Lesvos: The Kalloni sardine will be included in the Protected Designation of Origin products

kalloni sardines

The sardine of Kalloni is the first fishery product of Greece, which is headed for inclusion in the list of Protected Designation of Origin products. The complete relevant file has been submitted to the Ministry of Rural Development so that this unique product of Lesvian nature, in addition to its prominent place at the table of Lesvian gastronomy, also has the necessary protection.

When they say sardine in Lesvos, they mean Kalloni sardine, which will now be true all over Europe. This will happen on the study basis of the Agricultural University, which is based on the necessary research that precedes the integration.

The "papalina" as the Kalloni sardine is known in Lesvos, no matter how it is cooked, has become synonymous with Lesvian cuisine; Skala Kalloni in the mouth of the bay of the same name in the west of the island and of Lesvos as a whole.

It is caught in large quantities from mid-May to mid-October, the president of coastal professional fishing in western Lesvos Panagiotis Nanidis tells AMNA, but its peak moment in terms of taste, mainly due to its fatness, is just before, during and a little then, in August.

kalloni sardines

The Kalloni sardine is pickled with coarse salt in the morning or at noon to be consumed a few hours later, at noon or in the evening, respectively. But it is also cooked in many other ways and grilled, fried, in the oven and even soup.

Here, it should be noted that the Kalloni sardine or papalina differs from the well-known sardine fished in the seas. Short and thick, with flesh that has a characteristic whitish colour and a special "sweet" taste, thanks to the plankton of the warm waters of the Gulf of Kalloni.

As Mr Nanidis says, "Its special taste compared to its size is due to the natural phenomenon of eutrophication of the bay, due to the large flow of nutrients through the rivers and streams that flow into the Gulf. Making it a unique global natural fish farm."

kalloni sardines

Large quantities of sardines, about three tons, are caught daily and sold by fishmongers all over the island. Some small amounts leave the island, while others are pickled in olive oil factories.

"In recent years, the quantities of sardine fished in the Kalloni bay have increased significantly due to the abandonment of the method of fishing 'volagama', which created a problem for the ecosystem and also the perimeter lighting in the bay which keeps the fish inside it and does not allow them to leave outside the anyway, narrow mouth of the gulf," says Mr Nanidis.

The fishing of other fishing species will follow the fishing of sardines by the fishermen. Rich in uniquely tasty catches, the bay of Kalloni produces many more fish. The infamous mullet of the bay with its special and sweet taste, up to cuttlefish and squid but also bream, red bream and sardines.

Next to the fishing of these species, the income from shells, the so-called havara, which are the subject of particularly serious export activity mainly in Italy, will be added to the good daily wage for the fishermen of the Gulf of Kalloni.

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All this says, Mr. Nanidis, and especially nowadays the designation as a Protected Designation of Origin product of the sparrow, brings new fishermen to our work and not only because of family tradition.

"Let the state, with its agencies, ensure that the catch sold as Kalloniatika is such. And to create a training school for young people to know the Gulf of Kalloni and the need to protect it. Let's all have a living wage like this. And us and our children and our children's children. Kalloni Bay and its produce are a gift from God."

READ MORE: France: Greek woman died from eating rotten sardines in Bordeaux restaurant - 12 others in hospital.

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