In West Mani you will taste local, unique flavors in their original version. Here the trip meets the gastronomic pleasure, since the dishes of this place honor the fresh ingredients and praise its raw materials, making even the most humble proposal acquire another dimension. West Mani is a blessed land, with the main presence of oil (which is rightly considered one of the best in the world), fruits, vegetables, wild herbs, aromatic herbs of Taygetos and other products, which in combination with the traditional techniques of the region have to offer dishes made with passion and love for the place. Of course, the treasures of the sea have their place of honor, especially in the coastal areas. It should also be noted that the traditional Mani diet, according to experts, is known for its benefits in maintaining our good physical health.
You will taste the typical summer food the babanatsa which is nothing but bread, oil, tomato, coarse local salt and feta. Its name changes from region to region and we find it as riganada but also as paspala, because it is sprinkled with coarse salt.
Wherever you go you will order Saitia, the traditional pie made with various aromatic herbs from October to March, which is still tender. The sheet is so thin, almost transparent, that the filling is visible. Its slim shape, reminiscent of a shuttle, gave it its name. They traditionally made the pie when they were picking olives.
Ask for octopus with rice and Taygetus sage. The dish traditionally eaten during the fasting period.
A typical dish of the people of Mani is the chiuropaspalas, with trachana and pork. It is also the festive one that is served mainly at weddings but also at every festive occasion.
Of course you will try lalagia. These are savory pieces of dough fried with a specific design, which contain olive oil, yeast, cinnamon and salt. Try all their versions, crunchy, honeyed, syrupy, with local gruyere or other cheese and tomato, even whole and with pepper or sesame.
The traditional dessert of the area is the delicious milk pie. Contains fresh milk, semolina, butter, eggs, sugar and olive oil.
In any tavern you sit, you will notice that Kayanas with salted pork is not missing from his menu. Grated tomatoes, eggs, salted pork in pieces, cheese with PDO cube, olive oil, fresh pepper and oregano are the ingredients that are fried and result in a delicious dish.
One of the most famous flavors of the region, is the syglino Mani sausage. Homemade smoked pork is prepared in a special way, after it is cut into strips and left in salt for three days, to be hung and smoked with sage for ten hours. Respectively, the Mani sausage consists of pork, orange, salt, pepper, various spices and it is smoked for ten hours, until it gets its aromas. The synglino has been registered in Europe as a local Mani product, which is also standardized.
Do not hesitate to try the sfougato, spaghetti with mizithra and omelette. The result is delicious and will justify your choice.
The local recipes of Western Mani also include: Pasta with burnt mizithra and oil, trachanas sour with red sauce, pulled pies with sphela cheese and Mani honey.
Before making your way back, leave some space in your luggage to get olives, olive oil, honey, touloumisio cheese, wonderful pastries, jams, herbs, oregano, tea and sage.