Monday, March 24, 2014

A Tribute to Crete Food

According to “Google”, Cretan cheese pies are called Kalitsounia Kritis. Unlike their Greek counterparts, they are made with pastry rather than phyllo. Fortunately, everywhere I went, the words “cheese pie” were understood and generally produced what would be sufficient motivation for a return trip to the island.

Cheese pies and all the other wonderful things I ate, suffused my days on Crete with pleasure. Nothing particularly effete. Just simple, fresh, yummy concoctions that were a joy to savor.

Perhaps some of the allure was generated by the weird eating hours. While on the fall goddess tour (, we’d eat breakfast at 7 or 8 a.m. then wait until 1 or 2 or 3 p.m. for lunch, then 7 or 8 or 9 for dinner.

No. The allure was the food itself.
    Fresh, fresh salads.
    The best yogurt I have ever encountered (made with sheep’s milk, rich and creamy and needing no sweetener whatsoever).
     Wood-roasted almost any kind of meat imaginable. Fresh fish near the coast (and trout in the mountains). Lamb or pork or rabbit or goat or almost anything except beef everywhere else.
     The world’s finest olive oil, used liberally for almost everything.
     And great olives of course.
     Incredible eggplant concoctions with amazing tomatoes.
     Other delicacies, more typically Greek, like dolmades.
     And the wine was fine and the raki enabled me to at least attempt Greek dancing. (Zorba I am not.)

It’s been almost six months since I returned from Crete. All of my posts have had something to do with that trip. That’s probably enough (although I think I’ll do a couple more). Am I obsessed? No. Just stunned to discover evidence of a civilization that lived in peace for some two thousand years, honoring women and valuing generosity and compassion, while producing great art . . . and, surely, great food. Oopah!