Cracked wheat (“chontros”) is a lesser known Cretan speciality outside Crete probably owing to the fact that is hard to find at restaurants. However, it is a delicious, nutritious and very healthy type of food that Cretans widely enjoy.
Chontros is made of unprocessed and uncooked crushed wheat grains. Chontros should not be confused with bulgur which is steamed and parboiled cracked wheat grains and requires limited or no cooking at all. Chontros must be cooked before being consumed. Note, however, that cooking time is rather limit and rarely exceeds a quarter of an hour.
Cretan cracked wheat has all the health benefits of the high in fiber wholegrains. It is rich in vitamins of the B family, iron and antioxidants. It has detoxifying effects and is fully beneficial to the digestive system.
There are two types of chontros, plain chontros and sour chontros (“ksinochontros”). Plain chontros, after being boiled, is consumed either with goat milk for breakfast (children love it!) or cooked together with pork meat or vegetables. Ksinochontros is combination of plain chontros with sour milk, traditionally done in periods of religious fasting, when no milk consumption was allowed. Ksinochontros is always eaten in the form of a warming winter soup.
Chontros is a really traditional and healthy Cretan speciality, so if you find it make sure not to miss out!