The Mediterranean Diet of Crete-Cretan Cuisine
The Mediterranean diet of Crete is a traditional dietary pattern that originated in the Greek island of Crete and is considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. It is characterized by a high consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, moderate consumption of fish and seafood, and low consumption of red meat, processed foods, and sweets.
Some of the key components of the Mediterranean diet of Crete include:
Olive oil diet of Crete – best of EU: Olive oil is the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, and it is consumed in large quantities in Crete. It is rich in monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Vegetables and fruits diet of Crete – best of EU: A wide variety of vegetables and fruits are consumed in Crete, including leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, zucchini, onions, garlic, oranges, figs, and grapes. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, which may help protect against chronic diseases.
Legumes and whole grains diet of Crete – best of EU: Legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans, as well as whole grains such as barley, wheat, and rye, are staples of the Cretan diet. They are rich in protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, which provide sustained energy and promote satiety.
Fish and seafood diet of Crete – best of EU: Fish and seafood are consumed regularly in Crete, particularly in coastal regions. These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
Low intake of red meat and processed foods diet of Crete – best of EU: The Mediterranean diet of Crete is low in red meat, processed foods, and sweets. These foods are high in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, and have been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases.
Overall, the Mediterranean diet of Crete is a balanced and sustainable dietary pattern that emphasizes whole, minimally processed foods and encourages moderate consumption of fish, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins. Studies have shown that following a Mediterranean-style diet may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall health and well-being.
Cretan fishes-Diet of Crete-Cretan Cuisine
The island of Crete is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its fresh and delicious seafood. Here are some of the most popular fish and seafood dishes in Cretan cuisine:
Grilled or fried sardines: Sardines are a popular fish in Crete, often grilled or fried and served with lemon and herbs.
Octopus: Octopus is a popular seafood in Crete, often boiled or grilled and served with olive oil, vinegar, and herbs.
Fried calamari: Calamari (squid) is another popular seafood in Crete, often fried and served as an appetizer or main dish.
Red mullet: Red mullet is a small, flavorful fish that is often grilled or fried and served with lemon and olive oil.
Swordfish: Swordfish is a popular fish in Crete, often grilled or baked and served with a variety of sauces and seasonings.
Sea bream: Sea bream is a popular fish in Crete, often baked whole with lemon and olive oil.
Stuffed squid: Squid is often stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs, and other ingredients, then grilled or baked.
Shrimp saganaki: Shrimp cooked in a tomato-based sauce with feta cheese, herbs, and spices.
Grilled octopus with fava: Octopus is often served with a side of fava, a type of yellow split pea puree.
Seafood risotto: A dish made with arborio rice, mixed seafood, vegetables, and herbs.
These are just a few examples of the many delicious seafood dishes that can be found in Cretan cuisine. Seafood is an important part of the Cretan diet and is often prepared simply, with a focus on fresh and high-quality ingredients.
The best way to find fresh fish on the island of Crete is hiring a car and drive to south of the island, where most small fishermen fish clean fish.