For the slow traveller: Reward yourself in Lefkada, try somada!

It used to be served at engagement parties as its white colour is considered auspicious. This is how it became a wish for the unmarried ‘to your somadas’. Elsewhere it is made with sweet almonds only and is in fact often found flavoured with rose water. In Lefkada it is made with bitter almonds and is served in a glass accompanied by a glass of cold water and a small plate holding little rusks with coriander. In our days you can find bottled somada in Lefkada in any grocery store or shop selling traditional products or you can try it at a place well known among locals as ‘kafeneio tou amerikanou’ in the Kouzounteli area.

Thodora’s somada

3 eggcups bitter almonds
1 eggcup sweet almonds
6 glasses water
1 kg sugar

Preparation: Blanch all the almonds. Put them in the blender with one of the six glasses of water and whirl until you have a paste. Put the sieve over a pan and line it with cheesecloth. Empty the almonds into it and strain them. Gradually add the remaining five glasses of water to rinse the almonds and drip their liquid into the pan. Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Watch it, because as it boils it tends to boil over. Boil until it becomes syrupy. Remove any forth. When cool, bottle it and keep in a cool place or the fridge. To serve, put two fingers of somada in a glass and top it up with cold water.

From the book The cookery of Lefkada by Evie L. Voutsina

Local products of Lefkada