Most traditional recipes of Rhodes have their roots in Dorian Rhodes, the days when the cereal had a special place in the diet of the Rhodians. The Athenian in his “deipnosofistai” says the Rhodians at the beginning of the dinner brought bread among them the “Escharity” (a cake with olive oil, something like today’s “pancake with honey”), and another bread was called “atavyritis”
In ancient Rhodes, fish soup was particularly favored. The fact that marine products had a very little place in the traditional diet indicates that the recipes were formed during the late medieval and modern times when the shipping in Rhodes declined due to historical circumstances, and turned the island’s inhabitants towards agriculture and animal farming.
One encounters in some of the eating habits of the Rhodians in many Mediterranean regions such as Asia Minor and southern Italy, reflecting the ancient family ties and contacts Rhodes had with them. The cuisine was not only used for the satisfaction of biological needs but to strengthen socio-cultural relations with different people and groups.
Some food has initiatory or religious character, such as recipes for meat, fish and sweets that surround engagements,weddings, baptism and religious holidays such as Easter, Christmas and the Assumption (15th of August).
Given that Rhodes has always been a crossroad of culture so the taste and the nutrition information derives from Asia, Europe and Africa. The basis of Rhodian cuisine was always wheat and olives, while most food items came from island’s farming and fishing.
Today Rhodian culinary delights are based on the delicacies of the sea, salads created by new products such as avocado, arugula and tarragon grown on the island and cooked meats with new modern recipes.