Κρητικη Κουζινα (Cretan Cuisine)
|~ Crete is the largest island in Greece and the second biggest (after Cyprus) of the East Mediterranean.
~ It lies at the Southern Aegean Sea and at the crossroads of three continents Europe, Asia and Africa.
~ Crete covers an area of 8.336 sq. km. and the length of the island is 260 km, but the shore-length is 1.046 km.
~ The Island has a long history that goes back to the Neolithic times.
~ It is however known for the Minoan civilization that flourished from 2600 to 1100 B.C.
~ The island is full of relics of the Minoan ages the most famous being the palaces at Knossos and Festos.
Read...: History of Crete
Cretan Meat Pie
Kalitsounia Glikia me Mizithra
Kalitsounia me Mizithra
Kalitsounia me Spanaki
Kritiko Boureki # 1
Kritiko Boureki # 2
Kritiko Boureki # 3
|~ Cretan Cuisine (Κρητικη Κουζινα) is the traditional cuisine of the Mediterranean island of Crete.
~ The core of the cuisine consists of food derived from natural sources, while food of animal origin was more peripheral in nature.
~ In general, people consumed seasonal products, available in the wider local area, which underwent minimal processing or none at all.
~ The traditional cuisine was widespread in the island until the 1960s, when with improving living standards, alimentary patterns changed towards more meat and other animal-derived produce.
~ Fresh and dried fruits, pulses, local wild herbs and aromatic plants, and rough cereals, whose cultivation was favored by the regional climate, were consumed in great amounts and constituted the base of the Cretan cuisine during that period.
~ Dairy products were consumed on a daily basis in low to moderate quantities.
~ Poultry and fish were consumed on a weekly basis in moderate quantities, while red meat was consumed only a few times a month.
~ All animals were free-range, as industrialized animal husbandry was absent at the time: hens were fed local grain and were left free to search for food, pigs were fed leftovers, and cattle were exclusively grass-fed.
~ The main supply of fat was substituted by olive oil, which was used not only in salads but also in cooking, unlike the northern European countries which primarily used animal fat.
~ Another essential feature of the Cretan Cuisine was the moderate use of alcohol, mainly red wine which accompanied meals.
~ Finally, the most common dessert was fresh fruits, while traditional pastries based on honey had been consumed a few times a week.
~ The extra virgin olive oil the legumes and vegetables constitute the base of the local cuisine as did for thousands of years and made the Cretan Diet renowned worldwide for its benefits on longevity and good health.