A culinary tour of Tinos
Few destinations can claim to have made food as big a part of their identity as Tinos, with mouthwatering dishes and culinary festivals that champion the local products of this low-key but delicious Cycladic island.
From its seafood and mountain herbs to its dairy products and wines, the island of Tinos is just as rich in natural ingredients as it is in imagination when it comes to sharing its culinary creations.
The subtlety of the flavour of cheeses and cured meats is worn like a badge of honour by locals. And not a season goes by without a product taking centre stage. Capers are collected in early summer and brined for a month before being celebrated in an August festival. Just as there are festivals for artichokes, wine, honey, raki and oregano. And as autumn arrives, so Tinians head out to forage for mushrooms – eaten fried or stewed.
Indeed, this deeply authentic member of the Cyclades isles (just 30min-1hr30min from Mykonos by ferry) can claim to be truly self-sufficient when it comes to its produce.
As you venture around the island, you’ll smell the mint, sage, dittany, thyme and chamomile that you’ll then recognise in local stores or herbal infusions. And you’ll admire the dovecotes (there are more than 1,000) used to rear doves and pigeons that are an indelible part of Tinos’ culinary and architectural culture.
It won’t surprise you that the locals have turned their attention to enticing foodies to their shores. The Tinos Food Paths initiative has become an established part of the culinary calendar, bringing Athenians and international visitors in growing numbers each May.