A natural sponge

Sponges used to be a very rare and expensive product. Sponge diving is actually one of the main reasons of the island’s prosperity through the centuries. It even proved useful when the Turks invaded the Dodecanese since the Sultan’s harem was very much in need of sponges and was ready to show some clemency in exchange for a regular supply. The one pictured above is called a “wool sponge” and its generous size and softness certainly feels like a Mediterranean luxury.

A bag of dried oregano

Oregano grows in the hills of the island. In fact, as soon as you leave the villages and the seaside you can smell its strong perfume in the air. It will make a nice alternative to thyme and rosemary in my kitchen.


  • […] bring back from a trip aren’t used every day once you’re back home – except my Symi sponge maybe – but those knives have become a breakfast staple. Maybe it’s because of the […]

  • […] cheese and have been recreating twice since we came back. Oranges are seasoned with seal salt, oregano, dried peppers, red onions and excellent olive oil. It’s so simple yet so good, and I would […]

  • […] only. See, the island has been wealthy for while, despite its minuscule size, mostly thanks to the sponge trade (who knew there was that much money there?). They became particularly flush in the 19th […]

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