All aspects of life on the island of Crete revolve around food. It could be a welcoming or a farewell event, a happy or sorrowful moment or just the end of a tiresome day; Cretans gather around a table to enjoy a hearty meal and socialize with friends and relatives. The meal does not have to be something super complicated, it has to taste great though and be hefty!
Cretan cooking is all about using ingredients of supreme quality, not a rarity on this blessed island sitting between three continents. It is also about bringing out the taste of these ingredients. Cretan cuisine is intrinsically healthy as Cretan food is to a large extent plant-based. This relates to the diversity of the plants growing on this island; imagine that Crete has about 160 endemic plant species! Furthermore, Cretan food contains dairy products, such as cheese and yoghurt, mainly from sheep and goat milk; there is an abundance of sheep herds on Cretan mountains. As a big island with long coastline, it also has great seafood, such as fish and molluscs (squid, cuttlefish, octopus) deliciously grilled or cooked. Last but not least, in Crete the quality of lamb and pork meat is probably one of the best in the world with herds grazing on high altitudes and at the same time close to the sea.
In this section we provide authentic recipes from our own family’s kitchen. They can be everyday dishes or more special ones that everyone should be able to try for themselves. The focus is on healthy cooking which is also truly authentic. Every recipe also has a small story to tell. You can immerse yourself into healthy Cretan cooking by following some easy and well described steps! Follow this link (recipe index) to see all the available recipes at Cretan Healthy Life.
To provide a good overview and classification of recipes, Cretan Healthy Life has developed a 3-point recipe score system assessing the vegetarianism level, the difficulty of obtaining the ingredients, the healthiness of the dish, the preparation difficulty, the needed time and an overall score for each recipe, taking account mainly of the taste and healthiness. Follow this link (recipe score system) to see our score system.