The Cretan diet

diets  The century-old eating customs of the island have evolved in the context of the sacred tradition of Cretan hospitality. Local cuisine uses to the best effect the wealth of Cretan products:  Olive oil, wheat, wine, honey, wild greens and aromatic herbs, which are the staples of local dishes. Recently published, long-term scientific studies have proven the benefits and nutritional value of the Cretan diet.

The Cretan traditional cuisine is today considered one the healthiest in the world. The wealth and high quality of island products throughout the centuries has created a range of dishes with a unique fresh flavour and authenticity.

Excellent dairy produce, honey, aromatic herbs, greens and so many other products of Cretan mountains are the basic ingredients of the miracle of Cretan cuisine. Today, the Cretan diet is recognised by the scientific community as the most representative example of the quality of the Mediterranean diet, based on wonderful local products, such as early vegetables, pulses, fruit, cereals and many others, combined with the staple use of olive oil that enhances longevity and well-being.Cretan-Dakos

Today, the olive oil produced from the vast island groves is considered one of the best in the world, due to the local climate that is considered ideal. Olive oil is also a major export of the island.

Besides olive oil, excellent local Cretan wines play an important role in enhancing local flavours.

Since the Minoan period, Crete has been one of the most significant wine producing territories, with excellent wines and famous grape varieties.  The century-long tradition of viticulture is proven by the archaeological finds in the locations of Archanes and Vathypetros, which are still territories producing some of the most acclaimed Cretan wines.

A visit to facilities producing local products is a unique experience. Along the wine routes of Herakleion there are wineries which welcome visitors, offering guided tours and wine-tasting sessions. During the grape harvesting period, the trygos, i.e. in October and November, most hamlets operate traditional distillation cauldrons and allow visitors to witness the production of local raki.