The excellent health and longevity of Cretans are attributed in their traditional diet. The Cretan Diet constitutes the model of Mediterranean diet that has been recognized since the antiquity as ideal for the maintenance of health and longevity. Crete is famous for its rich agricultural production and the excellent quality of its products.
The local dishes, the home made foods and the outstanding wine have made it famous, while the Cretan diet constitutes the pattern of the Mediterranean diet that has been recognized as ideal for the maintenance of health and longevity.
What most “shines” in Crete is the oil! The land and the climatic conditions of the island encourage the production of premium quality olive oil. The many days of sunlight that last up to late in the fall are ideal for the flourishing of the olive tree. Moreover, the Cretans have big experience, knowledge of generations, excellent infrastructures and a lot of taste in order to make the correct choices for the culture of olive. What more?
The quality of Cretan olive oil production is also proved by the fact that during the past few years, the great percentage of olive oil that is produced in the island belongs to the category “extra virgin” that is found in the top of scale. Concretely, while in 1980 hardly the 45% of the production was included in this qualitative type, since the new millennium, the Cretans give in the market 95% of their production, which is characterized as extra virgin olive oil!
You can supply olive oil from many rural cooperatives of the island, you can ask for it in particular shops or approach the Association of Cretan Olive oil Municipalities.
Some of the traditional dishes that it worth tasting during your stay in Chania are kalitsoynia with spinach, fennel or agriochorta, sfakianes pies, kreatotoyrta, chochlioys (snails) cooked in various recipes, chaniotiko mpoureki, gamopilafo, spaghetti with anthotyro and boiled or ofto (roasted) goat, apaki or sygklino (smoked pork), villager sausages but also fresh fishes and seafoods. You can accompany them with wild grasses, ntako (Cretan rusk with tomato, rigani, feta and olive oil) and dairy products as Cretan gruyere, mizithra and staka (custard from fresh milk). You should taste xerotigana, that is also the traditional sweet for the marriages. And of course you should clink your glasses with raki, the drink of Cretans. You will find also local wines, local beers and refreshments.
Do not forget to visit the Municipal Market of Chania (working hours: from Monday until Saturday, 08.00 -20.00), this architectural jewel of Chania that works since 1913 and constitutes a preservable monument, the heart of the commerce and tourism of the city with the innumerable traditional shops, in which each visitor can supply himself with local products such as thyme honey, cheese, drained herbs for refreshments (eg malotira and melissochorto) a.o.
Discover Cretan gastronomy, explore, learn, cook and eat your own meal at Chania Gastronomy’s Cooking Classes!