The most famous products of Lefkada are Eglouvi’s lentils, honey from Athani, sausages and wine. Also interesting are the local pies as well as mantolato and pasteli which used to be a specialty of the barbers! Ivari has excellent quality avgotaraho (roe) despite the fact that these are produced in small quantities.
Also famous is the embroidery of Lefkada and the remarkable “Karsaniki” stitch (originated from the village of Karia) which doesn’t exist elsewhere in Greece.
In the town pies are not so common, while on the contrary in the villages they are ubiquitous and easily made. In addition to the vegetable pie with aromatic wild greens, also worthy of note are the rice pie (rizopita), pasta pie (macaronopita) made with eggs and milk, olive oil and cheese, as well as the ‘briani’, pie made with thick green courgettes.
The butchers continue, as they always did, to make the speciality air-dried salami and pork sausages. Lefkadian salami with its mild aroma of garlic and with whole peppercorns has been exported since olden times.
Eglouvi’s lentils is an extremely rare and delicious variety that has been awarded in several agricultural product exhibitions.
The most reclaimed, traditional wine varieties that grow in Lefkada is Bertzami and Bardea. Grown on the municipal units of Sfakiotes, Karia, Apollon and Ellomenos at an altitude of 200 to 700 meters and considered among the best varieties our country produces. In recent years, thanks to the tourism development in Lefkada, young winemakers with expertise and modern facilities undertook the task to highlight the local wine varieties, even succeeding special awards at wine fairs.
The winery facilities are open to public either directly or by appointment.
A visit to a winery is a real journey into the world of wine. The duration of a tour ranges from 20 minutes to 1 hour, based on time and interest of the visitors. The tour begins with the exhibition of vintage wine-making tools. Later on passing through the vineyard, visitors will be introduced to the wine-making and production space, where they can see up close all the processes (vinification, aging, bottling). Finally the tour ends at tastings area, where visitors can taste and purchase the wines of the winery.
It used to be served at engagement parties as its white colour is considered auspicious. This is how it became a wish for the unmarried 'to your somadas'. Elsewhere it is made with sweet almonds only and is in fact often found flavoured with rose water. In Lefkada it is made with bitter almonds and is served in a glass accompanied by a glass of cold water and a small plate holding little rusks with coriander. In our days you can find bottled somada in Lefkada in any grocery store or shop selling traditional products or you can try it at a place well known among locals as 'kafeneio tou amerikanou' in the Kouzounteli area.
3 eggcups bitter almonds
1 eggcup sweet almonds
6 glasses water
1 kg sugar
Preparation: Blanch all the almonds. Put them in the blender with one of the six glasses of water and whirl until you have a paste. Put the sieve over a pan and line it with cheesecloth. Empty the almonds into it and strain them. Gradually add the remaining five glasses of water to rinse the almonds and drip their liquid into the pan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Watch it, because as it boils it tends to boil over. Boil until it becomes syrupy. Remove any forth. When cool, bottle it and keep in a cool place or the fridge. To serve, put two fingers of somada in a glass and top it up with cold water.
From the book The cookery of Lefkada by Evie L. Voutsina