The traditional Cretan diet is one of the healthiest in the world. Its strength lies in the quality and freshness of its ingredients, the use of wild herbs and greens, and purity of taste. And not to be forgotten, the copious use of olive oil, Crete’s liquid gold.
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Greek salads….lots of Greek salads. In a Greek salad there’s no lettuce, but there are a lot more tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions and a big block of feta cheese on top. To that you sprinkle herbs and drizzle olive oil. Perfection!
We also ate lots of stuffed grape leaves with ground lamb and rice, called Dolmas. These are one of my all-time favorite foods. I had them a lot growing up at various restaurants in Northern Virginia.
Fasolakia: Fresh beans cooked with a little crushed tomato and olive oil.
On the edge of the old town Chania is a large indoor market (or Agora) which is popular with locals and fun for tourists.
Meats from the local butcher, olives, olive oil, wine, fish, and cheese are among the food you can find here at the Central Market.
We also ate our fair share of Greek “Fast Food” in small tavernas where the menu was limited to souvlaki, french fries, salad, pita bread, and tzatziki.
Traditionally, souvlaki refers to shiskebab (pieces of pork grilled on a stick) and gyros refers to the assortment of minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and tzatziki, wrapped in pita bread, but you may find them interchangeably at some places.
Have you visited Crete? What’s your must-try dish?