Little dictionary of Rhodian Cuisine
The conquerors of Rhodes, Latins, Genoese, Hospitallers, Turks, Italians, left their cultural mark in the island, which, however, retained its Greek character and especially at the core of its existence, the language. These influences appear in the vocabulary of everyday life and of course in its most basic manifestations, cooking and cuisine. The following mini dictionary explains the meanings in the Rhodian dialect of some raw materials and some of the local traditional dishes.


Alia or Aelia cow
Appi or Apidi pear
Arnaoutia small green horn peppers in brine
Askadia – Skadia figs dried in the oven
Atzia clay cookware
Chreio to "build” the door of the wood-burning stove so that heat stays inside, for cooking “kapama” (stuffed goat)
Felakia thin bread slices
Fouskakia small tomatoes
Frimmeno roasted
Giapraki grape leaves stuffed with rice. They made them adding various stuffing such as wild rabbit, goat, broad beans etc. In addition to grape leaves, they used to wrap the stuffing with leaves of cyclamen, beetroot and apricot tree
Kaisi apricot
Kamilaki cyclamen. They were using the leaves to wrap the giaprakia and its root for spoon sweet
Kapamas stuffed small goat in the oven
Karavoles snails. Cooked with tomato sauce and onions
Kiasedes clay cups
Koukoumaria a species of morchella mushroom that grows in central Rhodes. Cooked in many ways but the most common was slow-cooked with a lot of onions and vinegar
Koulouria pasta boiled in bouillon. Traditional food for weddings or engagements in many Rhodian villages
Koulousafades or Poumpari pork intestine stuffed with lung and rice
Kounnes seeds. Also the sesame
Ladopsychia stale bread in cubes, fried with onion, tomato, water and lemon juice
Lakani a dish with goat or lamb meat cooked with tomato sauce and “chondros” (coarsely ground wheat) inside a 'lakani' (ceramic pot with lid)
Lastres clay pots
Lopia a kind of bean
Makria myrodia cumin
Manatsouki clay Dutch oven like a jug, where beans or chickpeas are cooked all night long in a wood-burning stove
Manites mushrooms
Matsi the most popular Rhodian pasta. Thin pasta rolled with “matsoxylo” (pasta rolling pin) and cut in strips or cubes. Served with fresh butter and a lot of trimmed cheese. In many cases, matsi is added to cooked chickpeas, lentils and beans
Mavromytika black-eyed peas
Milla pork fat
Mostokofti moustalevria (traditional Greek kind of pudding made of grape), thicker than usual, with almonds and walnuts. Apply in a pan, let it dry and cut into fingers. Put cinnamon on the top
Myrika herbs
Paticha watermelon
Perikafti – Pelekaftia slices of bread cooked in “tsimnia” (fireplace)
Pirgouri – pergouri bulgur
Pitaroudia small pies usually with chickpeas, zucchini or onion, depending on the area
Popsimata the word means “these which are cooked.” Each time the Rhodians boiled milk, they picked up the kaymak and kept it in a cool place. They slow-cooked it, once they had gathered enough. The “popsima”, was found on the bottom, in brown colour, after removing the “xalies”, the white butter on the surface. It was considered as an excellent quality food and for this reason it was given to sick people
Poulnta chicken
Rifiki lamb or goat spine, stuffed with rice, cooked all night long in clay pot
Ritseli dessert with grape must and watermelon peelings, quince or “kaisia” (apricots)
Syvrasi caramelized onions in olive oil, usually quenched with vinegar. They served on anything that needs more flavour, from pasta to green beans
Tavas pan
Tentzero large cooking pot
Tsimnia fireplace
Vazanes eggplants
Volarites a version of doughnuts
Xalies the butter that is left after boiling milk kaymak. They used it to enhance food flavour
Xerochymisi fried goat cheese or sliced onions, quenched with vinegar, on top of boiled “horta” (greens)
Zoupes cured olives in brine