Crete has one of the oldest and delicious gourmet traditions in the world, a tradition of flavors, fragrances, materials and techniques drawn from prehistoric times until today.
Cretans had the lowest mortality rate due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer, as well as the highest average of life. Ever since many scientific studies have shown that this effect has its roots in the traditional Mediterranean Diet of Cretans.
Olive oil is the basis of Cretan and Greek diet, and is used in most dishes replacing butter or other types of oil used in other parts of the world.
The quality of Cretan olive oil is shown by the fact that in the recent years, the overwhelming proportion of the olive oil produced in the island belongs to the category “extra virgin” that is at the top of the scale.
Cretans are fed with the products produced by their earth. This means that they eat plenty of horticulture, greens and vegetables, pulses and fruits, flavour their food with herbs and plants from the island’s mountains, such as thyme and basil and almost always accompany their food with wine from local vineyards and extremely delicious bread, which is traditionally home made.
Over the last years, the Cretan nutrition and the health of Crete’s inhabitants became a matter of research, discussions and conferences, made headlines in newspapers and medical journals. The conclusions of researches in the last 60 years show indeed that the Cretan diet helps in maintaining good health.
So, in a daily basis have vegetables and fruits for a rich source of fiber, minerals, vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C and carotenoids.
Common is the use of legumes that cooked with olive oil gives delicious food, have the ingredients of vegetables and in addition proteins.
However, the Cretans were not only vegetarians. They eat meat, meat products and dairy, according to their productions and fasting. Fish was also an important food for the inhabitants of the coast of Crete, whilst fried snails cooked with herbs or trahana, was one of their favourite dishes.
Cretan diet combines all the elements of healthy diet that as a way of life, shall ensure consumers good health, because it provides the human body with all the necessary nutritious elements, without the burden of unnecessary substances.