The beauty of the land, the pride of its people, the quality of the cuisine
Crete is still relatively unknown to North Americans. It’s the most Southern point in Europe and it is the largest island of Greece. It covers over 8,330 square kilometers with a population estimated at 620,000 inhabitants. And, you can add about 4 million tourists who visit on annual basis.
Tourism and agriculture
Crete’s economy is based mostly on services, tourism and agriculture. It is one of the few islands that can support itself independently. Unemployment is about one-sixth of the country average and per capita income is higher than the Greek average. Viticulture and olive groves are predominant and important to the local economy.
Crete’s history dates back to the Minoan civilization (3600 BC) and is recorded as the earliest in Europe. Greek mythology runs deep and many ancient settlements account for principles known today in Western civilization, namely the Code of Laws scripted into a stone wall at the ancient city of Gortyn. While Crete has been under foreign rule from the Roman Empire to the early 1900’s, it has a deeply rooted culture of pride, which is showcased in its music, literature, dancing, and traditional healthy cuisine.
“Crete’s mystery is extremely deep. Whoever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force branching warmly through his veins and senses his soul begin to grow.” - Nikos Kazantzakis - Report to Greco
Widely recognized as one the healthiest. Life expectancy is known to be longer. The diet consists of food from “natural sources”. Fresh and dried fruits, pulses (like lentils), endemic wild herbs and aromatic plants, and rough cereals are consumed in great amounts. Food of animal origin is more peripheral in nature. Dairy products are consumed on a daily basis in moderate quantities as well. The main supply of fat is olive oil, used in both salads and cooking. There is a moderate use of alcohol, mainly wine which accompanies meals, and a light quantity of Tsikoudia at the end of a meal. And, the most common desserts are yogurt with fresh fruit, and pastries based of honey.