Today’s Meet Our Producers star is a professional forager of wild samphire and other wild herbs from Ikaria, Lefteris Trikiriotis
Mr Trikiriotis, has been living in Ikaria for almost 20 years now after leaving Athens for a life closer to nature. His passion for Botany led him to experiment with various wild herbs for home use, among which was wild samphire.
Ikaria’s wild herbs are famous for their high concentration in essential oils and minerals. For wild samphire specifically, the microclimate together with the geomorphology of the island have created a unique biotope for this product as the sea breeze sprays it continuously throughout the year, resulting in a unique, thick-leaved, and rich in minerals and vitamins product.
In addition, the rocky coastline of Ikaria, has left an important part of the island’s sea sides untouched by human intervention, something vital for collecting wild samphire as it grows a few meters from the sea. The procedure of foraging is done really carefully by Mr Trikiriotis, meaning that he follows the philosophy of regenerative agriculture, since in the places he visits the populations of wild samphire is not simply sustained but they bloom! In addition, foraging is always done in collaboration with the local forestry authorities.
Mr. Trikirioti’s wild samphire is not pickled, which is the common treatment to such herbs. The product is first steamed slightly to soften and then it is preserved in its broth. This recipe was the result of a long experimentation and collaboration with restaurants. The idea behind it is firstly to preserve all the nutritional value of the product and secondly to not minimize its culinary use. Therefore, since it’s not pickled the consumer can taste the samphire itself, which is a rare and really tasty product.
Mr. Trikiriotis want consumers to know that the product is a natural source of fiber and iodine and that they can use it on any dish. They can truly be sure of the product’s purity and of course the sustainability of its collection methods!
We are very happy to have such an ecologically sensible producer in our network!