The one and only Syglino of Monemvasia
Syglino is, perhaps, the most emblematic delicacy of Laconia. The roots of its creation are found in the Pig Slaughtering – an event of popular worship integrated into the agricultural economy.
Pig breeding provided the family with meat and fat for the whole year. It was not difficult for households to breed a pig, as people’s activities used to revolve around agriculture and stock-farming, leaving them with plenty of leftovers to feed their pig. The slaughter process was a ritual that took place on Christmas Eve.
The management of the carcass used to turn into a celebration. The inedible pieces were used in the making of toys, charms and useful objects. The edible pieces were either stored at home or offered to the poorest members of the community.
Meat intended for the household was handled in various ways so that it could be preserved. One of these preparations was the creation of syglino, which, to this day, remains one of the most special delicacies of the Mediterranean cuisine.
The way in which the syglino is prepared varies from region to region, but in each case the ritual is respected and followed, as each step must be accurate. When preparing Monemvasia’s Syglino, we first cure the meat in brine until it is well salted and then, we smoke it carefully with olive wood in built wood ovens. The last step includes boiling the meat with wine, laurel, cedar, allspice and orange peel. Once finished, the meat is cut into slices and stored in extra virgin olive oil to preserve its aroma and tenderness.
Syglino is the trademark of our place, loved by friends of gastronomy for its richness in proteins and fatty acids. It can be consumed in many different ways: as a simple “meze” (appetizer), in salads, omelets, pies and even in soups to add aroma and flavor.