Crete and its local products

March 01, 2024

Local cuisine
Cretan cuisine is among the most nutritious and healthy in the world. All the dishes are prepared with pure ingredients, products of the Cretan earth, without many spices to cover up the flavors. Here are some of the foods that you may want to taste. Selino me araka (celery with peas), agrimi stifado (braised wild goat), chicken with chestnuts, makarounia sioufichta (handmade pasta from flour, water, salt and olive oil served with cheese), chochlioi bourbouristoi (snails), chicken with yoghurt and lam with artichokes.

Fruit, vegetables and olive oil
The fertile land of Crete and the climate certainly help to the cultivation of the most known fruit and vegetables. Known for their quality are the oranges, mandarins and tomatoes which are cultivated all around Crete. All the Cretan prefectures produce tons of olive oil every year. They say that the Cretan olive oil is the best in quality due to the climate which favors the development of the olive trees.

Raki or Tsikoudia
It is the traditional drink of Crete which is made from grape distillation, a quite complicated procedure. It is an alcoholic drink with a very strong taste that you will receive as a treat from the locals in every village or city.

Local Cheeses
Cheese consumption in Crete is the highest throughout the world. It seems to me that the Cretans are right! They know how to appreciate the taste of graviera, kefalograviera, kefalotyri, anthotyro, sweet and sour mizythra and other cheeses which are produced in the traditional way and stand out because of their excellent taste and quality. Cheese helps Cretans keep the balance in their nutrition. A legend says that even the Greek god Zeus was fed with the local dairy products from a goat named Amalthia after he was born in a cave.

From then on farming has changed character in Crete. It is mainly based on small sheep, goats and only a few cows which are fed freely on the fields and mountains with herbs and grass. Farming is Crete is based on years of experience and basically nothing has changed apart from the process of the milk which is currently made in contemporary factories which maintain the traditional methods as well as the safety rules. So don't forget to taste the traditional Cretan cheeses in the local tavernas!

Cretan honey is a natural product produced in areas with local vegetation. If you decide to visit the beehives you will understand why Cretan honey is the most aromatic of all. The bees are fed from bushes that are only grown in Crete and the beekeepers don't have to feed them with sugar since there is no time during the year that there isn't any vegetation. Crete produces honey constantly! Processing the specific honey is natural without the high temperatures wasting the vitamins. Cretan honey is the best!


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