THE REGION OF CENTRAL MACEDONIA

Central Macedonia (Greek: Kentrikí Makedhonía), is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, consisting of the central part of the geographical and historical region of Macedonia. With a population of almost 1.9 million, it is the second most populous in Greece after Attica. The region of Central Macedonia is situated in northern Greece, bordering with the regions of Western Macedonia (west), Thessaly (south), Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (east), and bounded to the north at the international borders of Greece with Republic of North Macedonia and Bulgaria. The southern part is coastal and it is bathed by the Thermaic, Toroneos, Singitic and Strymonic gulfs. The largest city and capital of the region is Thessaloniki. Serres is the second most populous city, followed by Katerini, Veria and Giannitsa.

IMATHIA

The fertile plain of lmathia, crossed by the river Aliakmon, produces high-quality fruits such as apples, cherries, pears, apricots, etc., while the peach cultivation accounts for about 50% of the total pro duction of peaches in the country.

Substantial is the production of horticultural products with characteristic products of the area being the Tomatoes of Rizomata and St. Georges Peppers. While high-quality dairy products such as Batzos, Graviera (gruyere) cheese of Veria, Anthotyros, Manouri and others are produced in the mountainous areas.

In the sea of the Thermaic Gulf between the estuary of Loudias and the Aliakmon delta, floating units for mussel culture operate. The total annual production of mussels amounts to about 5.300 tons based on the capacity of the units of lmathia , ranking it third nation wide in mussel production.

On the southeastern slopes of Mt Vermion, the particular micro-cli mate creates favorable conditions for the cultivation of one of the most glorious Greek red grape varieties, the Xinomavro grape, from  which a wine of dark red color and a characteristic aroma is produced . The results of this cultivation are products such as the famous “Naoussa Xinomavro”,Tsipouro Naoussa”, “Ouzo Naoussa”, which are PGI products with international recognition and a strong brand name.

Local products: game meat, traditional pies (e.g. nettle pie, leek pie, rice pie, etc.). compotes, spoon sweets, jams, and semolina pie of Veria.

THESSALONIKI

The great crossroads of flavors, aromas, and colors… East and West composed cultures and gastronomy with rare ingredients, spices, and herbs, establishing Thessaloniki as the Metropolis of taste, With a rich flora surrounding it, constitutes the center of gastronomy as it uses a plethora of products from the surrounding areas.

The local products produced in the area are cereals, olives, olive oil, wine, legumes, rice, fruits, vegetables, a variety of dairy, meat and fish, herbs, which can be found mostly in the city’s two largest markets, Modiano and Vlali (Kapani).

Particularly recognizable local products are the round sesame bread of Thessaloniki, the area’s trademark, Yoghurt of Dorkada whose recipe was brought by the refugees from Selymbria of Eastern Thrace, the cherries of Mt Ossa and the famous spicy local cheese from Sochos, Being a multicultural city, Thessaloniki is also famous for its sweets such as the pastry triangles of Panorama, the kazandibi, the Greek sweet bread “tsoureki”.

Local products: cereals, olives, olive oil, legumes, rice, a variety of dairy  , meat and fish.

KILKIS

The mountains, the lakes, the waterfalls, the rivers, the rich flora and fauna, the archaeological sites, the churches and the monasteries, the picturesque villages and the monuments are the elements that describe the Regional Unit of Kilkis.

The area produces renowned products such as Xinomavro {PDOJ wine and Negoska in Goumenissa, cow’s milk and sausages in Neo Gynekokastro, pickles and pasta from Valhi, Filyria cherries and blackberries in Kroussia, cheeses and fish of Doirani, Gerakonas and Amaranton honey, herbs and aromatic plants that are found all over the place.

Since stock farming is the principal traditional activity, PDO dairy products such as feta, kasseri cheese, manouri, and batzos are produced, The influence on the technique of production from the tradi tional techniques of the Pantie Greeks (Pontian Gree ks) results  in the production of products such as Gais cheese, Tan, Chordania, Chemen, Paskitan, Stiolakik, etc.

Local delicacies: Tzigerosermades, meatballs with Makalo sauce, Tanomenos Sarvas soup, stuffed vine leaves of Europos, wild boar stew, deer in the oven with vine leaves, roe deer in red sauce, etc.

Famous sweets ottered in Kilkis are: Olia (donuts ), Pourmas, Pisia,  Havits, Malakhta, Tsirikhta, Yagl ia, as well as spoon sweets and Jams.

PELLA

In Pella, wheat, corn, beans, lentils, pomegranates, loquats, plums, quinces, figs, chestnuts, etc,, are cultivated.

Renowned are the cherries of Edessa, the apples of Panagitsa, as well as a number of other fruits from which traditional spoon sweets, jams, compotes, and liqueurs are made.

Concerning horticultural products, characteristic are the peppers of Bahovo or Aridea or the red chili peppers, The red pepper known as Karatzovitiko or Boukovo, is produced in Piperochori or else Garefi.

The livestock products include meat from sheep, cat tle, pigs, hens, etc, as well as sausages with leeks or other herbs, sheep milk yogurt and cheeses such as Batsos, Feta (PDO) and Kasen.

Local PGI wines, white, rose and red, are also produced, as well as spirits such as tsipouro and sour milk (matanitsasherbit).

Local delicacies: Trahana (frumenty), Tsoumbleki, carp with onions in the oven, wels catfish with parsley and garlic grilled yellow zucchini, salted cod with rice, stuffed cabbage leaves , pork with leeks and plums, pork with quinces, chestnuts and vine leaves , pies (milk pie, leek pie, rice pie).

