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Cretan Cuisine: The secret of a long and happy life

Cretan Cuisine: The secret of a long and happy life!

There was a time, not so many years ago, when Crete was a poor and desolate land. There were many killings during World War II, whole villages devasted and burned to the ground. At times like these, when lives are undignified by poverty, that is when human spirit thrives. From times like these we inherited the strong Cretan spirit, which sometimes lead to hyperbole but always with good intentions.

From times of posterity we also inherited what we are really proud of. Our own little version of Mediterranean cuisine, the local Cretan gastronomy which has a very unique secret ingredient. Our forefathers cooked whatever this blessed land had to offer, each time of the year. This is the secret ingredient of the Cretan cuisine, the respect to nature and environment by the humble acceptance of what our land has to offer.

The distinct feature of Crete is its diversity; Mountains and rivers, sea shores and lakes, all of them are fertile and have something different to add in the final mixture of Cretan tradition. This is inevitably depicted in the culinary traditions of different Cretan areas, which vary significantly. For example, on the mountain tops one can find apples and cherries, which are nowhere to found on the lowlands. Accordingly, on the warmer southern part of the island we find the small local bananas as well as tomatoes, cucumbers etc.

Artificial Lake in Amari Province
If we were to talk literally, the basis of the Cretan Cuisine, is of course the world-renowned Cretan Olive oil. The liquid gold as Homer called it in his epic saga Odyssey, had already been in use by the Neolithic age in the island of Crete. The olive tree was cultivated in the region approximately 7000 years ago, before even the Great Minoan Civilization. A cup full of olives was found at Zakros Palace dated about 3500 years ago, the marvelous fact of the cup from Zakros Palace is that the olives in it, they still had flesh on them, as if only some days have passed since they were on the tree. The oil was used as medicine, as fuel for the lamps and as basis for almost every food and every salad.

I-land organizes tailor made tours to oil mills, olive groves, vineyards, wineries and more, adjusted to your schedule with focus to authenticity. Our goal is to offer an authentic experience of the Cretan life.

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Saturday's Farmers Market in Rethymno