Sweets for the sweet, they say, and Serres is sweet-tooth country – and not just for the 'bougatsa' cream pie that is a speciality all over northern Greece. The Serres version of 'loukoumia,' or Turkish delight, is called 'akanes' – a soft chewy buttery gelatin candy covered in icing sugar.
The region’s many fruits – cherries, lemons, strawberries, raspberries, figs, apples, peaches, pears, apricots, plums, kiwis, bergamot and oranges – are preserved as jams and spoon sweets, called 'glykia tou koutaliou,' while local honey, sesame, semolina and nuts provide the ingredients for a complete range of other delicious goodies. These sweets are just the thing to aid digestion after a meal of the area’s other specialities – wild boar and buffalo meat and trout or lake carp. Buffalo meat is also processed as sausages or strong-tasting preserved meat called 'kavourmas.' The fertile Serres plain is also known for the agricultural production of nuts, rice, grains, pulses, tomatoes, potatoes and sugar beet, which explains the predominance of desserts. Visit the teashop run by the Women’s Cooperative in Ano Poroia and sample the traditional products made by its members. The region is also known for growing tobacco, especially the village of Gazoros after a documentary was made about its farmers in 1974.
In addition to the many vineyards (see wine section), local vintners also make tsipouro (Greece’s version of moonshine) as well as ouzo. The brand of ouzo under the Babatzim label rivals the ouzos of Lesvos for quality. Connoisseurs of the spirit claim it is the best-tasting ouzo of all due to the purity of the local water used in its distillation.