Secrets of the Cretan Diet

The Cretan diet is rooted deeply in antiquity. It has survived under difficult conditions during the conquest of the island by the Arabs, the Venetians and the Turks. Crete maintained its dietary traditions even during the Hellenistic period, when the Romans changed the eating habits of the entire Mediterranean.

More than 4,000 years ago the ancient Cretans, the Minoans, consumed the products that today are the basis for the Cretan diet. All of the research done internationally supports the view that the Cretan diet is the best and most characteristic case of the Mediterranean diet. Modern nutritional science indicates that the Mediterranean diet provides for long life and good health.

Dairy products, primarily cheeses, hold an important place in the Cretan cuisine in which snails are one of the favorite dishes. Cretan bread usually includes two kinds of flour grain, wheat and barley, while paximadi are a daily pleasure. Spices and aromatic herbs are included in the food, but are used with discretion. Cretans are nourished by the products of their own land:  horticultural products like greens, vegetables, legumes and fruit. They accompany their food with wine from the vineyards and use vast quantities of the elixir of a healthy life, olive oil, from Crete’s golden fruit. Tοday, Crete enjoys one of the world’s most ancient, delicious and healthy cuisines…

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products:

ProductDesignation of Origin or
Geographical indication
Olive oilViannos (PDO)Heraklion
Olive oilPeza (PDO)Heraklion
Olive oilAcharnes (PDO)Heraklion
Olive oilThrapsano (PDO)Heraklion
Olive oilMessara (PDO)Heraklion
Olive oilNorth Milopotamos (PDO)Rethymno
Olive oilChania (PGI)Chania
Olive oilKolimvari (PDO)Chania
Olive oilApokoronas (PDO)Chania
Olive oilSelino (PDO)Chania
Olive oilSitia (PDO)Lasithi
Fruits, vegetables, dried nutsOranges of Maleme (PDO)Chania
Fruits, vegetables, dried nutsSoultanina raisins (PDO)Chania, Lasithi, Rethymno, Heraklion
OlivesThroumba of Ambadia (PDO)Rethymno
CheeseGraviera of Crete (PDO)Chania, Lasithi, Rethymno, Heraklion
CheeseXinomizithra of Crete (PDO)Chania, Lasithi, Rethymno, Heraklion
CheesePichtogalo (PDO)Chania
CheeseXigalo (PDO)Lasithi
BakeryCretan paximadi (PDO)Chania, Lasithi, Rethymno, Heraklion
HoneyCretan Thyme & Pine honey (PDO)Chania, Lasithi, Rethymno, Heraklion
Wine Archanes (PDO)Heraklion
WineDaphnes (PDO)Heraklion
WinePeza (PDO)Heraklion
WineSitia and Malvazia of Sitia (PDO)Lasithi
WineChandakas, Candia & Malvazia Chandakas, Candia (PDO)Heraklion
WineCrete (PGI)Crete
WineLasithi (PDO)Crete
WineHeraklion (PDO)Heraklion
WineRethymno (PDO)Rethymno
WineChania (PDO)Chania
WineKissamos (PDO)Chania

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