Local Culture & Indentity
The Cyclades Islands’ mountainous relief and sunny dry climate by the sea have shaped the primary and secondary production sector, as well as the landscape, through the kilometers of dry wall structures that protect the islands from soil erosion, retain the limited water and create surfaces for cultivation. Local producers are known for their olives, wild greens, split peas (also called ‘fava’), potatoes, tomatoes, and meat, as well as for their olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes and pickled vegetables. Local cultural associations and professionals, including fishermen, shepherds and women associations, hold the knowledge of local recipes and processings that allow eating products off season: jams, sauces, marinated fish, pickled products. In a place of limited resources, nothing goes to waste.
Among the most famous products, of course, are the delicious thyme honey – as bees feed on the abundant low bushes of thyme that are present across the Cyclades – a basic ingredient in the local diet that is present in plenty of recipes and particularly pastries, and the famous local wines, produced by local vinedressers at places of rich wine tradition.
In fact, almost all the local products of Cyclades are famous for their excellent quality and strong taste, however the availability of products across islands or even on the mainland (where the market is larger) is not self evident: challenges and high costs in transport and logistics and competition in human resources by the tourism sector, lead more and more people away from the primary and secondary sector. A lot of previously cultivated plots and small production units have been abandoned in the last few decades, as the tourism sector (tending to be both ‘mass’ and ‘fast’) is served through other – non local and lower cost – supply chains.
We support efforts that showcase how slow and mild tourism, connected to the local communities’ pace of production and consumption, respects and acknowledges the real value of visiting a foreign place: understanding it. We support efforts to record and demonstrate traditional knowledge
for producing, processing and consuming products sustainably.
We support local production and processing efforts that attempt to
establish a win-win relationship between the livelihoods of local
producers and of the environment.
Under the LandscapeFind out more
Dry stone walls: local identityFind out more
Cinedoc Cyclades IslandsFind out more
Local paths to changeFind out more
Pick the alien- it tastes good!Find out more
Regenerating the Cycladic EcosystemFind out more
Joining the vision of a Cycladic GeoparkFind out more