Olympus’ cuisine is characterized by robust flavors and tasty dishes, having as its main ingredients meat, regional varieties of cheese, pies, mountain herbs, fruits, as well as legumes. Given its Mediterranean identity, this cuisine combines healthy eating with high-quality raw materials and unique savory tastes. Meat is a dominant dish offered in the region’s taverns and mountain-refuges, either slowly-roasted lamb or goat stew with vegetables and aromatic wild herbs. Apart from handmade meat-pies, which represent a local delicacy, there are also other types of pies with lighter fillings, such as culinary herbs and even beetroots. The freezing cold winter near the mountain requires energy-boosting food like the traditional warm fasolada (bean soup), which is ideal for low temperatures. As for desserts, most pastry involves fruit that grows in the area without… human interference, with red currants being the preferred choice ingredient. Olympus’ cuisine is accompanied with the eclectic and rich in flavor Rapsani wines.
Continuing the local tradition of sheep and goat rearing documented since Byzantine times, Elassona has succeeded in certifying the lamb produced in the area as a Protected Domain of Origin product. Elassona lambs are of a small local breed, suckled for up to 45 days on mothers milk from free-range herds grazing on the mountain and submontane pastures rich in herbs and aromatic plants, so their meat is high in protein and lower in fat that normal meats. They are raised exclusively without the use of antibiotics or hormones which means that Elassona lamb is of the highest quality and has outstanding flavour and aroma.
Elassona is also renowned for its fine goat meat. Together with Elassona lamb, they were the first meat products in the “Fresh Meat” category to be certified as PDO in Greece. The goats belong to indigenous Greek breeds and are raised for up to 55 days. They graze the high mountain pastures at altitudes above 250m where the local flora is rich in a diverse mix of herbs and aromatic plants so their mothers provide them with a rich healthy milk. No antibiotics or hormones are allowed in their development. All this contributes to their meat being of the very highest quality with a characteristic aroma and taste.
Elassona and the region of Thassaly in general, are considered the Greek capital of sheep and goats milk, with a long tradition of feta production whose recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. With it’s salty, slightly acidic taste and characteristic aroma, Feta Elassona PDO excels in it’s quality. It is made from 100% local sheep and goats milk without the use of any antibiotics, dyes or preservatives. It is another fine example of our certified Protected Designation of Origin products.
For a unique opportunity to acquaint yourself with the rich tasty flavours of our local feta it is a good idea to visit the “FETA & GASTRONOMY” celebration organised in Elassona.
Another exceptional dairy product from Elassona is Batzos cheese, made at the over 15 cheese factories in the area. It is one of the oldest Greek cheeses, made from fresh pasteurised sheep and goats milk from the region with a low fat content. Semi-hard with a an off-white colour, salty taste and a chewy texture when baked, this cheese is eminently suitable for grilling or “saganaki” frying with flour or egg. Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, the perfect appetiser to accompany tsipouro or ouzo. It’s full-bodied aroma which emerges when baked is due to the milk produced from stock grazed on the pastures rich in herbs and aromatic plants, especially on the south side of mount Olympus.
It has been certified as a Protected Designation of Origin product.
Kaseri cheese reached Greece, and especially the Thessaly region, at the end of the 19th century (1890) via Bulgaria and eastern Romilia.
Without the addition of preservatives or colourings or any other additives, PDO Elassonas Kaseri stands out for it’s buttery texture, sweet taste and rich aroma. It is a semi-hard, yellow-white and made from 100% goat and sheep’s milk from the region and certified as a Protected Designation of Origin product. It can be eaten raw or cooked, is ideal with pasta, salads, sandwiches and savoury pies.
The vineyards of Elassona are located on the south side of Olympus at altitudes above 200m. The main varieties with the “Protected Geographical Indication” (PGI) certification cultivated here are: Debina, Rhoditi, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano, Muscat Hamburg, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. The production includes white, rosé and red, dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and sweet wines. The first Elassona wines bearing the PGI designation were produced in the 2011 harvest season and since then winemakers in the region have been developing and producing increasingly high-quality wines notable for their aroma and taste.
The Rapsani vineyards are to found in the northern part of Thessaly.
Our fine PDO Rapsani wine is produced exclusively from three red grape varieties: Xinomavro, Krasato and Stavroto. The wine may only be made from grapes grown within the PDO zone and the wineries must also be located within the same zone to receive PDO certification. The largest part of this zone is situated on the northwest side of the Pindos valley in Rapsani and Pyrgetos Kato Olympos. One of the strict conditions regulating this product is that it cannot be marketed until at least 6 months after it’s production.
It is the perfect accompaniment to cheeses, cured meats, roasts and pasta.