What would a kitchen be without spices? Crete is home to countless aromatic herbs that can be used to enhance dishes. However, it is not only their aroma that makes them so desirable.
A look at the history of culinary art shows that herbs have always been valued for their potential effect on the organism. They have been skilfully combined with certain foods, for example, to promote its digestibility.
Here is an excerpt of the most famous herbs of the Crete diet:
Sage: Between May and June, this herb is easily recognised by its lilac flowers. In ancient times, the herb was used as a tonic. Today it enriches meat dishes in particular. It is said to have an antibiotic effect.
Wild mayoran: This plant is in flower between July and August. It is traditionally used for nervous disorders and colds, as it is good to drink as a tea. Its intense aroma adds a tasty spice to stews.
Oregano: Cretan oregano is harvested in the months of June to July. The flowers have a strong fragrance and are very spicy. Oregano can enhance fish and meat dishes as well as vegetarian dishes and sauces. It is said to have an appetising effect. At the same time, it is said to have an antiseptic effect. It is also traditionally used in Crete for toothache and stomach ache.
Thyme: The wonderfully fragrant thyme blooms on Crete between June and July. It is of great importance for beekeeping, as the finest nectar for high-quality honey can be produced from its flowers. In the Cretan diet, it is highly valued as a spice for dishes. Thyme is said to help against parasites, fever and inflammation.
Real laurel: Stews and sauces are enriched by the leaves of the real laurel bush. It grows in many places on the island. It is so important for the Cretan diet because it is gentle on the stomach and can alleviate digestive problems. It can also be used to make a tea to treat rheumatism and bruises.
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