The variety characterizes the Kasian cuisine. It is something far from what a little and barren land can provide. The communication of Kasian people with the whole world (Crete, the other Dodecanese, big cities, Egypt, USA, Minor Asia, Italy, Istanbul, influence via our seamen…), gave to our cuisine recipes that rarely someone finds even in bigger islands.
As all the other cuisines of the around area, the first and perhaps the main mutual effect has to do with the general habit we meet at the most cuisines of East Mediterranean and is nothing else but the “filling”. Filled lamb for the Easter but also filled chicken or turkey for other occasions. With filling we call “paspara” (rice, onion, liver, spices, tomato, etc.). Filled offal with liver and rice, known as “mpoustia”.
Filled vegetables, meatless or with meat, and even filled flowers of courgettes, the “kolokithopoulia”. At this category belong of course the legend Kasian “dolmadakia”. Perhaps the most delicious and certainly the.. smallest we meet! Filled sweets, the “tourtes” of Easter, pies filled with cheese and spices, the “moshopougia” filled with almonds, walnuts, etc.
It’s very likely our cuisine to have been influenced by the Italic because we meet in Kasos foods like “fakorizo” but also mixings of legumes with pasta. It’s time to make special reference to “makarounes”, pasta made in hand and served with roasted onion and “sitaka”. Food of shepherds, which is often made by Kasian women in their kitchen, using at the same time pen of trade. This food is shared exceptionally as common meal at the feast of Christ (because of fast) on 6th August.
The long-lasting presence of many Kasian people at Egypt enriched our cuisine with spicy tastes and exotic food. However these which finally seem to settle down are the mixture (for example at “pilafi”, at soups etc.). Many Egyptian food (like “molohia”, “tahinia” etc.) are made at many of Kasian houses, especially at these of Egyptians or at islands’ restaurants.
Like every insular cuisine, thus here, dishes made with seafood have a special place. The most characteristic is “soupiopilafo” made of ink of fresh squid! Perhaps the most… black dish at the worldwide cuisine!
It’s worth while mentioning the “kouloures”, the crispy double baked rolls, suitable for snack, coffee or tea. We couldn’t forget mentioning Kasian “roikio”.
This kind of weed which took its name due to the resemblance it has with radish, we collect with a lot of hard work and put it in the brine so as to be cooked after time mainly as “roikio giaxni”. Characteristic Kasian cheese are “almirotiri”, “elaiki” and “sitaka”, made by shepherds from milk of sheeps and goats.
The island’s cuisine is enriched definitely with their imagination but also with their knowledge, not only of housewives but also of professional cooks of boats and restaurants of USA offering their knowledge and experiences while being on the island, especially at the organization of common meals of pilgrims at the feasts of Saints and at the weddings, where food has to be prepared, sometimes for over a thousand of pilgrims.
All mixtures are met in the dish which contains a lot of things: delicious “pilafi”, “dolmadakia”, fried potatoes and meat, many times cut into slices which in cutting and serving are compared with the best restaurants…
If you ever go to Kasos, try visiting the folds of shepherds, the “mitata”, something definitely difficult… Apart from cheeses we’ve already mentioned, if you are lucky you will taste “drila” pure cream, or even delicious sauce of flour (“aleura” or “aleuroali”). Tasty but also rare is Kasos’ butter known as “kaouli”. It’s processed cream that shepherd elaborates in a special box of skin. It’s so delicious that the popular muse doesn’t forget to praise it:
< tinos tha se prosferousi na pei pos de se thelei>>