There is no more basic food than bread. Cultivating cereals and making bread is a really ancient human activity, dating back millions of years. Almost every diet on the planet relies on some form of bread made of milled cereals. In the distant past bread used to be made of whole grains, such as barley, wheat or rye, due to the fact that whole grains were easier to obtain, i.e., required less processing. In recent decades making bread out of refined “white flour” became more popular, however scientific evidence showed that this has detrimental health effects. It has been proven that wholemeal bread is more diet friendly, helps our digestive system and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. As a result the trend has reversed and now wholemeal bread constantly gais in popularity.
Crete is a place where wholemeal bread, mainly in the form of barley rusk (“dakos“), has been always widely consumed. Therefore, Cretans have always been profiting from the benefits of whole grains. In addition to barley rusk and other types of wholemeal bread, Cretans widely consume another type of whole grain, that being cracked wheat (“chontros“). There is also a delicious type of Cretan pasta, mainly prepared in eastern Crete. Follow the links below to read more about the various bread types and grains that Cretans consume: