Cretan’s Delight

Living in Europe has had several perks, one of the best is cheap tickets to other European cities! I have a million destinations in mind but i narrowed it down to 2 i love for my summer break. I incorporated a research project into the mix and set off for Crete, then Ireland. I also spent a wonderful week in Maine and the Cape but that has nothing to do with Europe so we will save that for another time.When my Ethnobotany professor gave us a project to discover lost traditional knowledge, i knew exactly where i wanted to do my research. I’d been to Crete about 3 years ago and fell in love with its food, history, people and climate. The turquoise waters are warm and there are goats and sheep everywhere! On my last visit, I discovered a product called Csinohodros; a fermented goat milk and wheat cake that is left in the warm sun of August to dry out.Cretans have long been proud of their traditional diet. The food is simple, fresh and local. They eat copious amounts of olive oil, snails, figs, wild native greens, olives, tomatoes,  sheeps cheeses…and on and onThere are very few cattle on the island but locals do eat goat and chicken. It was easy to settle into the food here and I never felt so healthy. Days in the sun and water, eating watermelon for desert with a shot of Raki. A girl could get used to this life…

My project took me and my friend Elisabeth to Crete for a short 8 days. We were introduced to Aspa and Iro, who in turn introduced us to producers, farmers, pasturalists, and chefs. As we ate out way around the Amari Valley, we learned about the long history of Csinohodros and met the many people who still incorporate it into their diets.

I fell in love with the land, one more time and know this time, I will be back.

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One thought on “Cretan’s Delight

  1. Eloquence, in both word and image. Thanks, Sarah, for the trip to Crete and for letting me work with you on your project to discover lost traditional knowledge.

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