The A-Z of Cretan Food – What foods to try in Crete

Cretan Food Crete Greece Recipes Greek Food Chania

Top foods to try in Crete

The Ultimate A to Z Guide of the top foods to try in Crete.

Do you need to know what some of the best and most traditional foods to eat in Crete are? Here is a list from A-Z to help you decide what you will feast on.

A- D

Bougatsa

Bougatsa

Bougatsa is an absolute must eat product while you are in Chania. It is a favourite with the locals, especially first thing in the morning.it comes in two forms, sweet which is filled with custard and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or savoury which is filled a cheese called myzithra and can only found in Crete. One of the secrets that makes the pastry so delicious is the use of oil instead of butter.

Boureki

Cretan boureki is made by layering thickly cuts pieces of zucchini and potatoes with a cheese and mint mix. Every household makes this slightly differently. Some like it to have a pastry crust on the top and the bottom of the pie, some prefer pastry just on the top and others do not use a pastry crust at all. It may seem like a simple dish, however when fresh market seasonal produce is used to make this, the taste is really sensational.

Boureki

Chochlioi Boubouritsi

A popular dish in Crete is fried snails. Tossed in flour, coated in extra virgin olive oil, topped with herbs, and doused with vinegar in a fry pan.

Dakos

A refreshing appetiser consisting of a large barley rusk topped with extra virgin olive oil, grated tomatoes, mizithra cheese (substitute feta and/or ricotta), a generous sprinkle of oregano, and a Kalamata olive on top for a finishing touch. It may look like a snack but dakos will fill you up. This can also be turned into a salad by breaking the Dakos into smaller pieces and using chopped tomatoes instead of grated.

Would you like to make your own? Check out The Hellenic Odyssey’s own Greek Dakos recipe.

Cretan Dakos

E- L

Gamopilafo

Literally translates to wedding rice.  This traditional rice pilaf is made using chicken or beef stock or even combination of both. It is finished with lemon juice and butter. The result is a velvety rich intense flavour. Served as a staple dish in every household as an entrée at, festivals and wedding celebrations.

Cretan Rice Pilafi Gamopilafo

Greek Yoghurt + Honey

Crete is a large producer of dairy making yoghurt varieties readily available, from sheep, to cow and to goat. Yoghurt is served with honey, walnuts and/or fruit.

Greek Yoghurt Walnuts Honey

Kalitsounia

Fillo pastry parcels filled with any type of soft local Cretan cheese and/or wild greens and herbs. The plain cheese kalitsounia are delicious with a drizzle of honey on top.

KALITSOUNIA

Loukoumades

The Greeks are known for these light, fluffy doughnuts which are soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Traditionally they are served with honey, walnuts and cinnamon. In recent times you can also find them topped with Nutella or Bueno.

Loukoumades

M - Z

Myzithra

A cheese similar to ricotta but made with goats cheese, extremely soft texture and absolutely delicious.

Myzithra

Raki

Households will offer this shot of spirit as a welcome drink as a sign of their hospitality. Restaurants also offer Raki after a meal as an aperitif and as a sign of gratitude.  Raki is a very strong spirit made using the traditional evaporation method  and the leftover grape residue following harvest and wine making. Even regular drinkers will struggle to have more than one shot of his fiery spirit.

Sfakianopita

A scrumptious pie from the mountainous region of Sfakia. A really thin flat pie filled with a small amount of cheese, lightly fried and topped with lots of honey.

Staka

Staka

A dish that you’ll not find anywhere else except Crete where it’s renowned for it, made from goat’s milk butter fat. Staka is truly rich and creamy. Much like a roux, staka is a dip for bread or cooked with eggs and Apaki (similar to bacon).

Xerotigana

A light pastry fluffy dough fried in olive oil, soaked in honey, and topped with sesame seeds or walnuts to delivery a super crunchy texture. Cretans love their honey so be prepared to have sticky fingers after eating these as there is no shortage of honey on them. Xerotigana are traditionally served at weddings or other special occasions.

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