Dardouma: The family recipe for authentic trachana that is more than a century old

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Each place is said to write its own story through the memory of its taste and culinary tradition

The Dardouma family, in the village of Velos in Evia, just outside Aliveri, for over 100 years, has been spreading with its own special mastery, its pure quality trachana, a native of their ancestral fields and the local raw materials that blend with the secrets of Grandma Maria's recipes.

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Three different generations of women (great-grandmother, grandmother and mother) from the chain of succession of the Dardouma family worked with consistency and love on the history and the good things of their place to reach today and the metamorphosis of their vision through the fourth generation, the brothers Yiannis and Evangelos.

"The flavours and smells from the steaming tsoukali with the delicious, rustic trachana of our grandmother have not left our memory for a moment", admits Yiannis Mallios, the continuation of the traditional Dardouma Family pasta workshop that, together with his brother, teaches the younger generations and remind the older ones what a good, authentic trachanas is.

"The success of trachanas" explains Yannis to me, "is hidden in the fermentation and the dough. Especially in dough, which depends to a large extent on the humidity and temperature of the environment. However, everything can go wrong if you are not focused while making the dough."

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Today, in their visitable workshop that functions as both a shop and a traditional grocery store (the customer has the opportunity to see live every stage of the production process of pasta and trachana behind a large glass window), the products of the Dardouma family continue their journey through time.

"Technology may have strengthened us with modern machinery", admits Yiannis. "However, the recipes, especially of trachanas, remain the same and unchanged as those that our great-grandmother bequeathed to our grandmother and later to our mother. We get the milk, goat and sheep from local producers in the area, while the wheat is our own production."

Back to the roots with traditional goglies

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However, they stayed true to their old, family pasta recipes with the only difference being that here they tried - and succeeded - to upgrade them by looking for better quality semolina, since as Yiannis firmly believes, "beyond technique and experience, the good semolina makes the difference in the delicious pasta".

In particular, on the shelves of their store, in addition to their trachanas, you can also find other handmade pasta, such as screws, campanulas, coral, and barley (in premium and basic packaging), while village goglies also occupy a prominent place, a fresh, handmade and fasting pasta that was made by the women of the region from the olden days (it has Arvanite roots) and which is very reminiscent of the well-known Italian gnocchi.

"Nowadays," Yannis tells me ", the locals use it a lot, especially during the Halloween season, to make a traditional dish with grated mizithra and burnt oil". The shop's product range comprises a series of frozen products, such as handmade traditional pies and fried bread.

Ten different trachana labels

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Dardouma Familly's main trachanas labels are summarised as follows: sour trachanas with flour and sheep's milk, sweet trachanas with fresh sheep's milk and semolina, sourdough trachanas with yogurt, vegetable trachanas, hot trachanas with peppers, Dinkel wholemeal trachanas, trachanas with Goji Berry, baby trachanas for babies and finally trachanas with goat's milk.

They are currently working on vegan trachanades, a philosophy they intend to extend to their pasta range.

In addition to the shelves of large Greek grocery stores, delicatessens and specialised supermarkets (such as Thanopoulos), the company's brand name has travelled to European markets in recent years (England, Belgium, Germany).

In fact, "one day", remembers Yiannis, "some tourists from Germany came to our shop and told us that they travelled from Athens to our village just to get our trachanas that they had tried in their homeland."

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But it's not just strangers who make them feel more and more proud every day to continue their family's work.

"Women older than my mother, from the wider area" says Yannis, "buy our trachanas because, as they say, it reminds them of their grandmothers' recipe".

"What is the greatest and greatest reward to receive after this comment?" he admits excitedly.

Info: www.dardoumafamily.gr

Loukia Chrysovitsanou is a columnist for Olive Magazine.

READ MORE: Nikos Moutsouroufis: The wonderful story of Mailo’s and how they became one of the most successful food businesses.

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