Local Products

  • Olive trees
Local Agricultural Products of Greece

Apart from its long and rich history and mythology, Greece is known for more earthly pleasures too. A wide variety of agricultural products, from tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants to melons, oranges and grapes, is grown all over Greece and promises an exciting taste experience for all those who delight in good food.

Olives and Olive Oil

Special part in Greek cuisine is dedicated since ancient times to olive oil. According to the ancient Greek tradition, the first olive tree was planted on the Acropolis of Athens and since then olive trees have been a sacred symbol of Athena, goddess of wisdom and art. Beyond legend, Greek merchants brought the first trees in Greece from Levant and were the first to grow them in the whole mediterrannean area of Europe. Olives and olive oil have great nutritional value, rich in vitamin E, sodium and fibres. Olive oil has also been of great use to medicine and has been used since antiquity. Hippocrates, father of Medicine, mentions over 60 medical uses for a variety of health problems, from headaches, dermatolocical diseases and muscular pain to several inflammations, nautia and cholera. Moreover, garlands made from olive tree branches were awarded to winners of the ancient Olympic Games. Olives and olive tree branches have also been a popular pattern in art as well as poetry. The most important varieties grown in Greece are Koroneiki, Athenolia, black olives, green olives and olives from Kalamata and Chalkidiki, while 27 olive oils and 10 varieties of olives have been honoured with the distinction of Protected Designation of Origin. Some areas, famous for their olives and olive oil, are Olympia, Southern Peloponnese, Troizinia, Amfissa, Crete and Rhodes.  Last but not least, there are also two museums dedicated to olive tree growing and olive oil production in Greece, the first in Sparta and the second in Lesvos.

The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil (Sparta)

The Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production of Lesvos

Currants and Sultanas

Grapes is another well known Greek product, sultanas and currants in particular, grown all over Peloponnesos and especially Corinth as well as Zakynthos. Although, currants have been known in Greece since antiquity, they were widely spread in the 14th century A.D.. According to some experts the very word currant is an alteration of Corinth in 14th century french and then english, when it was called “raisin de Corauntz”, while sultanas gained their name because they were imported in Italy from the sultan’s areas (Ottoman Empire) or the are Sultanie of Persia. Such products are widely used in traditional baking and cooking and have great nutritional value as they protect from heart and vascular diseases, cholesterol, cancer and are also suitable for diabetics. Grapes are laid under the hot summer sun to dry out for about 10 days and then collected and further processed. Of course, grapes are also used for the upcoming and well-established Greek wines and distillations – learn more about them here!


Strong or mild, yellow or white cheeses such as the famous fetaformaela (Arachova), xynomyzithra (Crete), sfela (Mani), graviera (Agrafa) and katiki Domokou are also known and mirror the long tradition of diary products in Greece, produced mainly by free-ranging sheep and goats, fed on several herbs covering the rich Greek pastures. In addition, 20 types of cheese have been awarded the Protected Designation of Origin certification.


In the late 19th century, pistachio trees were brought in Greece and the island of Aegina became the best known producing area. There, the 10-meters-tall trees are grown for their nuts, which are collected, washed, dried out and roasted. In Aegina in particular a festival is held every year. Recently, pistachio trees have been grown in Salamina, Megara, Thessaly, Boetia, Fthiotida and Euboea.


With 12000 tons produces annually, honey is a very important Greek product. Greek honey is featured with a great variety as it may come from trees such as pines, firs, chestnuts and oaks or flowers and herbs such as thyme, heather, cotton, orange tree flowers, wild oregano and lavender or even a mix of them. Its high nutritional value and antibacterial features, along with its rich aromas, honey is widely used not only in traditional sweets like loukoumades, honey pies, baklava, melomakarona, diples (mainly consumed during Christmas) but also in stews like stifado, kapama and many dressings. Besides, Zeus himself was fed with honey by the nymph Melissa, the greek word for honey bee.


Several beans have also been grown in Greece and have been famous for not only their splendid taste but olso for their nutritional value. Such legumes are “elephant” and “megalosperma” from Prespa lake area and “gigantes” from Kastoria, awarded with Protected Geographical Indication. Of great importance is the fava split peas of lathuri flowers (Lathyrus clymenum) from Santorini, also awarded with Protected Designation of Origin.

Other Products

Other important products of Greece iclude the “avgotaracho” fish roe from Missolonghi, the Cretan rusks, the crocus of Kozani, the “Tsakonian” eggplant of Leonidio (celebrated every year with a festival), the aubergine, the capers and the cherry tomato of Santorini, fruits such as many varieties of apples, oranges, figs from Vravrona and Kymi, mastic from Chios not only edible but also used in cosmetics and medicine, cherries  from Rodochorio and peaches from Naoussa.