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Fruits – greens – herbs

In Heraklion you will enjoy delicious and abundant fruits, greens, and vegetables. Oranges, lemons, cherries, apples, figs, grapes, pears, pomegranates, whatever fruit you are in the mood for, you will find it in Crete. The bananas and mangoes produced on the island are like made in heaven.
Wild greens have been the core of traditional Cretan cuisine for centuries and are loved not only for their many different flavors but also for their health benefits.
Yachnera, stifnos, radishes and dozens of other greens are key ingredients in many Cretan dishes. Of course, the Cretan cuisine could not lack herbs such as dittany, thyme, oregano, and sage that add up a unique flavor to the food.
The greens that grow both in crops and in fields and orchards are seasonal. From spiny chicory and amaranth to tsimouli (young shoot of plant brassica oleracea), black bryony, artichokes, and ascolymbrus, are gathered from nearby fields and orchards, and star in famous Cretan dishes.

Meat and cheese

Traditionally in Crete they would rarely eat meat. Today, meat, especially lamb, as well as goat, pork and chicken, stars in home cooking and festivals. Try it grilled surrounded by fire (“antikristo”) or cooked with greens and legumes.
However, the main product produced by sheep and goats on the island is cheese and yogurt.
The queen of Cretan cheese varieties and popular all over Greece is the Cretan Graviera, internationally established as a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) cheese. Hard, with a bright yellow color and spicy flavor, best paired with a rusk or with tomato and olive to accompany wine.
In addition to graviera, however, Heraklion offers numerous cheese varieties such as myzithra, xinomyzithra, anthotyro, kefalotyri.




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