In the taverns and restaurants of the island you can try many local flavors and of course choose fresh fish.
Local specialties of the island are:
- Handmade pasta (Ballothia),
- Cheese bread scented with saffron (saffron bread),
- Fine dough leaves honeyed and sprinkled with sesame or coconut (xerotigana),
- Sesame mixed with honey and cinnamon (Sesame honey),
- Sweet cheese pies with local eggs and mizithra (Melitera),
- Fine dough crescents with sesame, walnuts and honey (stuffed)
- Pure Anafiotiko honey mixed with peeled almond kernels (candy).
The local products produced in Anafi are few but all pure and very tasty, you can get them from the shops. On the island is produced by local producers thyme honey with intense aroma and color, olive oil of exceptional quality, oil cheese and wine. You will also be thrilled with the excellent quality herbs of the island such as: thyme, oregano, sage, thyme, saffron but also herbs that are pickled such as caper leaves, stamnagathi and kritama.
Beekeeping is the main activity of the primary sector on the island. The great variety of aromatic plants and the satisfactory rural road construction contribute to the exercise of this activity. There are 37 beekeepers on the island with 1091 bee colonies (2012 census) of which about 60 are housed in spatial hives (jars). The majority of beekeepers maintain a small number of hives and aim to obtain additional income from this activity. Honey production is satisfactory more than 12 kg per hive, mainly dependent on spring rainfall. Thyme honey is produced of exceptional quality. Static beekeeping is applied. The sale prices are good and available in Anafi to summer visitors.
In the northern part of the island in the places Stavros, Vouves and Vrysi one observes the existence of vineyards in the past. Today most are abandoned and old. Of course, some people continue to deal with the vines until today, in traditional facilities but they produce small quantities for their own consumption.
The varieties that thrive on the island are the rare white variety “gadouria”, as well as the “black strofiliatiko”. Many varieties common to neighboring Santorini, such as Assyrtiko, Aidani, Athiri White and Mavthyro and Mandilaria which is not favored in the territories of the island. The tradition of the island wants sun-dried or reddish sweet wines and is still kept.
There are few vine growers on the island. The variety is Assyrtiko and table varieties. The total area is about 45 acres and they produce wine with spatial vinification. There is interest from two or three new producers for planting new vineyards in order to produce table wine that is available in the tourist market of the island. There is also interest in the production of wine distillate for sale in the local market.
There are few olive trees on the island, about 250 acres. The lack of a unit (small olive mill) discourages residents from planting olive trees. In their orchards they prefer other fruit trees (apricots, figs, peaches) The produced olive fruit is mainly used for the production of table olives.
There is only one breeder on the island today with about 120 sheep and goats. Sheep and goat farming was gradually abandoned on the island (There used to be 10,000 animals). For this exploitation there are sufficient pastures and concentrated fodder (cotton pie) is transported from Santorini as a food supplement. The carcasses are available in the local market and some in neighboring Santorini.
The production of vegetables is based on small family orchards that produce products for the family. Two farms in Roukounas and Monastiri combined with a dining area show a greater dynamic. The orchards are organized on the edges of the streams that end in the sea where there are 6 wells or Municipal boreholes. In the summer, vegetables are imported to the island to meet the needs. A limiting factor is the lack of water and the lack of sufficient fertile land. During the summer months, a special and very tasty fruit offered by mother earth is the “pharaoh”, ie the prickly pear. It is difficult to harvest as there are many thorns around it. In August you can try them or drink a delicious prickly pear juice. Also, during the summer period, visitors can try other cultivated local products, such as potatoes, bulgur, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini and “katsouni”. “Katsouni” is a variety of cucumber, very tasty and is accompanied by honey. The island thrives a wide variety of grasses that are edible such as stamnagathi, sheep, sea radish.
The island does not lack herbs and herbs. Walking on the paths of the island during the spring months you will be overwhelmed by smells that come from the herbs and various herbs. Sage, oregano, thyme, caper are some of them. On the island in the period of November the saffron is picked, ie the saffron which is wild and native is not cultivated as in Kozani.
Many delicacies can be tasted when visiting Anafi depending on the season. Traditional Anafi pasta are the balls that are fresh pasta and are accompanied by red sauce and local yellow cheese. Of course, the nuts in various variations are also very tasty. Characteristic of Anafioti cuisine are the strong herbs in their food such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, garlic. Their kitchen also includes cold cuts such as lagaro and siglino. Another dish is the buns, milk with flour. During the Easter period, if one finds oneself on this beautiful Cycladic island, one will certainly try melites made with cheese but it has a sweet taste. And the cheese pies with saffron and the goat in the oven will be unforgettable. At weddings and festivals, many delicacies are served such as dragees, honey with almonds and xerotigana.