Greece, like most countries of the European South, is blessed with a wealth of unique agricultural products beneficial for human health and life longevity. These products also form the base of Greek cuisine and at the same time an important part of the country’s export goods. In order to protect and promote these products , the European Union and its member countries have introduced a legislation that protects the products’ reputation, it helps local producers and eliminates unfair competition with non-genuine products.
Discover ten PDO (protected designation of origin) products, coming from different regions of the country:
1. Chios Mastic
The mastic comes from a short and evergreen shrub called schinus. The schinus thrives all over the Mediterranean, but the mastic is only collected from a special variety of schinus in the southern villages of Chios, the so-called Mastichohoria. The collection of mastic starts in mid-August and is collected until mid-September. Mastic is used for medicine, food and cosmetics.
2. Kozani Crocus
The crocus is a plant from which one of the world’s most expensive spices is produced and is called saffron. Saffron comes from the female part of the plant from inside its flower. It is used for confectionery, culinary and bakery purposes, it has medical properties, and it also functions as an aphrodisiac. The cultivation of crocus, which takes place only in the village of Krokos in the prefecture of Kozani, consists of many climatological factors such as: well-dry soil, flat and treeless surfaces, etc. The sowing of the Kozani saffron is done June-July and is collected at the end of October.
3. Zagora apples
The apples of Zagora in the region of Pelion, are recognized by the EU with the Protected Designation of Origin label which travels all over the world. Zagorin apples are high quality apples that are planted, pruned and collected in the most traditional way, therefore by hand.
4. Aegina Peanuts
The peanuts of Aegina made their appearance in Greece and specifically on the island of Aegina in the 19th century, where the peanut tree had a perfectly good territorial adaptation to the island. The pistachio has many medical properties and it is rich in vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, etc.
The height of the trees can reach up to 10 meters with many branches filling with pistachios. The tree needs four years to produce and the harvest takes place in September.
5. Naxos potatoes
Naxos potatoes are known to the world as the most tasty and quality potatoes, thanks to its natural fertilizer way of cultivation. Naxos potato production reaches up 3,000 tons per year.
6. Aigio raisins
Corinthian raisin is the natural product of the grape after its drying, it is especially tasty with rich aroma. Corinthian raisins are exported to almost all countries of the world under the name VOSTIZZA P.D.O.
7. Naoussa Peach
Naoussa is the ideal place for peach production, as the soil and climate of this mountainous city of Macedonia has the ideal conditions for a delicious rich aroma. The peaches’ production period begins from the end of May and ends at the end of October.
8. Corfu kumquat
The kumquat is a round or oval fruit, depending on its type. Its color is mainly orange and the peel of the fruit is fragrant and sweet. In Greece, it grows mainly in Corfu and the other Ionian islands. You can eat the fruit fresh or canned, it makes wonderful jam and liqueur. It blooms in the middle of the summer and its height can reach all four meters.
9. Kymi dried figs
The fig is the fruit coming from the common fig tree that thrives all over Greece. Fresh figs cannot be preserved for a long time, but they can alternatively be dried in the sun. The most famous area of Greece for dried figs is Kymi. The dried figs of Kymi have a Protected Designation of Origin label. Drying and packaging are done manually without any addition of preservatives. The benefits of the dried fig are many, such as: they have anti-cancer properties, they are very useful in cases of fatigue and they also a number of medical purposed, like helping with constipation, working against lungs’ inflammation, helping kidney function and protecting against hypertension and strokes .
10. Santorini Fava
Fava is a plant and in Greece it is made from the legume pulp. The terrain of Santorini is well suited for the planting of the fava. It is planted in December 21st and in April the fava begins to make its first flowers, the flower is dried and the fruit is picked at the beginning of May, transferred to the threshing floor and separated from the straw. The beans are kept in barrels for one year until the time is right for barking, then the beans are drizzled and sun-dried. The benefits of fava is that it has a unique combination of low fat and high protein content.