Once upon a time the center of Minoan civilization which is the earliest known civilization in Europe. Today one of the most popular destinations for Scandinavians and many others. And the reasons for spending your holiday in Crete are many, the beaches with the long bathing season and the sights with Greek ancient history are just a few. However what I’m most impressed of is the gastronomic culture. The Cretan cuisine is fairly considered as one of the healthiest and most delicious in the world.
If you ask the staff at your hotel what they are doing after the holiday season is over, they will probably tell you that they are taking care of the piece of land. Probably with the olive trees they own. Crete produces olive oil of course, wine and even their own beer. The name of the beer we ordered in some restaurants is Charma and is very tasty. And the best part is that you usually can visit the producers and taste and learn about products in place. We use to rent a car to make trips around the island to discover the producers or the restaurants with the authentic Cretan cuisine. I call those trips for culinary trips read about them here.
The last time we visit Crete we stayed in Rethymnon and drove up to the little village Maroulas and there at the top of the hill we found a little nice family restaurant Fantastiko with the most a fantastic view towards the coastline.
The typical dishes we use to order as starters besides the Greek salad are:
Dakos also known as Koukouvagia. Consisting of a slice of soaked dried bread or barley rusk topped with chopped tomatoes and crumbled feta or mizithra cheese. Also flavored with herbs such as dried oregano.
Secondly Skaltsounia or Kaltsounia is pastries with kafkalithres or mironia. Thats Greek wild greens that reminds of spinach. Thirdly people here are very fond of drinking Raki or Tsikoudia the traditional wine of the island made on distilled grape peel. The Cretans love Raki so much that almost each family has its own unique recipe and can contain up to 37% alcohol. Raki is usually served after the meals with or without dessert.
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