On Sunday 6 October 2013, a few of us attended the third and final day of the Menites Pork Festival.
Beatrice McLoughlin, who has lived and worked in Andros over many years while doing Zagora research, and has her finger on the pulse of Andros, told us about the Menites Pork Festival about the time that I discovered that Menites is where the Zagora team stayed in the 1970s (see the post about the remarkable connection with 1970s Zagora photographer Raymond de Berquelle).
The community gathers together annually for the Pork Festival in Menites. They slaughter a pig, and then, together, butcher it, and make sausages out of it. They and guests eat some of the sausages during the Festival, and store the remaining sausage in tins, sealed with pork fat. This provides an effective preservative.
Beatrice got to Menites on Friday 4 October, in time to see the sausage-making and storing. Beatrice wondered whether this event may go right back to Zagora settlement times for we know that the Zagorans used large storage vessels, pithoi, which were usually nested in holes in stone benches set against walls in the rooms of the houses. New analysis methods (testing of the ceramic material) may reveal in the future what food or drink may have been stored in these pithoi, and whether pork sausage or other meat may have been one of those foods.
We arrived as the Festival was coming to an end. But, in the spirit of generosity which we have encountered everywhere here on Andros, we were warmly welcomed and treated to some of the very tasty sausages.