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.
A serving of nutritious fasolada (bean soup) simmering in a large pot awaits the exhausted mountain hikers. As it slow cooks for over four hours, the beans become deliciously soft and stewy. Containing the aromas and taste of celery, carrot, red pepper, onion and tomatoes, fasolada represents the traditional dish of winter for the visitors of Olympus.
After a demanding ascent to the mountain of Gods, the strong smell of goat stew penetrates the senses! The addition of carrot, onions, potato and celery together with olive oil, pepper, salt, the gist of a lemon and vegetable stock, turn the goat stew into a much-needed energy-packed meal.
Wild herbs growing in the region are used as fillings for a variety of delicious pies. Their combination with local feta cheese and trahana (a wheat-based porridge-type dish) enhances the overall pie-experience. Herbs cannot be added raw, they have to be braised first. When making the pastry “phyllo” (the paper-thin top layer of pies), adding local dairy products, like yogurt and milk, a dab of corn oil and a pinch of soda in the flour makes all the difference.