Did you know that the most authentic food to try in Crete, are dishes that help make Greek cuisine among the healthiest diets in the world? This is because traditional recipes focus on fresh ingredients, without the use of any complex creamy sauces. As such, you can often enjoy food tours in Crete without worrying about your waistline!
Simplicity is key, although the Cretan culture does also use plenty of golden olive oil. With olives picked from the island’s many olive groves featuring in local salads and other dishes.
Authentic Food to Try in Crete
Are you still wondering which authentic food to try in Crete? Read on and discover the very best traditional Cretan cuisine. Alternatively, why not search online and book one of our popular food tours in Crete before you travel.
A good way to decide what Cretan food you would like is to order Meze which is basically a Greek version of the Spanish tapas. Meze is found in most restaurants and tavernas and you can choose from lots of various small tasty dishes.
Dakos is absolutely yummy and can be served as a starter or snack. It is a twice-baked barley bread rusk, that is brushed with olive oil and then capped with chopped tomatoes, delicious crumbly white cheese and a smattering of oregano. The blending of the crisp rusk and ripe tomato will really get your taste buds flowing!
Stuffed Vine Leaves
Stuffed vine leaves are actually known in Greece as dolmathakia or dolmades. The vine leaves are then stuffed with the main ingredients, while chopped pine nuts and mint sometimes also added. Although traditionally made with minced meat, as with much of Greek food, this is a dish easily transformed for vegetarian foodies.
If it is in season, then a zucchini (courgette) flower would also be included in the vine leaves to give a splash of colour.
This is a delicious zucchini-potato pie, with the main ingredient being the zucchini (pumpkin variety), potatoes and Cretan myzíthra cheese. All of these ingredients are covered with thin pastry and served with seasonal vegetables.
This is a very popular authentic Cretan dish and comprises of snails which are coated in flour, and then fried in the local olive oil with rosemary and vinegar. This dish may sound a bit scary! However, it is absolutely mouth-watering when consumed with rakí, the local drink.
This is a traditional delicacy of western Crete, the main ingredient being either goat or lamb, which is cooked very slowly in olive oil. The meat is always of superb quality and is not served until it is really tenderised. For a great many years, the locals always cooked the wild goat, and nowadays it is a protected species with hunting banned.
This is a popular traditional dish and often served at local weddings. The rice, known as ‘piláfi’, is cooked in a ready-prepared meat broth using either local lamb or chicken, with butter and lemon. The Cretan chefs tend to use older animals as it gives a tastier broth and a delicious aroma.
This rich dish is made from pork which is marinated for two or three days in strong vinegar and Cretan wine. It is then smoked with local fresh herbs. It can be eaten straight from the pot, or browned in the oven or grilled. Mostly, it is served with green beans, making it really rich and flavoursome.
Another Cretan speciality and one of the most authentic Cretan foods. It is mainly cooked during the Lent period. The cuttlefish is served with fennels that grow in the surrounding countryside that provided delightful aromas. Cuttlefish with fennel and olives is a fabulous combination, and accompanied with wine or even ouzo, is a dish to be enjoyed immensely.
This is a mouth-watering Greek very hearty rich stew and is definitely a Greek dish to try. It can be made with a choice of thick beef or rabbit and cooked with pearl onions, cinnamon and wine. It is best to eat it piping hot with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes. However, the true flavour will delight your taste buds when it is mopped up with fresh chunks of crusty bread.
Food and Drink Experiences in Crete
If you wish to uncover the secrete of a healthy Cretan and find out more about which food to try in Crete, book food tours in Crete with tabl.com.