Famous sweets include cherry sweet, rupko cherry sweet, pan  cakes (langites), other pancakes (tiganites), pitoulitses, syrup (petimezi) from figs or grapes.

PIERIA

Pieria is an area with a rich natural environment, combining the mountains of Olympus, Pieria, and Titaros with forests, rivers, coast al wetlands, lowlands and sea areas that dominate and make up its rich ecosystem.

Due to its geomorphology , there is a wide variety of representative agricultural products, which include Kiwi, cotton, tobacco of Katerini variety, the Svoronos strawberry, the Dion watermelons and melons, mussels and shellfish of Pieria, the cherries of Rachi and Kolindros, the table grapes of Pieria, the olives of the Kolindros – Skotina variety the chestnuts of Saint Panteleimon and Vrya, the mountain pork of Vrya, the truffle, the honey and the goats of the highland Pieria, fish, poultry, cheese products, mushrooms, outdoor and greenhouse vegetables.

Local delicacies: The regional salty and sweet pies have been and continue to be the top tastes of traditional cuisine, including green pie with wild greens, leek pies, and meat pies with goat or hegoat mixed with trahana (frumenty ) and cheese, pumpkin pie and “htypi ti” (whipped) cheese pie.

An interesting culinary approach is also the blending of fish with greens and vegetables, Spoon sweets such as fig, apple, or wild watermelon, as well as the aromatic red liqueur from carnelian cherries, make up the local treats.

SERRES

The land of Serres is covered by 40% of agricultural land, with agriculture being one of the most important sectors of the area’s eco nomic life, Raw materials are distinguished for their taste and quali ty, resulting in the production of famous products throughout Greece such as the Orini beans, rice, tomatoes, and Vrontou potatoes, Spirulina which is produced in Nigrita.

Also renowned are the local meat, the cu red meat products of Serres, the sausages of Heraklia or Tzoumagia and the kavourmas of Kerkini made from buffalo and calf meat A particularity of the area is the breeding of water buffalo, bred in the area for centuries, and buffalo meat is cooked in various ways Wine production in the area is also significant, as many of the wines produced are organic, while the tsipouro and ouzo of Serres are famous for their delicate aroma and gentle taste, Particular is also the way they are served, being mixed with orange Juice or pepper and tomato juice.

Local delicacies: wild boar with quince , chickpeas with aubergines, buffalo casserole, roasted carp, grilled trout, deer with mushrooms, pork shank.

The sweets of Serres are especially important in the local cuisine, Of particular interest are Akanes Lailia of Serres, the touloumbaki, the bougatsa of Serres, the famous cunning” sweets of Nigrita and the pastries! rom buffalo milk.

CHALKIDIKI

In the area of Chalkidiki, a variety of local ingredients from the land and the sea is produced. Chalkidiki produces olive oil and olives of distinct taste and quality. The olives of Chalkidiki have been classified among the best varieties in the world.

Chalkidiki is known as the mother of beekeeping: on the mounta in of Meliton, the honey Sithon “, which is numbered among the best honey of  Greece and Europe, is produced from crocus and the flowers of the strawberry tree, The heath honey, rare and of unique nutritional value, is produced in Arnea, A special product of the area is also Moudovina , the tsipouro of the stock farmers, which comes from the distillation of waler where the honeycombs are dipped.

The stock farming tradition is also strong in Chalkidiki, The area produces cheese products such as feta cheese, but also goat cheese, brined cheese, paneraki cheese and yogurt.

Wine production is substantial where some of the most exquisite Greek vines (Limnio, Rhoditis, Athiri, Asyrtiko) are used. A typical product is tsipouro, from the large variety of fruit grown, traditional marmalades and spoon sweets are produced.

Local delicacies: goat in lemon sauce, chicken with trahana (flumenty) Paspalas, Tsirvigiki, Psima, the Katsiamaka, the mushroom pie, the sweet pumpkin pie, and the rice pie, Sweet tastes include spoon sweets, jams, yoghurt with honey from the Holomontas forest, traditional semoli na cake (ravani) of Nikiti, shepherd’s rice pudding.

MOUNT ATHOS

The Athonite cuisine has been shaped in its present form under the rules of a strict religious framework, the available local ingredients and the abstinence from some foods. The uniqueness of the culinary art of Mount Athas lies in creating unique recipes with limited and simple ingredients, This cuisine otters a balanced diet, rich in vegetables, nutritious and tasty foods.

A typical feature of the Athonite cuisine is that in its recipes, tahini has the role of the oily substance, meat is absent from the menu and its place is taken by seafood and fish During periods of fish-diet, the fish become fish soup, baked or fried, They are uniquely combined with various fresh vegetables and seasonal greens, from the gardens and the orchards of the monasteries, Salted cod is an essential ingredient of fish recipes because it can be easily conserved.

Legumes are also an essential raw material of the Athonite cuisine and  are served daily either plain or combined with vegetables.

Delicacies of Mount Athas: fish soup, baked “plakifish in the oven, cod with garlic butter, steamed cod without olive oil steamed squid or stuffed with rice and raisins, cuttlefish youvetsi with orzo, octopus in onion stew or in red sauce with potatoes , chickpea balls, lentil soup without olive oil, black eyed beans with fennel and spinach , oily baklava, semolina halva, raisinpie, tahini-pie, lokum, kolyvozoumi pudding.

Producers