Ikaria, in the South Eastern Aegean, represents a very characteristic island both from a geographical and an historical point of view, which combined with the proud character of its inhabitants, have made it one of the most interesting islands for the food and wine heritage it has developed over the centuries.
Among the many treasures of the island, the stravoradi pear is certainly one of its least valued jewels.
The trunk of the tree is robust and wrinkled, with its multiple branches growing and evolving up to three meters high. The leaves are medium size and ovoid, with the sun-exposed part much greener than the lower part. The fruit, ripening in mid-July, is an elongated oval of about 7 to 10 cm and a greater diameter of 5 cm. Intense green as it matures, it becomes slightly yellowish green, consistent and fragrant
Yet, until the middle of the last century the production of this variety of pears was widespread on the whole island, especially in the neighboring areas of the territory of the Frantato community, 10-15 km from the port of Evdilos, towards Rahes to the west and along the south coast of Ikaria. The Stravoradi pear was in fact an important product both in the subsistence economy of its inhabitants and in exports. The memory of when tons of Stravoradi pears were loaded and transported with the pack animals from the production area to the Patheni and Armenistis harbors, and from there to Smyrna in Turkey and to the north of Greece, in Thessaloniki, is still alive.
Unfortunately, the decline of agriculture on the island, combined with the replacement by new plants and varieties considered more interesting from the quantity point of view, has dramatically reduced the production of Stravoradi pears. Thanks to the activity of the Slow Food Ikaria convivium, the first efforts began to recover this ancient variety, one of the culinary symbols of the island.
The Stravoradi pear is very aromatic, not particularly sweet, with a slightly astringent and long lasting aftertaste. It is suitable as a table fruit or to be eaten fresh, together with ice cream or capirno kathura cheese, or dried in the sun (apidòkopa), or to be distilled.