A visit to the northeastern Greek city of Xanthi, located in the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, was not only an experience but an eye-opener. The locals refer to Xanthi as “the city with a thousand colors” and it is obvious why since the city represents diversity and multiculturalism at its finest. Nowhere else in Greece will you see such a vast collection of races, languages, religions… all in a very interesting blend.
Xanthi was once the center of the European tobacco trade and quite prosperous until leveled by two major earthquakes in 1829. The city was later rebuilt as a commercial center and capital. Its growth further developed once the railroad reached the city in the late 1800′s.
Xanthi experienced all the turbulent periods of the history of Thrace, such as raidings, disasters, race conflicts, civil wars.
It was seized by the Bulgarians in the early 1900′s, freed later by the Greek army and then captured again by the Bulgarian forces. Western Thrace, and thus Xanthi, became a permanent part of Greece in 1919-1920.
Xanthi today – Don’t miss the cuisine!
Today Xanthi is a modern city, rich in history, traditions and customs, with many attractions for visitors.
The city’s central most popular road is the paralia (meaning “beach” in Greek) that is packed day and night with locals and visitors.
Xanthi’s tavernas and their sophisticated Greek cuisine are not to be missed. The city is famous for its flavors.
The appetizers, the fresh bread and baked goods, the local wine and ouzo are components for Xanthi’s gastronomy. Its cuisine is characterized by a unique combination of aromas, flavors and traditions from the East and West, rich in contrasting materials and colors.
Some of the most popular dishes of the region are tzigerosarmades (liver wrapped in intestines), pork or chicken with pickled cabbage, chicken with couscous, sweet or salted pies, lachanodolmades (minced meat wrapped in cabbage), local sausages, dishes with peas or beans and pulses.
Xanthi is also famous for its pastries and syrupy sweets such as kariokes (wrapped sweets with chocolate and nuts), baklava, soutzouk loukoum, kantaifi, ekmek, saragli and walnut pie. In regards to local products, the prefecture produces fruits, vegetables, potatoes, legumes, asparagus and mushrooms. Read more here

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