Traditional cooking in Messinia is an integral part of the popular culture of the region. It is based on oral tradition and was transmitted from mother to daughter because cooking was a daily practice of women. In the past, Messinian recipes were quite concise and were almost exclusively a privilege of the female members of the aristocracy. It was a form of initiation: girls would help their mothers to cook and thus learn the basic techniques of cooking Messinian dishes and desserts from a very young age.
Women would come in contact with the ingredients, taste the final product and in this way standardize tastes and flavors.In the past, the majority of the women in the region of Messinia had integrated the taste of the dishes they cooked in their cultural code. They would add ingredients without measuring them, taste, add and modify accordingly until they were satisfied that the result had reached their culinary and cultural expectations. For this reason, they did not regard the knowledge of specific dosage and measurements necessary; their recipes were based on continuous repetition and the large experience they had.
The traditional cuisine of Messinia has been subjected to changes in taste without, however, altering its taste quality. Through time it has come in contact with various culinary influences and has gradually incorporated them. For this reason the recording of the traditional Messinian recipes is not a matter to be taken lightly. Rather, it requires to be methodical and to be knowledgeable of the philosophy, which has founded and shaped not only these recipes, but also the taste of the Messinian dishes and delicacies. The recipes that can be found here come from the 1st Messinian Recipe Competition, which was organized by the Messinian Chamber of Commerce and secondary sources from bibliographical research.