Navarino Icons: A memorable journey back to the culinary history of the Peloponnese region

ARTICLE / 01 APR 2016 / BY DIMITRIS PANAGIOTIDIS

COSTA NAVARINO
Costa Navarino Voidokilia Beach.
Navarino Icons by Costa Navarino, Greece / navarinoicons.com

Costa Navarino is the prime, sustainable destination in the Mediterranean, located in the Greek region of Messinia in the southwest Peloponnese. One of the most unspoiled and breathtaking seaside Mediterranean landscapes, this area has been shaped by 4,500 years of history. Its philosophy is driven by a genuine desire to promote Messinia, while protecting and preserving its natural beauty and heritage.

Navarino Icons is a multi-awarded gourmet food line of Greek Products from the region of Peloponnese created by Greka Icons S.A.. Navarino Icons aims to acquaint people with the region’s rich living history, through authentic products created in limited quantities by small-scale local producers who adhere to strict quality control guidelines in every step of the production process. The range draws on the age-long traditions of Messinia and is aligned with Costa Navarino’s philosophy to promote this undiscovered yet accessible part of Greece, while protecting and preserving its natural beauty and heritage. The Navarino Icons gourmet food range is created based on recipes handed down for generations, honoring the region’s culinary heritage. From extra virgin olive oil, to sesame seed bars and traditional spoon sweets, these gourmet food products are hand prepared with love and respect for local traditions.

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Navarino Icons Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

“The story of olive oil at Costa Navarino is as old as Greece itself. To Homer it was “liquid gold”, while Hippocrates described it as “the great therapeutic”.

Produced from the acclaimed Koroneiki variety olives and from centuries-old trees grown within Costa Navarino estates. The majority of our trees are 200 – 1000 years old and sit at an altitude of 300 to 500m. The unique breeze from the Ionian sea in combination with the morphology of the soil plays a significant role in ensuring we consistently produce an exceptional crop. The story of olive oil at Costa Navarino is as old as Greece itself. To Homer it was “liquid gold”. Hippocrates described it as “the great therapeutic”. The earliest written form of “olive” and “olive oil” appears on clay tablets inscribed in Linear B, which date to the 13th century BC. These tablets were discovered in the Palace of Nestor at Pylos, providing evidence that Messinia was among the first regions to cultivate the sacred tree of the goddess Athena. One of the oldest recorded olive trees in the world still thrives in Kalamata, where it continues to blossom and produce olives after 17 centuries.

COSTA NAVARINO
Bar Bouni restaurant, Pilos, Costa Navarino, Greece. Designed by K-Studio. Photo by Yiorgos Kordakis.

“Hippocrates, the father of medicine, said: “honey serves food, health and energy”. In Greek mythology, nectar was the food of the Gods and Zeus himself was brought up on honey… It was also believed that Eros, primeval god of love, passion and fertility, dipped the tips of his arrows in honey to fill a lover’s heart with sweetness.”

Navarino Icons Greek honey is harvested from colonies of bees that roam freely to collect nectar from the flowers blooming in abundance in the region around Messinia. Naturally thick and golden our pure honey is unheated and unfiltered, to preserve its nutritional benefits and highlight its delicate taste and aroma. It is cold packed by hand without the addition of artificial additives or flavorings. A piece of fresh honeycomb straight from the hive, is added to the jar. The ancient Greeks were well acquainted with honey’s value not only as a food but also as a source of longevity.

COSTA NAVARINO
Navarino Icons carton gift box: Estate Grown Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Pure Greek Honey with fresh honeycomb and Pasteli.

Pasteli, is a typical and characteristic Messinian confectionery made of best quality sesame seeds and the region’s finest pure honey. It is produced with respect to the traditional craft of making Pasteli and with great care in preserving its excellent nutritional value. Gluten-free and sugar free, it is rich in vitamin E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron. In Homer’s Iliad, the sesame seed and honey delicacy was referred to as “itrion” and was a favorite with warriors because it provided a natural energy boost, while ancient Greek athletes believed it nutritious ingredients enhanced their performance.