A trip to the Greek Islands doesn’t disappoint, especially when it comes to their cuisine and traditional dishes. The largest Greek Island – Crete – has so much to offer to those looking for foodie heaven. Cretan cuisine is big on freshness, colours and textures. From Greek Yoghurt and cheese to healthy fruits and salads. Cretan dishes are often cooked in or drizzled with olive oil. Enhancing this typical Mediterranean inspired diet and dishes. So, if a Crete holiday is on the horizon, you have got so much to look forward to when it comes to food and so much more.
Dakos are perfect for lunch or as a starter (depending on how many you eat) and they are so tasty! Dakos consist of chopped tomatoes, fresh cheese, flavoursome herbs and olive oil on a rusk, otherwise known as paximadi. These are very similar to bruschetta, although the toppings aren’t on bread, but rather on crunchy paximadi. These rusks are slightly soaked in olive oil or water to soften them, whilst keeping the right amount of crunchiness.
Cretan cheese pie
Crete is big on cheese, and we mean BIG. Cheese features in quite a few local dishes in Crete, so if you’re a cheese lover a Crete holiday is perfect. There are a range of cheeses eaten on the island. From anthotiros, a soft sheep and goat’s cheese to kefalotiri, a hard and salty cheese made mainly from sheep’s milk. Cheese appears in loads of Cretan dishes. Most memorably though are the island’s cheese pies. Sarikopitakia is a pastry filled with sheep’s cheese, it is then fried in olive oil and served with a bit of honey on top. The next type of cheese pie in Crete is kalitsounia. These cheese pies are eaten during Easter, but they are still made and sold throughout the entire year. The pastry is filled with cheese, although the type of cheese depends on which area of Crete you are in.
Tzatziki is a traditional Greek sauce made from yoghurt which is mixed with garlic, olive oil and cucumbers. The sauce is an extremely popular dish in Crete and the Greek Islands in general. It is perfect to eat with meats of your choice, rusks, pita or even as a dip for fresh vegetables.
Raki is a well-known alcoholic drink in Crete and it is typically served at the end of a meal. The drink is made from the by-products of making wine. As a result, raki is usually made in autumn, the season after the grapes are harvested. During the process of making wine, grapes are pressed, and the juice is kept to ferment. The remainder or ‘leftovers’ are stored for up to six weeks where it is then distilled and turns into raki. You can get many different flavours of raki and they are usually sold in supermarkets.