For the inhabitants of Crete, olive oil is the essence of life. It is aromatic, rich in nutrients and is even said to be able to reduce the risk of cancer. Some studies show that it can protect the heart muscle and promote the function of various organs. Also worth noting is the antioxidant effect that Cretan olive oil can have.
It is often eaten with bread. When enriched with herbs, it becomes a delicious dip. Of course, it is also used for cooking and marinating. It can be used to dress fresh salads, which gain even more flavour from the oil.
The basic prerequisite for the strong aroma and the high nutrient content is the exceptional quality. Cretan olive oil is not produced industrially. It is obtained by pressing olives, in which no admixtures or extracts are used.
The basis for the oil are the olives of Crete, which are among the best in the world. They thrive on olive trees that grow on the island's extensive mountain slopes. The proportion of healthy fats in the stone fruit is extremely high, while the pungency is rather subtle.
Two types of olives dominate cultivation on Crete. There are thin, small olives that can easily be shaken off the tender little trees and collected with nets. Should you arrive at harvest time between November and February, you will discover numerous workers in the olive groves.
Harvest workers can also be found in the regions of the island that specialise in the cultivation of large olive trees. These trees are called 'tsounates'. Nets are laid out to harvest their olives. The harvest occasionally drags on into June.
But not all olives are used to produce oil. There are also edible olives such as the 'Seliniotikes', the 'Neratzolies', the 'Tsakistes' and the 'Koftes'. You can enjoy them pure or as part of a dish. If you like, you can marinate them in herbs.
You are in category:
old towns fascinating
ancient sites imposing
boat trips extraordinary
stalactite caves adventure
& thrills secluded
Find your dream hotel for your next holiday in Crete
Recommended tours and activities in Crete