Crete Food, Wine, Spirits
& Organics

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Fresh local food at Gramvousa Taverna in Crete

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.

The Cretan Diet - a basket of fresh vegetables

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!

Tamam Taverna in Chania Old Town

Tavernas in Chania - tips for great dining in Crete.

Tavernas by the sea in Crete

7 Tavernas by the Seaside in Crete - relax and eat with your toes in the sand...

Quality Label of Cretan Cuisine

Cretan cuisine certification

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.

Fresh broad beans from the garden in Crete

A Gourmet Ramble Around Crete - an article by internationally recognised chef, Byron Ayanoglu.

Wild Greens of Crete

Wild Greens of Crete- all about the Cretan super food, Spiny Chicory.

Olive Tree, Crete

Olive Oil - the first step to enjoying the delicious olive oil from Crete is to help with the harvest...

Basket of fresh olives just harvested

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.

Green Grapevines, Crete

Cretan Wine - quality wines grown under the Mediterreanean sun.

Tsikoudia in Crete (image by Manos Perakakis)

Tsikoudia - or raki - the Cretan spirit.

Dakos Salad, Crete

Dakos - a fresh Cretan salad recipe is a rustic staple of Crete food.

Grilled Octopus Recipe - how to prepare that octopus you see hanging by the harbourside.

Bougatsa (image by Savvas Limnatitis)

Bougatsa - the recipe for our favourite Greek pastry.

Bottles of Olive Oil from Crete

Buy Cretan Products Online - organic olive oil, Greek coffee, cookies from Crete...

Beautiful green olive oil from Crete

Buy Cretan Olive Oil Online - organic olive oils from all over the island...

Dittany - a healing herb from Crete

Dittany of Crete - a healing herb unique to the island...

Dakos Salad - a local dish from Crete

Greek Cookbooks - to bring the flavours of Ellada home with you...

Crete Food - Dakos

Crete Food - Dakos Salad

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.

Dakos on a platter with olive oilDakos salad can now be found in many fancy restaurants in Crete

Crete Spirit- Tsikoudia or Raki

Kazani in CreteManoli at the kazani

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...

Kazani in Crete
At the kazani (image by Manos Perakakis)Tsikoudia or raki has a very high alcohol content

The kazani or rakokazano distills grape pomace into a clear white spirit called raki or in Crete tsikoudiaThe kazani or rakokazano distills grape pomace into a clear white spirit called raki or in Crete tsikoudia

Crete Food - Spoon Sweets

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.

Greek Spoon Sweets

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.

Fresh green figsFresh green figs

Split sun dried figsSplit sun dried figs

Crete Food - Pastries for Breakfast

Bougatsa - yummy for breakfast

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.

In Chania try Bougatsa Chanion at 37 Apokoronou St, and Bougatsa Iordanis at 24 Apokoronou St, Chania.

In Heraklion try Phillo Sophia cafe near the Liondaria

Here you can see the preparation of bougatsa at Iordanis in Chania...

Food Foraging Tours in Crete

Take an 8 day walking, cooking and foraging tour with Vassilis and the team from Castello Taverna in western Crete.

Learn the local cooking methods, pick your own fresh vegetables from the taverna's own patch, and forage for local wild greens.

Take some daily walks into the lesser-known countryside with the villagers, let them show you their place. These are not your average countryside walks but specifically come from the heart of the villagers who want to share their ancient food and cultural heritage in a down-to-earth real way. Get to know Crete food first-hand in a relaxed humble village setting.

With your multi-lingual guides you will find local produce which is organic and non-GMO. Different seasons dictate the menu, in spring you will be finding edible wild mushrooms, thistles, asparagus, myriad flowers, oregano, thyme, mint, and herbs for tea as well as milking sheep, making cheese and collecting eggs from the farm hens.

In summer you will be picking many of the plants already mentioned as well as celery, figs, blackberries, and many other fruits. Bake bread in the traditional method, shear sheep, and enjoy a roasted lamb lunch. In autumn pick cherries, nuts, quince and help with the grape harvest, wine making and distillation of raki or tsikoudia from pomace. This tour is available all year round.

Kastellos Village is located 10 km inland from Rethymnon, just 73 km from Chania Airport, in north-western Crete, in rolling hills covered in olive groves and vineyards. The tour includes 7 nights accommodation and airport transfers. An unforgettable experience which includes time for visits to beaches and archaeological sites.

Food Tours

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.

Kritsa Gorge to Plaka and Spinalonga with Meals - on this 8 hour tour you will hike, swim, eat and cruise from Elounda or Agios Nikolaos and see the best the area has to offer. Make your own dolmades and taste authentic local olive oil.

Zucchini balls Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες are not just an excuse to have Tzatziki Τζατζίκι but taste wonderful tooZucchini balls Κολοκυθοκεφτέδες are not just an excuse to have Tzatziki Τζατζίκι but taste wonderful too

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...

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