marker1 Peri, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

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Greek cuisine is full of freshness, rich flavors, healthy and simple. It is based on fresh products only: fruits and vegetables, fish, delicious cheeses, aromatic herbs, and of course, olives. Most of the dishes of this cuisine are cooked with olive oil.

Special place in Greek cooking takes an original Cretan cuisine. Cretans from ancient times to the present are famous asconnoisseurs feasts, rich dinner for them – is a way of harmonious life. And eating the products only from Cretan land and the sea is a philosophy of life almost. Each Cretan child is sure that Cretan cuisine is one of the most delicious in the world and one of the healthiest. Locals often cook traditional Cretan dishes by stored recipes of their grandmothers for centuries, though not neglected with modern innovations, the main thing – fresh natural products and nice company.

Original Cretan cuisine is healthy and tasty. The main ingredient here is olive oil, which Homer called “liquid gold” and Hippocrates – the “great healer”. And today modern researches say that the main cause of Cretan longevity is continuous eating of olive oil.

The contribution to the formation of a healthy food system has brought the history of Crete Island. Rich flora of the island supported the locals in hard times of conquests and liberation wars. This added a glory of uniqueness of Cretan plants used for food. Claudius Galen – famous Antique physician, chief physician at gladiators’ school and personal physician of Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote about it once: “From Crete there are a lot of plants that are cultivated people of Caesar”. Fortunately, the island has not lost its wealth of flora and most of it Cretans still use in food.

The most consumed herbs for Cretans are: avrones (Bryonia cretica) – a plant that resembles asparagus, just with a rather sharp and bitter taste, stifnos (στύφνο, Solanum nigroum) – weed, comes in the summer time in the gardens; infused (βλήτα), askordulaki (Muscari Comosum) – the so-called “white Cretan bulbs”; psares (Pisum Sativum) – kind of peas, which in food are just tender upper leaves, stamnagafi – herb is collected in the mountains; and so usual for us today chicory, purslane, fennel ... The list goes on herbs those have been used since ancient times for medical purposes and as spices: oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, laurel and sage. And endemic herbs Malotira, Dittany Cretans still brewed as an herbal tea in the winter time.

Everywhere on the island there are familiar fruits to us and curios, one is the prickly pear cactus with bright red juicy fruit. Locals call them Franciscan figs and believe that the fruit of these plants helps the stomach to work after a meal. Our advice: be careful with these tasty, but very prickly fruits.

Talking about the variety of Cretan cuisine we can’t ignore citrus growing in quantities on the island, this cultivation is traditional for Crete. Orange, grapefruit, mandarin and lemon trees you will find in all over the island and will have a chance to enjoy the fruits and fresh juice from its.

Fruit season lasts almost all year round and the statistics tell us that Cretan inhabitants eats 4 times more fruits than European yearly. Favorite dried fruits here are raisins and dried figs. After all, there are fig trees in Crete at every step and grapes are another main crops grown on the island. From grapes locals produced not only raisins here but the famous Cretan wines, which have been producing on Crete at a time when Europe had no idea about this beverage. Cretan wine is absolutely natural; each one has its own character, which depends not only on the grapes, but also the place where the grapes are grown. For each part of Crete – is its own microclimate, which depended from the mountains and the sea. And the wine of Crete – is constancy to traditions!

So as you already know Crete – it’s about herbs, spices, citrus fruits and dried fruits. And also is about fresh vegetables, fish, seafood and lamb. The history and recipes of these products we will tell you in our future articles. Meantime – a recipe for trial.

Lamb with stamnagafi herbs

Products:

  • 2 kg of lamb
  • 1.5 kg stamnagafi
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons
  • 100 grams of olive oil
  • Salt pepper

Cooking way:

Finely chop the onion, sauté it in olive oil, when the onion have golden color add the lamb pieces on cut. Fry the lamb for about 15 minutes over medium heat, then cover with a lid and leave the pot of stew until cooked (about 2 hours). Then add stamnagafi and stew for about 20 minutes. When the dish is almost ready, prepare the egg-lemon sauce: whisk whites of 2 eggs with salt, add egg yolks in them then fresh lemon juice and a little liquid from the pan. Pour the sauce into the pan, without closing the lid thoroughly and voila, our meal is ready. BonAppetit !!!

Αnd one for vegeterian: Spanacoriso (risotto with spinach)

Products:

  • 1 kg of spinach
  • 2 – 3 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 80 – 100 grams of olive oil
  • 200 grams of rice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking way:

1. Wash out the spinach and put it into a wide pan, without water.

2. Heat up the spinach on low heat, cover, then filtered the spinach till no water.

3. Chop the onions, grate tomatoes.

4. In a saucepan pour the olive oil, sauté the onions. When the onions will get a golden color add the grated tomato. Leave the tomato sauté for a few minutes and add the rice.

5. Continue sauté and at the end add the spinach, salt and pepper. When the rice will absorb almost all the liquid, add the warm boiled water in a ratio of 2/1 or 3/1 (liquid / dry). Once the rice is done, remove the pan from the heat.

6. Serve the dish with grated gravera cheese or another (if you are not vegetarian), can be without cheese.

Perion Eco Villa

Our Eco Villa Perion is a modern house in the village of Peri, which assuredly has the best view of the Messara Plain and the Phaistos Palace. It is located on the south side of Crete Island within close proximity to many beautiful beaches such as: Matala, Kommos, Lentas, Kali Limenes and Agiofarango.

The house is comprised of 3 levels; it occupies 300 m2 and is built from local stone and wood in traditional and Tuscan architecture style. It is situated on a hillside and offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Ida and Asterousia mountains as well as Phaistos Palace hill and the green Messara Plain with endless olive groves and vineyards.

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Peri, Heraklion, Crete
    Greece, 70400

+30 2892041129

info@crete-ecovilla.com

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Authorisation number Ε.Ο.Τ:
ΜΗΤΕ 1039K10003082901

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