Food and travel go hand in hand. I love them both singularly but especially collectively! I’m not an especially adventurous eater with regards to eating unusual body parts, but for me one of the best things about going on holiday is the opportunity to indulge in delicious food. I love to try new dishes, expand my palette and sample the delights of different cuisines around the world. Grecian food has always been a particular favourite and on a recent trip to Crete I discovered a variety of delicious dishes that I just wanted to share with you, to ensure you enjoy the same fun, foodie experience I did on my visit. Read on and whet your appetite, just ensure you don’t start salivating too publicly and perhaps read it after you’ve eaten…
I’ll start you off with Psitos; the main ingredients in this dish are pork and potatoes which most of us should be fairly accustomed to! It’s not just standard pork and potatoes though; this is slow cooked in a traditional Cretan wood burning stove for around 3 hours, making the pork so incredibly tender, it genuinely melts in your mouth. When it’s served up on your table, you won’t be bowled over by the aesthetics but don’t judge a book by its cover; you will be licking your lips until the very last bite.
After a long day on the beach and plenty of swimming, I was ready for a yummy meal to end the day. I settled upon Koukouvagia for a starter and it was so simple and delicious that it was my starter of choice on another few evenings after. I suppose it’s a Greek version of bruschetta, with a barley rusk base, fresh tomatoes, plenty of seasoning and topped off with rich, crumbly Feta cheese. Sometimes capers or olives are thrown into the mix too! Simple but superbly satisfying, it’s a staple that has extended its reach across Greece.
I’ve always had a sweet tooth and I love dessert as much as, if not more than, the mains! I had to try to some local sweet treats when I was in Crete therefore and one of my favourite discoveries was Loukoumades. Small dough puffs fried until they turn golden brown and topped with honey syrup and cinnamon? It’s safe to say I was practically in heaven and I say with certainty that you will be too.
I know, I know, ‘there’s nothing unique about Cretan seafood’ I can hear you thinking disapprovingly. That didn’t stop my enjoyment of the seafood one little bit when I was there though. I stick to one rule; if you are by the sea then indulge in the sea food. You’ll never have a fresher fish and the dishes will always be catered to the country you’re dining in. In Crete however I was fairly shocked to discover that the locals tend to eat more meat than they do seafood. This can mean that the seafood comes up slightly pricier but it is well worth the extra few Euros, fresh and tender my seafood experience here was excellent.
I’m rounding up my pick with another sugary surprise; bougatsa. Comprised of filo pastry wrapped around a creamy custard filling and dusted with powdered sugar, this was my mid-morning snack of choice on several days of my holiday! You can also get cream cheese and minced meat versions which come minus the sugar of course.
So, here are 5 foods you have to try in Crete; rest assured however that there are plenty more! I had a fantastic time touring the island of Crete and uncovering traditional tavernas and independent restaurants. I suggest you organise car hire from Heraklion Airport so that you can do the same on a holiday here!
Bio: Kerri Ware is primarily a travel writer but her love of food means she sometimes writes about both when the occasion calls for it. When she’s not off exploring cultural and culinary cities, she works at Economy Car Hire, a holiday car hire broker based in the UK. Keep up with them on Google+.