The word ‘paximadi’ (paximadia in plural) comes from Paxamus a writer of the Late Hellenistic period (2nd century BC). Paximadia are made from wheat or barley flour, leaven, and water. Before baked, the loaves are scored into thick slices. The slices are then placed back in the oven to dry. Double-baked, paximadia have a long shelf life. To eat them, they are dampened in water, cut in the middle, sprinkled with olive oil, and covered with chopped fresh tomatoes, pieces of cheese, olives, oregano and onions. In Filiatra paximadia are called ‘tomateli’ while in Mani the locals called them ‘chalía’ and substituted bread when there was a shortage. A historical source mentions that paximadia were one of the supplies of the fighters of the Greek War of Independence in 1821.
Wheat and barley, which are used for the production of the Maniatiko paximadi, contain carbohydrates, like starch and are rich in vitamins and fiber. These cereals have an increased proportion of soluble fiber, such as beta-glycane, which helps reduce the levels of LDL (bad) blood cholesterol.