In our last post, we talked about Crete. Among the many wonderful things to enjoy on Crete is the incredible and unique cuisine, and since the recipes used by the locals depend on local products, it’s almost impossible to find authentic Cretan food anywhere else in the world. It’s safe to say, the food is one of the things you’ll miss when you go back home.
Thankfully, if you’re lucky enough to visit the island, there are plenty of products you can purchase and bring back home. Olives and olive oil, for example, are obvious but always appreciated souvenirs, and really good EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) makes all the difference when you want to try your hand at making any Greek dish. Oregano is another great flavoring to bring home. At smaller markets and any place that sells spices on Crete, you’ll find bouquets of dry oregano. To bring it home easy, crumble it up (discarding the stems) in a bag or a jar. Jars of local capers and caper leaves are also sold in almost any store in the villages. Tiny bombs of flavor, they make for excellent additions to salads and dips.
Finally, dakos, the Cretans’ famous bread rusk rings. Made with barley and baked twice, they are rock hard, and keep for months. Once softened with the right toppings, they’re also delicious. While you won’t find a perfect recipe for them (the recipes are considered valuable secrets), you’ll find the actual product at bakeries, delis and supermarkets, and they’re a must-buy for any foodie.
Got all the ingredients? Follow our instructions below and prepare a traditional and simple, perfect Cretan meal at home.
- 1 large round rusk
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- a splash of vinegar, optional
- 3,5 oz (100 g) Cretan ksinomysithra cheese, or feta cheese
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. capers or a few caper leaves
- 1 tsp. oregano
- a handful of olives
Grate one of your tomatoes, and chop the other one finely. If using, add the vinegar to the grated tomato.
Place the bread rusk in a deep serving dish, cut side up. Sprinkle it with up to a tablespoon of water – this is necessary to make it soften slightly, but don’t overdo it, the tomato and oil will finish the job.
Top the bread rusk with the grated tomato, and then the chopped tomato.
Crumble the feta cheese over the tomato, and top with oregano, capers (or caper leaves), olives and extra virgin olive oil.
Serve, and savour, immediately!