legumes (grains, lentils, chickpeas, bead beans)
dairy products (feta cheese, kefalotyri cheese, kasseri cheese, kefalograviera, batzos)
sweet preserves (like mushroom spoon sweet and bean spoon sweet)
wine and tsipouro
liquer made of cornelian cherries and chestnuts
The trademark of Kastoria and its community welfare strength is without a doubt, fur. Counting over a 500 years history, fur production was established with the rise of the Byzantine Empire, when Kastorians were considered the world's leading fur crafters and their city has been one of the most important manufacturing centers of fur procession, design and trade in the whole world, (today Kastoria stands as the only fur processing center in Europe).
Apart from the fur sector - generating a total of 5% in foreign-exchange market annually, Kastoria is not limited in fur coats. Other celebrated foodstuffs of Kastoria include a range of legumes (grains, lentils, chickpeas, bead beans), being cultivated since 5500 BC., according to the archaeological findings at Dispilio Lakeside Neolithic Settlement. Following traditional methods of cultivation the local legume variety is identified by fine peeling, easy boiling, rich flavor and excellent quality due to richer soil structure and exceptional climate. From these, the beans (that include giant beans, elephant beans, flat beans, colored beans) have the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) (particularly the giant beans and the elephants beans), and are cultivated in the whole region.
Other products with Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) are the apples of a local variety, grown besides lakes and streams. There are two types of apples, the red ones and the yellow ones, both boast syrupy taste due to the certain kind of climate.
All sorts of dairy goods are also among the best products that one can find in the region’s produces, such as feta cheese, kasseri cheese, kefalotyri cheese, kefalograviera cheese and batzos. Also, these are products of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). So, Kastoria has exceptional dairy products, which include all those special characteristics of the region: the countless pastures, the unique aromas of the alpine nature and the excellent microclimate. And thus, they stand out not only for the revival of the old traditions in cheese making, but for their very unique aromatic milk produce.
With special reference to batzos, a type of goat cheese produced in the region (from Central Macedonia to Thessaly), known as protected designation of origin product (PDO) by the EU. Batzos is a white, hard and relatively low fat spicy briny cheese, made from partially pasteurized goat's or sheep's milk (or even a blend of these two). Considered to be one of the most primeval Greek cheeses, batzos was originally produced parallelly with feta cheese. Furthermore, batzos is characterized as one of the oldest hard cheeses and its being produced in an early stage likewise kefalotyri cheese, kasseri cheese, etc. Since batzos is low fat, it is usually preserved salted. Finally, this piquant cheese is the best option for cheese saganaki.
Moreover, the fresh-water fish from lake Orestiada is one of the most scrumptious appetizers all around Kastoria, not only because this is a principally healthy fare, but also mouth-watering. From carp, perch, chub (squalius cephalus), tench, catfish, muskellunge, common roach and other species, you can taste lake fishes in Kastoria almost at any moment.
The wild edible mushroom varieties that thrive in the cool mountain air of Grammos mountain range and Mount Vitsi, are foraged from the mushroom-connoisseurs of Western Macedonia and served at their restaurants. This range of mushrooms is renowned all over Greece for their distinctive zest, due the absence of any chemical fertilizers and pesticides, as well as the event of alpine acid rain.
Chestnuts grown in the trees of the area, bloom mainly at the woods of Grammos mountain range and Mount Vitsi, (at fairly low altitudes, about 600-800 meters high), are eaten raw, boiled, roasted, or even make the best spoon sweet.
Walnuts aging up in the hills of Grammos and Vitsi, are being collected during autumn to get peeled, washed and dried under the sun. Also, these particular type of walnuts are mostly used in sugar confectionery (e.g. saliaroi – a type of local shortbread with powdered sugar snarfed up all the time, baklava, e.t.c.) as well as for liqueur making.
Regarding booze, local tsipouro made from the grape distillation, aka the crushing and pressing of the wine of high quality by extracting the grape must.