This is not a story . It is a tribute to the most delicious edible good of Mani area. It is an invitation for a “meze” (a Greek way of snack) in the southern Peloponnesus area. For accuracy in Lakonia , in the peninsula of Tainaron. In the region of the famous Mani…
Areopolis town was named – according to tradition – after Ares , the ancient god of war (people from Mani recognized at him a warrior like them … ) and this probably happened after the Greek Revolution . Until then , the town was called Tsimova . Certainly the name Areopolis suits very much, also because of the powerful wind (Aeras in Greek, Aeropolis-Areopolis) that sweeps everything as it descends from the saddle of Mount Taygetos ( local people used to say than Mani wheat fields remained not harvested since they had been swept by the north wind ).
Here , in Areopolis I tasted the best singlino in Mani !
What is this ?
The singlino is undoubtedly the most “emblematic” dish of Mani. It is salted pork (you’ll find it as “pasto” throughout the southern Peloponnese) , which dries salted, and then smoked for many hours with a fire of green sage (which in Mani is called spaka).
The piece of pork that is proper to make singlino is shoulder, leg and part of the belly. When singlino is ready, then it is preserved for long, especially in fat. This also means singlino ( meat plus + glina, that means fat) . Singlino or pasto is made all around the rest of the Peloponnesus (mainly southern ) but with slightly different salting and smoking.
In Mani locals usually eat this cut into pieces and boiled in a saucepan with a little water and fresh oranges cut in half. They let it cool down and then it’s ready – oranges could be eaten too; they make an unusual combination with the smoky aroma of sage .
If you ask for this delicacy at the local tavernas you will normally find siglino served cold (with a minimum drop of raw olive oil ) or into omelets.
I found the best singlino it the butcher shop of Mihalis Tsatsoulis, in Areopolis (it is served also in a well known tavern in Areopolis ). We tried it with oranges , and we bought some in jars with fat, to bring it home.
If Ares gave his name to Areopolis, then it is quite certain what he used to eat when he was coming here .
Singlino of course, a food for heroes ….
Where am I ?
Areopolis town is located in the southern Peloponnesus, in Lakonia . The quickest way to get there is to drive through Sparta and Gythion cities.