The high nutritional properties of the pasteli (sesame bar), one of the famous traditional products of Messinia, have been known since the time of Herodotus.

The pasteli is made from sesame seeds and honey, two natural ingredients that have a high nutritional value and which constituted the basic ingredients of the ancient Greeks' nutrition, who used them in various foods. In ancient times and up until the mid byzantine years, the pasteli was called sisamis. It is not known when its name was changed to pasteli (localization of the Latin term pastillus).

In fact, in ancient times the pasteli was a symbol of fertility, it is for this reason that it was given to guests at weddings–a custom that continues on many islands and in many regions of Mani to this day.