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Aegina Cuisine with Pistachios

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The Aegina pistachios, a principal crop on the island since the 1920s, became known the world over after achieving Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Union in 1996. A star was born in the global food chain with infinite potential that has yet to be fully explored.

It was traditionally eaten either raw or roasted as a tasty and aromatic nut, while homemakers often used it in syrup-soaked desserts like melachrini cake, baklava, kataifi and saragli rolls, as well as special pistachio sweet cakes, chocolates, biscuits, rusks, preserves, nougat and even liqueur.

These days, Aeginetan cuisine masterfully takes advantage of this local product. Contemporary chefs using personal skills and imagination resourcefully create artful dishes enriched by the aroma and flavour of the popular nut. This has been even more evident since the inception of the Fistiki Fest.

Our goals are to explore the huge potential of pistachios, to breathe new life into our traditional menus and to create new flavour combinations that will develop culinary tourism and gain even wider recognition for our products.

Delicious recipes based on the Aegina pistachios provide rich, flavourful dishes to satisfy even the most particular appetites. Pistachio pesto will spice up your pasta or can make a quick snack as a spread on bread or crackers. Aubergine dip or green salads, or even garlic spread, can be sprinkled with finely chopped pistachios, which can also be added to chicken or pork for a true revelation.

Sausages stuffed with pistachio, pan-fried feta breaded with coarsely chopped pistachio and honey, filleted sardines with pistachios or stuffed pearly razorfish (katsoules) are just a few of the gastronomic experiences in store for locals and visitors at one of the restaurants, tavernas or hotels in Aegina.

One thing is certain: Aegina's future looks bright with many imaginative and innovative creations.

The Commissioner is pleased to include the "Aegina pistachio" name on the list of PDO-PGI products.

Brussels, 2 July 1996

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