Greek Macedonian cuisine has its own distinct set of delicious delicacies. The region of Greek Macedonia, located in the northern part of Greece, has a culinary heritage that combines Greek flavors with regional specialties. Here are some typical delicacies of Macedonia:
Koulouri of Thessaloniki
Mornings in this city have the aroma of roasted sesame and the texture of fluffy, crunchy dough. This traditional bakery, with Byzantine origins, was related to the city of Thessaloniki, as in the city, its preparation started by refugees who came from Constantinople and Mikra Asia.
This simple recipe also hides wisdom, the combination of flour, yeast, water, and sesame is transformed into a dish with nutritional value, which lasts over time. Whether in its traditional form or its variations, it remains high in the list of the peoples’ delicacies, often being a meal by itself.
Halkidiki is rightly characterized as the center of beekeeping in Greece, with 6,500 beekeepers (almost 1/3 of the country) and about 2,000 tons of excellent quality honey production per year. Aristotle, born in Halkidiki, 2,400 years ago praised honey and its benefits to humans, arguing that honey prolongs life.
Today, the beekeepers of Halkidiki, carrying the ancient tradition, utilize most purely the rich flora of Kassandra, Sithonia, and North Halkidiki, producing quality and high nutritional value pine honey, with main production areas Nikanti and Kassandra, and Arnaia.
Akanes of Serres
A divine mixture of sugar, cornflour, roasted almonds, and goat butter. The traditional dessert of Serres, which you will not find in any other area and visually looks like a loukoumi delight. In taste, however, the difference is remarkable from the first bite, as the unique and very intense taste, especially the combination of fresh butter with well-cooked almond, is a gastronomic experience.
The story of Akane in Serres begins during the Turkish occupation when the Beys spent their summer holidays in Lailias, Serres, which is why the name “Akanes Lailia of Serres” remained. The preparation was done with the techniques that were used back in time, in large cauldrons, while the water of Lailias, cool and light, was the main ingredient that gave all the flavor to the desert. The preparation of the traditional akane continues to this day, with small changes in the process, by companies from Serres.
Revani of Veria
Revani (or ravani) is the traditional dessert of Veria, famous throughout Greece. Syrup that urged the people of Thessaloniki to organize getaways to Veria to taste it, is being made for over a century in the city and is a key gastronomic element for its visitor.
It is produced and served in Veria with the same recipe from the time of the Ottoman Empire, and from then it is sold in the restaurants of Veria. It can be made with coconut and is eaten plain or with ice cream, which completely changes the experience and takes it to the next level. In any case, few can request a revani, without adding “Veria” to their order!
Bougatsa, sweet or savory, is your favorite eating habit in the morning. Brought by refugees from Mikra Asia after its catastrophe, it is based on a different recipe from other pies and is a very popular snack in Northern Greece. The bougatsa of Thessaloniki and the bougatsa of Serres are famous and are considered to be the best delicacies of Macedonia.
The bougatsa mainly contains cream filling (which it’s the most popular version and is served with icing and cinnamon) or cheese. It can also be found with spinach or minced meat filling, but also with cocoa cream. In any variation, every visitor of Central Macedonia must try it – and, of course, will look forward to tasting it again on their next visit!
Delicacies of Macedonia offer a tantalizing journey through the heart of Balkan cuisine. These flavorful dishes are a celebration of tradition and taste, showcasing the rich culinary heritage of the region.