The area of Kyparissia [Trifylia Municipality] is defined as “Kallikarpos” [ancient Greek term for “good harvest”] and “Kalligefstos.” [ancient Greek term for “good taste”] often referred to as the “California” of Western Greece. An integral part of the tradition is the diet of the local people and the way they consume and exploit the fruits of their fertile land. But what do the local people actually drink and eat in Trifyllia? The answer is simple. Inhabitants consume products ripen in excellent weather conditions, under the gaze of the Mediterranean sun … They consume fruits, vegetables, legumes, greens, cheese, while they only use pure olive juice, the unique and irreplaceable oil and of course they only drink the fine wine of Trifyllia area! When American nutritionists visited Greece some years ago, in order to explore the Mediterranean diet they were caught by surprise when they saw the notorious Greek Salad being literally “dipped” in olive oil; back then they were not aware that the actual secret of longevity was hidden somewhere there. Of course long-term surveys managed to prove that minor mortality rates occurring in Mediterranean areas are primarily due to the use of olive oil. So it’s about time you had some olive oil spread on your breakfast bread or cracker instead of butter. Doing that you shall discover the healthiest, most delicious and most Mediterranean breakfast ever.
Wherever you go in Kyparissia and throughout the entire Messinia Region, you realize the adoration of local people for the fruit of olive tree. The Messinian olive oil is a natural product produced by the crushing of olive fruit, free of extracts and admixtures. It is a gift of nature, of great biological and nutritional value, tasty and digestible; its degree of absorption by the human body amounts to 98% while it features low acidity 0,2-1 degree; it is produced with love and care and packaged by high expertise companies which show equal respect to both the tradition and the consumer. There is also a Greek proverb saying that “Eat olive oil and come out tonight, eat butter and sleep like a log”.
They are the tiny ambassadors of the region around the world! Their cultivation plays a key role in the economic development of the region and they have been recognized as a staple food in Greek and foreign markets. The excellent climatic conditions combined with irrigation and manual harvesting method result in excellent quality and unique taste of Kyparissia olive exported to USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere.
Today in our region 300 farmers are engaged in the production of table olives producing 700 tons annually. The verse says that “I prefer to keep olives and crackers in my house rather than eat sugar abroad and let others control my life”.
In addition to its beneficial effects on health, wine is part of the tradition of the area since archaeological research has shown that people of the region had been familiarized with viticulture [wine-growing] thousands of years ago. Today this long-term tradition combined with the taste of local wine growers and the ideal climatic conditions lead to the production of high quality grapes, which with the aid of technology give birth to fine wines. The local wines feature excellent organoleptic [sensory] properties, fruity aromas, full flavor and vibrant color.
Honey is a 100% natural product; it is produced in regions hosting endemic plants and herbs. It is a remedy of Messinian nature highly beneficial for the health not in the least fattening, since one tablespoon has only 20 calories! “Bread, wine and oil are the very first foundations of the house”
TRADITIONAL DISTILLED SPIRITS:
The Messinian Ouzo is a traditional drink made exclusively by the distillation of aromatic plants and seeds such as anise, fennel, Illicium verum [anise family], Coriander. Some producers add mastic a bit of kakoule [cardamom], angelica root and some nutmeg. Don’t miss out the liqueurs of Messinia which are flavored with extracts of flowers, lemon, sour orange and rose, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. You should definitely try them!
Try the local feta cheese, the Sfela, the graviera and of course the local fried Talagani; they are all delicious white cheeses made from goat’s milk without artificial food coloring or other substances and additives.
OTHER LOCAL PRODUCTS
Throughout the year, the everyday life and local cuisine of Messinia gets richer with flavors such as pasteli [traditional candy], various types of figs, balsamic vinegar [also called ‘kalogeristiko’ or ‘glykadi’], all sorts of vegetables and fruits in many varieties and of course local watermelons and melons, which constitute an ideal nutritional supplement.