Among other things, Sifnos has connected its name with Nikos Tselementes, not only because it is the birthplace of the famous chef and of many other distinguished chefs but mainly because the gastronomic habits of the past are a living part of its tradition.
Based on the local agricultural and livestock products, the sweet-smelling thyme honey, the wild greens and herbs, the Sifnians have exploited with remarkable technique everything that their land offered them, by cooking with love food and sweets baked in wood-fired ovens, and in earthen pots.
Every event of the sifnian life and every season keeps …its own taste for years now.
The main dish on the traditional Sunday table is the chick-pea soup, which is cooked in an earthen pot (skepastaria) for many hours, all night long, in a wood-fired oven.
At the traditional feasts of Sifnos, the Sifnians organize the communal dinners, which remind us of the ancient symposiums and of the agapes (communal meals) of the early Christians, where they offer to everybody chick-pea soup and meat cooked in tomato sauce with spaghetti, cooked in special large cooking pots or during the period of the Great Lent, fried cod fish with garlic sauce and salad.
At Christmas, the finikia (honey-cookies) and the avgokalamara (honey rolls) smell delicious in every house of the island, while in the rural houses and the thimonies (simple one-roomed constructions covering the basic needs of the farmers) the Sifnians still make syglino (smoked pork) and pikti (aspic jelly).
A bit later, at the Carnival, the Sifnian housewives make dairy desserts such as rice pudding, cream or yoghurt made of goat's or sheep's milk, which is produced in large quantities during this time.
And of course Easter without the smell of the mastelo roast (lamb or goat cooked in the homonymous earthen pot, with red wine and anise, in the wood-fired oven), without the “Easter birds” (ring-shaped bread, kneaded in various forms of animals and birds) and without the honey pie (sweet made of boiled anthotira cheese and local thyme honey) is totally unimaginable for the Sifnians.
Weddings are always accompanied by rhomboid sifnian pastelis (honey and sesame candy bars)and by casserole marzipans or marzipans in the oven (with or without sugar).
Chick pea croquettes, caper salad (dry caper cooked with onions), manoura (yellow, hard spicy cheese that matures in red wine lees), and according to the season, chirovoskoi (wild greens) mizithra (sourish fresh goat cheese, ideal to use in Greek salad), dry figs, loli (sweet made of red pumpkin), sweet preserves and liqueurs made of fruits that grow in Sifnos as well as tisanes from the rich flora of the island, such as sage, mallow and bent grass are also part of the cuisine of Sifnos.
You can find the famous sifnian sweets such as anise cookies, butter cookies, casserole marzipans, marzipans in the oven, pastelis, loukoums, patties and sweet preserves at the traditional bakeries and sweetshops of Sifnos.