Cooking in Crete
Cretan cuisine is renowned for its simplicity, freshness and delicious flavours. It uses high- quality local ingredients. Here are just a few of the distinctive features of Cretan food:
- Olive oil: Olive oil is an essential part of Cretan cuisine. Crete is one of the main olive oil- producing regions in Greece, and its oil is renowned for its exceptional quality. It is used in many dishes and adds a rich, fruity flavour to preparations.
- Vegetables and herbs: Vegetables play an important role in Cretan cuisine. Products such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, green beans and artichokes are commonly used. Aromatic herbs such as oregano, mint, thyme and rosemary are also widely used to enhance the flavours of dishes.
- Cretan cheese: Crete is renowned for its quality cheeses, such as feta, graviera and anthotyro. These cheeses are often eaten on their own or used in a variety of traditional Cretan dishes.
- Seafood: As Crete is an island, seafood plays an important role in the local cuisine. Fresh fish, prawns, squid and octopus are often used in Cretan dishes, whether grilled, baked or in soup.
- Traditional dishes: Cretan cuisine offers a variety of tasty traditional dishes. Signature dishes include dakos (a salad of dry bread, tomatoes, cheese and olive oil), souvlaki (grilled meat kebabs), stifado (a meat stew with onions and spices), and ntakos (a dry bread salad with tomatoes and cheese).
- Sweet treats: Finally, don't miss the Cretan sweet treats. Cretan honey is famous for its quality and is often used in desserts. Traditional pastries such as kalitsounia (small cheese or herb tarts) and loukoumades (fried doughnuts served with honey and cinnamon) are also a must.
Crete's food is a delicious blend of Mediterranean flavours, fresh produce and local ingredients. You can expect tasty dishes and a cuisine that highlights the island's culinary traditions.
In Crete, the use of wood-fired ovens is an ancient and widespread tradition in local cuisine. Wood-fired ovens are used to cook a variety of traditional Cretan dishes, giving the food a unique flavour and texture. The Cretans use it for bread and pastries (traditional bakers in Crete often use wood-fired ovens to bake fresh bread and pastries), for grilled meat and fish, stews and casseroles, and also for pizzas and pastry dishes. The use of wood-fired ovens in Crete is therefore a traditional culinary practice that adds authentic flavour and rustic charm to local dishes. It is a cooking technique appreciated for its ability to create unique flavours and give a delicious texture to food.
Cooking classes in Crete are an immersive experience that allows participants to learn the secrets of Cretan cuisine from experienced local chefs. During these workshops, participants have the opportunity to prepare and taste traditional dishes. The cooking classes emphasise the use of fresh, local ingredients. Chefs share their knowledge and passion for Cretan cuisine, explaining the importance of culinary traditions and authentic preparation methods. Participants are encouraged to get hands-on, chopping vegetables, mixing ingredients and learning cooking techniques specific to Cretan cuisine. Cooking classes in Crete are often held in picturesque settings, such as traditional farmhouses, country houses or tavernas, offering an authentic and welcoming atmosphere. Cooking classes in Crete offer participants a unique cultural experience, allowing them to explore the local gastronomy, learn new culinary skills and create lasting memories of their stay on the island.
With our Culinary experience in the most beautiful garden near Rethymnon excursion, we take you to the village of Loutra for a cookery course accompanied by plenty of tastings of local produce. The village of Loutra is a charming traditional village known for its thermal springs. It offers a peaceful and picturesque atmosphere, with its stone houses, narrow streets and flower-filled gardens. You can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the village, admiring the traditional architecture and discovering the small local churches.
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