Based on ancient ingredients and recipes, the traditional Cretan cuisine is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. The dietary habits of the islanders have allowed them to maintain very high life expectancy and very low rates of heart disease. According to scientific research, the Cretan diet is recognized by the international scientific community, as the best example of the Mediterranean diet, which contributes to maintaining health and longevity.
Due to its geographical and strategic location, Crete became a crossroads of three continents. As a result, many people and cultures came into contact. Thus, Cretan cuisine was greatly influenced by the culinary habits of all these peoples. The richness and quality of the Cretan land provides a wide range of local products and ingredients. These are used to create the most delicious recipes, popular for their taste, aromas, freshness and above all quality.
The main cooking ingredients of the Cretan diet are the olive oil, wild greens, vegetables, beans, lentils, fish, meat, seafood, herbs, wine and tsikoudia. A wide variety of cheese, especially Cretan graviera, cream cheese and mizithra, is also fundamental to the Cretan diet along with other local products such as yogurt, honey and various fruits.
I encourage you to try, among other things, graviera (local cheese), snails, dolmades, goat, apaki (smoked pork meat). Don’t leave the island without drinking tsikoudia and local beers produced by microbreweries. Finally, don’t forget to take some olive oil back home!