Art & Design Magazine

Dining in Samos: Part Nine: Mytilini Food Providers

By Billlives

This is the ninth of a ten part series on dining on the Greek island of Samos. I have now been there three times for stays of a month or more. I have painted on each stay. Here is a link to the last ten paintings I did in 2014. This time has also has given me a chance to sample many of the great restaurants on the island. The first three posts look at the smaller mountain villages and seaside towns. The larger towns are now be covered in individual posts. I started with Mytilini, the largest of the mountain towns and then Karolvasi, Pythagora, and Samos Town.

The island also has great local produce, meat, and fish and we did a lot of cooking at our friend’s home in Mytilini where we stayed. The series would not be complete without sharing some of the many sources for local food, both commercial and non-commercial. Around the corner from us was an excellent bakery run by a German woman and her Greek husband who was the baker. We often got breakfast pastries as shown in the last post, as well as fresh bread.



We got fresh fish from a man who drove a truck with his daily catch by our house each day. He announced his catch through a loud speaker. We did not know the Greek words but could just pick out our choices from the iced selection in the back of his truck. Some of his offerings were covered in the last post.


There was an excellent produce store where we got the tomatoes shown in the last post and much more including the onions below. The town also had a meat market and comprehensive grocery and general store, as well as a wine cooperative. A number of people raised their own goats. There were few sheep on the island but many goats as they are more self sufficent. They roast goat stuffed with rice for Easter in a wood fired oven as shown in these scenes from 2012 near Leka. They also roast goat on a spit like many of the other islands. I had the honor for turing the spit for a few moments. After roasting they stripped the meat in a pulled pork style. 



Occasionally, a produce man could drive through town and we could buy fresh fruit and vegetables from the back of his truck. Another man sold cheese from the back of his truck.



Wine grapes were grown in the surrounding hills, as well as a few in town. While it is an inland village many fisherman live here. Here is one working on his trap.



Right in town there were many orange and lemon trees. We had friend who supplied us from their trees in the April-May season. There are also numerous fig trees, many just growing wild. We found an unattended one that supplied us during the September season.



Above town were a number of olive orchards. We often walked up there so see the changing light at sunset and have view of the town and Turkey and the sea in the distance. They cut the brascnhes back every year so the olives do not get too high on the tree. The trees develop very thick trunks for their short size as shown in the grove just outside town.


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