The Cretan diet is recognized by the international scientific community as the most characteristic and high-quality version of the so-called Mediterranean pattern of eating.
The Mediterranean eating regime, with its stress on vegetables, pulses, fruits and cereals – together with the use of olive oil – contributes to a long and healthy life.
Developed within the mind-set of an almost sacrosanct approach the Cretans have towards hospitality are the age-old diets habitually enjoyed from what their soil so generously produces: oil, wheat, wine, honey, wild greens and aromatic herbs... the basics of the Cretan cuisine. In recent years, lengthy scientific research has shown the benefits to one’s health that the diet’s properties and nutritional values bring.
The Cretan cuisine, one of the oldest and most palatable culinary traditions in the world, with its variety of delicious and aromatic delights, is correctly considered one of the healthiest going. The richness and the quality of the island’s products down the centuries have produced a cuisine with a unique flavour – fresh and unadulterated. Nature in Crete contains all this diversity of the necessary raw ingredients as well as the human know-how to create unique tastes which are tied to the seasons’ cycle and the natural environment of the island.
The cheeses, the honey, the aromatics, the wild greens and so many other products of the Cretan mountains form the basis of the miracle that is Cretan cooking!
All across the island – in hotels, restaurants, traditional tavernas and raki-joints (rakadika), even in small village kafenions way off the beaten track... you will have the chance to taste special dishes from the Cretan repertoire – always based only on local produce.
The secret of Cretan foods is on the one hand the wealth and variety of the produce Crete brings forth, and secondly in its olive oil, with which almost all the fare is accompanied in some way. The olive oil from the boundless groves is considered one of the healthiest in the world because of the climatic conditions which are ideal for its production. Read more about the Cretan Olive Oil
From the Minoan period, as evidence at Archanes and Vathypetro shows, Crete has been an important wine-producing region, with vintages of excellent quality from famous wine-producing varieties of grape. Then as now the same areas produce the best-known Cretan wines. On the Wine Route, a trail in the prefecture of Herakleion, operate wineries that offer a tour and a taste of their products.Read more about the Cretan Wines
Aromatic Herbs & Edible Greens
In Crete grow a mass of herbs, used since antiquity to today as medicines as well. Many an ancient author assigns to these plants especial therapeutic virtues. These herbs grow on the mountain slopes of Crete: they are gathered by experienced collectors, left to dry naturally and sold in modern packaging, without any chemical or other treatments.Read more about Aromatic Herbs of Crete
Cheeses of Crete
The traditional cheese is not only viewed as something to eat, but also as a substance that bears witness in its flavour to the plants, the savoury preferences and the lifestyle prevailing at its point of origin. Cheese is consumed in Crete at any hour of the day – morn to midnight: as an accompaniment or as the main ingredient, as appetizer or for dessert. Superior gourmands will take their watermelon with feta, their honeydew with graviera and consume mizithra with honey!Read more about the Cheeses of Crete
You can eat at the tables of the Gods in Crete – and enjoy the miracle of the Cretan diet.