until the syrup thickens. We add the sesame that has rest and blend constantly. Afterwards, we spread the mixture on a tin that we have previously grease. We sprinkle it with liqueur. We bake it for 35’. When it is ready we slash it and add almonds into pieces.

Walnut pie

• 3 cups flour
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 5 eggs
• 2 tablespoons baking powder
• ½ cup milk
• Lemon zest
• 1 cup walnut

For the syrup

• 2 cups sugar
• 1 cup water
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 4 tablespoons Cinnamon

For the syrup: We boil sugar, water, lemon juice and cinnamon for 10 minutes. We let it rest.
For the pie’s dough: We blend butter, sugar and then we add flour, eggs, baking powder, lemon’s zest, milk. We mix it up and put walnuts in. We grease a baking sheet and sprinkle it with flour, then we put the dough in. We bake it 45 minutes at medium temperature. When it is ready, we let it chill and then we pour the syrup into.

Messinian Gourounopoula

• 1 pork 50-55 kg
• ½ kg of sea salt
• Fistful of oregano

We buy the pork from the butcher’s and we place it on a spit. We dress the pork with salt and fill in its belly (internally) with oregano. Then we stitch the belly together. We cover the pork with a sheet. We light up the fire with seasoned woods and coals. The fire must be not close to the pork. We leave it there for 9-10 hours. The pork will be ready when it reduces its weight at the half. We cut it in small pieces and serve with whatever sidder we prefer.

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