6. An Amazing Culinary Mosaic
One of the most authentic cultural elements of Crete is its cuisine. The unique tastes of each region of this spectacular Greek island are linked to the synergistic qualities and exceptional characteristics of its culture.In Crete, food is a formula of communication and sharing, a way to pour your heart out.
Cretan cuisine, with its distinctive character, authentic flavours and heady aromas represents an impressive culinary mosaic that makes the most of what is grown locally.
Each area, village and family produce its special Cretan dishes full of flavour and character. Fruits and vegetables, dairy products and eggs, wine, tsikoudia and even locally raised downright delicious meats.
Basic, yet impressive ingredients
Crete is well known for its healthy Mediterranean diet but there are also five main secrets behind its uniqueness: good quality fresh ingredients, good usage of endogenous herbs and spices, the famous Greek olive oil, fantasy and simplicity. The flavours in a Greek salad or in chicken cooked in the hoven are like nothing tasted anywhere else in the world due to those secrets.
The list of great Italian cheeses is also very long and includes, Dakos, Fried snails (Chochlioi boubouristi), Cretan Cheese Pies (Kaltsounia), Lamb with stamnagathi, Gamopilafo, Mountain Bulbs (Askordoulakous), Smoked Pork (Hirina apakia) — the list goes on!
Furthermore, many regions in Crete, produce top quality wines, some of which are famous throughout the world because of the fascinating mosaic of the Cretan indigenous grape varieties.
White Vidiano, the extraordinary red Liatiko, Assyrtiko, Kotsifali, Mandilari, Thrapsathiri, Vilana and Dafni are among the most popular wines produced in Crete. According to Wines of Crete, there are more than 80 producers on the island, with some brilliant wineries in Chania and Sitia.
Nevertheless, the heartbeat of this winery journey is based primarily in Heraklion area. These terroirs, which have existed since the Minoan ages, are home to around 55 producers that make up 87% of total production.