At a distance of 7 km from Aridea is the remote and mountainous settlement of Garefi.
The village of Garefi is “famous” for the cultivation of red “Karatzovitiki” pepper and the production of red pepper, known to all as “bukovo”.
The human presence in the area dates back to archaic times. In Byzantine times there was a settlement east of the present village whose inhabitants were slaughtered by the Turks. The village was named after the fighter of the Macedonian Struggle Captain Garefi. Its inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry.
For the last hundred years, the inhabitants of the settlement, located in the municipality of Aridea in the prefecture of Pella, have been planting this vegetable on thousands of acres, despite the intense competition of new crops. To celebrate one century of “life” of red pepper, the municipality of Aridea, in collaboration with the municipal district of Garefi, organizes on Sunday, October 11, a large event in the central square of the village, where cooking competitions are held – always based on pepper – and better packaging of red pepper. “Karatzovitiki” pepper is a type of small pepper, which is intended for the production of red pepper. Its planting starts on June 1 and its collection, at the beginning of August, while six kilos of fresh pepper give one kilo of red pepper.
The celebration bridges yesterday and tomorrow of our agricultural heritage. For three years we have been investing in the development and promotion of the producers of Bachovite or Karadzic pepper, because it is a product inextricably linked to the history and gastronomy of Almopia. In the area of Aridea, there used to be three red pepper factories, which ceased to operate in the late 1980s, due to intense competition and the shift of producers to new crops. However, it is auspicious that in the last decade there has been a growing international demand for local and traditional products that meet the growing demands of consumers for safety and hygiene. The festive events of the municipality of Aridea and the municipal district of Garefi try to combine culture and the strengthening of trade. During the celebration, women of the village will present recipes for the famous pepper pie and the “nest” of pepper.