The roast pork, the famous dish in the southern Peloponnese, has its roots in Messini and reaches back to the Ottoman era according to tradition.
As it is known, Muslims do not eat pork. As the legend says, therefore during the Turkish occupation, the people of Messini began massive pig rearing and thousands of pigs circulated through the city freely. It is said that this kind of “war” was proved effective, since the Muslims left and the Turks were settled in Androussa.
The pig rearing in Messina was significantly reduced only after 1920. “Until then the pigs were more than people ” as Doctor P. Koryllos said ironically in his travelogue “From Patra to Kalamata” in 1890. If you think that the residents of Messini were 7,000 in 1890, you can imagine how many the pigs were!
In 1920, town criers warned the local population that it is forbidden to have the pigs moving freely because the policemen would kill them.
So the custom of roast pork was established and expanded starting from Messini.
The roast pork is a wonderful dish, with even less fat than beef, if the consumer removes the visible fat. It is of course difficult to resist the temptation, the crispy “gortsa” and much fat of the animal, which is now baked in ovens and is widely offered warm and relatively cheap at all the feasts of Messini.