Kythera is a magical place in Greece, also known as the birthplace of Aphrodite. There are many beautiful places to see and things to do on the island. The opening lines in Vilana Studio’s website state: “Kythera. For some the centre of Europe, for others the world. This is where three seas meet, the Aegean, the Ionian and the Cretan. It is also where these seas meet with the sun”.
I attended a cooking class held by Elizabeth Stais from Vilana Studios located in the southern part of Kythera. Elizabeth demonstrated how to make the greek Mizithra (soft style cheese) using raw goats milk produced on the estate. Elizabeth also demonstrated how to prepare homemade vegetable and sweet pies using the fresh cheese. We also tasted some of Elizabeth’s other homemade specialities such as Fatouratha, a sweet spice liqueur made from a grape spirit.
We were shown an old stone hand mill used to split peas and to grind grain. The estate also has a special field called a “babakia”. This is a unique farming practice used in Kythera where the fields are treated in a particular way so that the crops do not require watering after they are established. This field grows tomatoes, melons, beans and other produce in a seemingly magical way and the flavour is more intense due to this special method of agriculture.
Elizabeth’s classes are conducted throughout April, May, June and September. For details and enquiries please contact Elizabeth Stais at email@example.com.
Photos: Sophia Poulos