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Naoussa's gastronomy

The traditional cuisine of Naoussa, a living heritage handed down to us today -hearty and always delicious- utilizes with mastery local products and the particular characteristics which the mountain climate, soil and environment lend to them. Having as main ingredients fresh garden vegetables, legumes and local fruit and, in lesser quantities, meat from domesticated animals (poultry, pork, veal and beef, kid and lamb) which practically comprised the only livestock activity of the people of Naoussa, similarly to the fish from the rivers and lake (of Giannitsa), Naoussa homemakers created a large series of simple or more complicated foods for the everyday and holiday needs of the family. Even today, one may enjoy and taste these dishes, in homes or at restaurants and taverns, since they are a basic element of the living tradition of the place.

 

Bread, unbreakably connected to daily nutrition, demanded an oven be built in every Naoussa home, in which homemakers baked breads, foods and pies. Only after the 1930s did professional bakeries producing bread start to operate in town.

 

Pies made up -and still do- a basic element of local cuisine. Their skillful preparation was a prerequisite -together, of course, with a dowry- for the acceptance of the bride-to-be by her in-laws.

 

Naoussa pies are all made with homemade pie crust, and on every Saturday no home is without them. Their names and taste depend on the pie filling. There used to be the right pie for each season and celebration: pumpkin pie, made on New Year's Day but also all winter through, together with leek and minced meat pie were considered pies for more formal occasions. Correspondingly, Easter pie was the pie with the fresh seal lion filling ('krommodhoulia'), while for periods of fasting there was spinach pie with sesame seed oil. Besides these there is the classic cheese pie for all seasons with feta cheese, and also 'batsio' (local hard cheese) pie and minced meat and onion pie mostly in the winter. Summer pies are the ones with fresh zucchini, nettle pie, 'lavoudia' (wild greens) pie and leek pie.

 



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