No visit to Crete is complete until you’ve experienced some of this island’s delicious cooking. Like most cuisine throughout the Mediterranean region, Cretan food is heavy in olive oils, breads, vegetables, yogurts, and an array of seafood. While enjoying the many cheap apartments and vacation rentals in Crete, you will be within walking distance of many fine restaurants offering the best food.
Here is a small selection of some of the island’s best dishes.
Cretan Salad with Rusk
Mostly found in western Crete, this variation of the traditional Greek salad contains hard, dry bread called rusk. Left at the bottom of the bowl, rusk is meant to absorb the oils and juices from the salad’s other ingredients, such as greens, juicy tomatoes, a sour cheese called mizithra, olives, cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers. This is so that the rusk will be softened by the time you reach the bottom of your plate. Some Cretan salads are topped with capers to add even more flavor.
Popular throughout Crete and Greece is a meat stew known as stifado. Stifado is comprised of beef or rabbit usually cooked in a sauce of red wine, tomatoes, and spices. The stew can also be baked and served as a hearty casserole, eaten with bread, rice, or French fries (known as chips in Europe).
Zucchini (courgette) is a popular ingredient in many dishes throughout Crete. Courgette balls, or kolokithokeftedes, are usually made from fried zucchini or potato, feta cheese, and mint. These crunchy treats are perfect when drizzled in olive oil or dipped in yogurt or tzatziki sauce. Zucchini are also eaten throughout the region as a pie or fritters, providing even more interesting meal possibilities during your stay in Crete.