The significant benefits of the Messinian Diet can be attributed to the traditionalMessinian food, which constitutes its base. The food of Messinia is a combination of knowledge and wisdom of the older generations, which, despite the fact that their conditions of living were extremely adverse, they managed to make the best of what products were available in order to achieve the production of flavorsomeMessiniandishes and recipes based on the requirements of a healthy diet. Traditionally, the Messinian olive oil as well as the table olives of Kalamata held a prominent position.
At the same time,the traditional Messinian cuisine was rich in greens, vegetables, fruit, legumes, meat and fish. Simple and plain, Messinian cuisine was based onpure ingredients, generously offered by nature. Housewives would use specific ingredients and cooking recipes depending on the season.In summer they would gather white or black-eyed beans and store them to use in winter. They also made ‘trachana’ and ‘chilopites’ (types of traditional pasta) and kept them throughout the year. In late spring they made zucchini dishes (beans, zucchini, potatoes), while during Lent they gathered snails.
People consumed plenty of wild greens(‘tzoha’, wild chicories, Meditteraneanhartworts, poppies, mountain chicories, ‘lapsanes’/sinapis, ‘skoliompri’/cardoon), which they boiled or sautéed with onion and tomato paste. The householdnever lacked salted pork. Along with fried eggs, which were abundant in every family because everyone raised chicken, it was a treat for visitors.Αnothercommon food was handmade pasta, which they served with cheese(mizithra) and hot olive oil. Among the herbs they used, were garlic and onion for their recipes and oregano for salads. There were always traditional sweets at home (‘diples’, ‘kourampiedes’, sweet preserves, fig jam, etc.). Meal times were considered a sacred moment for the family, which used to gather around the ‘sofra’ (kitchen table). The father, as the patriarch, would sit on a higher chair and would ask the members of the family to pray.