You will eat and drink well in Halkidiki, which lies in the heart of a region known for its good food. Perhaps half of the inhabitants here have roots from Constantinople and Asia Minor, bringing with them strong culinary traditions developed over generations by historic Greek civilizations and communities, with some Ottoman influence thrown in for good measure. Add to this the rich produce, wine and herbs of this sunny region and you have yourself a winning combination. Amazing breads and savoury pies await visitors, but so do hearty meat specialties, plenty of fresh vegetarian dishes, homemade pasta and an assortment of appetizers and of course robust cheeses.
In fact, delicious cheeses made with goats milk and with a high protein content come from Mount Holomontas, with excellent cheese varieties also hailing from all over Central and South Halkidiki. Also expect great olive oil and savory olives trees, most of which are cultivated in an eco-friendly or even organic way. If you're passing through Holomontas Iporia, Moudania, Mount Meliton, Olynhtos, Ormylia, Pallini, or Polygyros you might want to buy some local extra virgin olive oil.
On the sweeter side Halkidiki is known for its quality honey, praised in ancient times by Aristotle for its benefits and considering it as a life extender. Arnea, Nikiti and Kassandra are particularly known for their good honey. You'll also find a lot of organic fruits growing here that end up freshly picked on your plate, or go to make the sweetest and most succulent of marmalades. Last but not least are the sweet pastries such as Baklava, as well as the cone-shaped custard puffs known as Honakia.
In a handful of villages across Halkidiki, particularly those tucked in the mountains, there are women's cooperatives or associations that produce homemade products such as fruit preserves, pasta, pastries, biscuits, fruit liqueurs and much more. Our favorites include the 'Ef Gevesthe' in the village of Taxiarchis, 'Ta Gennimata' in Vrastama, 'Dryades' in Varvara, and 'Theofylaktos Klironomia'in Paleochori.