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Crete food! The Cretan diet is the best in the world, according to the World Health Organisation.
The locals just know, instinctively and through strong traditions, how to live life, and this includes how to enjoy good healthy food.
Quality Label of Cretan Cuisine
Where to Taste Olives & Olive Oil in Crete
The Cretan Diet - is famous the world over for its life-giving properties - the longevity recorded on the island in Crete is well known. How do you live a long and healthy life? Well, to start with, don't diet!
Look out for the Quality Label of Cretan Cuisine at tavernas, restaurants and similar labels for Open Wineries, Cretan Grocery Stores and on certified products. This classification by the Agronutritional Coop of the Region of Crete means the taverna, restaurant, winery or product has been authenticated as local; a true Cretan experience.
Olive Oil - the first step to enjoying the delicious olive oil from Crete is to help with the harvest.
Where to see olive trees, estates and taste olive oil in Crete - including an 8 day olive oil tour where you can help with the harvest, learn about olives and enjoy traditional fresh local meals. Or visit an olive farm as part of your own self-drive holiday.
Tsikoudia - or raki - the Cretan spirit.
Dakos - a fresh Cretan salad recipe is a rustic staple of Crete food.
Bougatsa - the recipe for our favourite Greek pastry.
One of our favourites. Dakos whether you eat it for breakfast, lunch or as a snack any time of the day, always reminds us of Crete. Get the recipe here and some tips on where to find a good dakos in Crete.
After the grape harvest and the wine making, our kazáni is fired up. This is the local still, making a potent white spirit from the wine grapes. Many pleasant hours are spent sitting around the fire making tsíkoudia which is a labourious process for those responsible, consisting of 10 minutes hard work followed by 2 hours of hard drinking.
Occasionally, to line our stomachs, we pop some potatoes in the hot coals and eat them steaming fresh from the fire. The sweet smell of the tsíkoudia made from the must of the grape harvest and wine production will always remind me of the fun and relaxing parea at the kazáni in our village.
One unusual tidbit for visitors to know about is gliká tou koutalioú, literally 'sweets of the spoon'. These are preserves, usually home-made, served on a tiny plate with a tiny spoon to newly arrived visitors (at any time) or at a coffee date in the home.
These are a very handy thing for any Cretan (Greek) household to
have in the cupboard, as the sugar preserves the fruit, it doesn't
readily spoil and is a handy fall back when 'the cupboard is bare' of
fresh-baked sweets. The flavours can be as varied as the gardens and
orchards around the village, and also seasonal, we love the síca fig spread also known in English as fig jam or fig marmalade, made with fresh figs.
It is never too far between treats with the Greek pastries. Many coffee dates will be filled with these delicious fattening goodies. One of our favourites is bougatsa.
This golden brown crispy pastry filled with mizithra μυζήθρα cheese makes a filling if not nutritious breakfast or snack at any time of the day.
Here you can see the preparation of bougatsa at Iordanis in Chania...
Crete Food Tour of Chania Old Town - a 3 hour walking tour of the picturesque Venetian town with food tasting. Be led by a local down little-known laneways to out-of-the-way cafes and try tidbits of Cretan cuisine. Try rusks or paximadia and koulouria, donut-shaped bread encrusted with sweetened sesame seeds, cheese, olive oil, olives and sweet pies.
Crete Food Odyssey, A Historical Culinary Tour of Chania - join a local gourmet and experimental archaeologist - a 'food historian' who will blend the intricate and rich cultural history of this place into the food found here. Promising to be a multi-sensory experience, this is one for the true foodies.
This video captures the essence of Cretan food - shepherds, fishermen and winemakers share their passion for their local produce...they share the Incredible Flavours of Crete.
Take a 1 hour flight from Athens to Heraklion with Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air, with many flights available per day.
Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.
More on flights and ferries below.
Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.
When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and an easy online booking procedure. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid or non-hybrid vehicles.
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