Xinohodros or Cretan trahana
Xinochondros holds an important place in Cretan cuisine, both for its delicious flavor and for its nutritional value. It is called xinochondros because the milk that is used is left to sour (xinos, in Greek), causing it to ferment while it spends a few days on the kitchen counter. This process gives xinochodros its special sour character.
On the other hand it is a concoction that manages to combine milk protein and the unprocessed carbohydrates from the milled, broken wheat, which is called “chondro”, that is, “coarse”.
The best time for making xinochodros is in August. The milk is boiled and oil and salt are mixed in. The chodro is stirred until it becomes mushy. The heat is then turned off and the mixture is left to cool and congeal.
Since olden times, when the fasting for the 15th of August was almost universal, the milk from sheep and goats was abundant in this period. One of its many uses was for the preparation of a characteristic Cretan delight. The high temperature of the season and winds from the northeast enabled it to dry properly, an essential condition for it being preserved for the whole year.
Soup with xinohodros is an ideal wintertime meal. It is particularly tasty, whether made with the use of meat broth or simply boiled with a tomato. It is prepared as a soup or made fresh for breakfast before it dries and congeals in the sun. Served hot and sprinkled with sugar just at is prepared, it also makes for a distinctive sweet.