The Winter Tastes of Kos Island

As winter slowly sets in and the days get colder, new tastes emerge in the kitchen of every home in Kos Island, tastes richer, heartier than the ones we were used to in the summer. The fragrance of cinnamon, cloves, oranges and pomegranates pops up in every corner, and religious celebrations give the opportunity for more traditional dishes to warm our hearts and our palates.


A characteristic example of one of these tastes of winter of Kos Island deeply associated with a religious festivity is the creamy dessert of “Varvara”, a sweet concoction of wheat and tahini (sesame butter), sugar, raisins, almonds, walnuts and pomegranate seeds with sensuous aromas of cinnamon, spice, orange and rosewater. This dish is traditionally served on December 4th, but it is loved by locals as a treat on cold winter nights.

Another quintessential treat of any Kos home during the winter, the “Katimeria” are a favourite snack perfect for any time of day; local mizithra cheese wrapped in fyllo pastry and fried, served warm or cold with a drizzle of honey and cinnamon. Similarly, the titillating mouthfuls of “Loukoumades”, fluffy deep fried dough-balls and dipped in honey, chocolate or any other topping you could think of are the go-to delicacy for local and visitors of Kos alike.
The winter tastes of Kos could not be without something to drink. A homemade brew made of cinnamon called “Kanelada” is a unique traditional taste of the island, whereas “Alisfakia”, a herbal potion ideal for keeping you warm in the chilly evenings is usually served in any Christmas related festivity such as nativity scenes and seasonal celebrations, alongside the most well-known Christmas treats, “Melomakarona” honey cakes and “Kourabiedes”, buttery almond biscuits dusted with confectioner’s sugar.