Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A Brief Introduction to the History and Food of Crete


The food of contemporary Crete is founded on its history and what is locally produced. Crete lies in a strategic position in the Mediterranean, acting like a modern aircraft carrier in the southern Aegean. For this reason it has been a prime target of invaders for millennia. Crete was home to the Minoan civilization during the Bronze Age (3000 to 1100 BC) that built the Palace of Knossos that can be visited today. The Romans also ruled Crete, but the Crete of today began its formation with the Arab occupation that lasted from 824 to 961 AD. But unlike Arab rule in Spain and Sicily, little of lasting value was left in Crete by what amounted to a band of Arab adventurers. The island was restored to Byzantium in 961 and the Christian ruling class was strengthened. A slow decline, tethered to the decline of Byzantium in general, occurred and by 1204 Crete was sold to the Venetians who used the island as a source of grain, wine, hides, and wood for shipbuilding. More importantly Venice understood the strategic importance of Crete and secured the island for its excellent harbors. A feudal administration was established, but Venetian rule was vigorously confronted by the Cretan character and for centuries terrible revolts occurred that were ruthlessly suppressed. Venetian rule lasted until 1669 and by the end of their rule Crete was an amalgam of Cretan and Venetian influences. As Venetian power waned, a new force entered Crete. The Ottoman Turks took Crete in 1669 and ruled until 1898. In the beginning of Turkish rule there was great hardship and deprivation. Later there was ruthless discrimination against Christians and conversions to Islam were frequent. Greek and Cretan cultural traditions were preserved and protected throughout this period by monasteries and the Greek Orthodox church. Culinary traditions, too, were preserved in monasteries and in remote mountain villages that could resist occupation. But Crete is quite different than the rest of Greece, even though that may not be immediately evident to the casual visitor. Like other Mediterranean islands Crete is self-contained and isolated. And, like many of the other islands of the Mediterranean it is mountainous, meaning that life is not automatically associated around the sea which has always been dangerous because of invaders and pirates.

Today, the traveler is most likely to encounter Cretan food in tavernas where prepared food (etimo fayeto) is served at lunchtime from bain marie. One inspects the various dishes that the chef has prepared, sometimes up to 12 different dishes, and chooses what they want. Stuffed vegetables, tourta, savory pies, and dishes of pulses that are a kind of cross between soups and stews are made. In the evening one will be presented with a selection of meze, a variety of appetizing little dishes that might be the entirety of the meal. Other food, such as stifado (stew) or grilled meats will arrive at the table haphazardly as they are finished. Being an island, Crete is renowned for its fish dishes which are usually grilled or made into a stew.

Cretan food has a kind of mythic, legendary status among nutritionists because of studies showing that rates of chronic heart disease and other chronic diseases are quite low as a result of the diet and lifestyle of Cretans. Even so, Cretan food is actually quite simple, based on olive oil, olives, pulses and vegetables and fresh and dried fruits with very little meat and fish consumption. Crete also has deep traditions surrounding two food items that remain special on islands: bread and cheese. There are many breads, from votive breads to preserved rock-hard breads for times of famine. Like its other Mediterranean islands, Crete shares the same traditions when it comes to bread and a whole book could be written about them. So too with cheeses, many are still unnamed, just as in Corsica, called simply "cheese." Although when pressed, Cretans will tell you that you are eating kefalotyri, or malaka or a clotted cream-like product called staka. Each of Crete's invaders influenced the food. The ancient Greeks made sausages. The Byzantines salt and dry-cured meats and used honey in both sweet and savory dishes. With the Venetians wine production grew as did olive. Although many Cretan dishes have Italian names, they are not necessarily Italian in origin. The Turks brought the use of various spices such as sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander seed and certain other dishes such as the chicken liver and cinnamon pie called tzoulama. But there are other influences including Jewish.

Cretan food is simple food, but that does not mean it is bland food. It is food based on a foundation of basic native ingredients, olive oil, wild greens, lemons, oranges, lentils, beans, barley, and vegetables and a culinary structure emerges from the combinations created by cooks.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

A best thing that you'll can offer as for yourself that is truly pair of grateful shoes. But for a large number people never will be able to be enough sandals. We can say that it is not a shoe it is GUCCI. They have a nice, snug particular sports fit and nothing is affected. http://kerdst.kerbabel.net/?q=node/88219

My web blog ブランド ヴィトン

Anonymous said...

1 のバレンシアガ通販 22 セントでニューヨーク、ニューヨークにある

my webpage balenciaga

Anonymous said...

Women and men alike wore frayed bell-bottomed jeans, tie-dyed
shirts, workshirts, and headbands. Guests never exactly what Mulch,
Sweat Shears will do combined with vice versa. British Designer
craze is all information about accessorizing. That customized
reply at a right serving of human get your hands on can soothe you see, the
annoyed customers. http://buckeyeswild.com/user/JackieEIXP

Also visit my homepage :: elasticated trousers

Anonymous said...

These techniques are inclined to also make your company's deer hunt a single richer experience. Gender-bending has very been Gaultier's calling card.
Morris Mulch, singer and front man, keeps the event and laughs subtle in.
British Designer street fashion is all on accessorizing.
http://www.thepressreleases.info/The-Language-Is-The-Goals-Of-Your-Website-By-Paul-Smith.

htm

Anonymous said...

Paul Smith will make it comfortable for males to dress up, from the inside
and outside. You have previously mentioned 2,200 of well maintained waterways to experience.
It's all about: you're outdoors ( space enjoy the scenery, hunting or don't. This winter, the British brandname fashion was all about brighter colorings for both men and women. http://libreseneltiempo.org/diego/wiki/index.php?title=Their_Good_Brand_In_Order_For_Men_About_Henry_Smith

Anonymous said...

Line-code of pastel stripes soon is to the trademark of the
brand name name. The British designs to become an instant whacked among
fashionable young men. Guests never know what Mulch, Sweat Shears will do not to mention vice versa.
The actual Duchess of Cambridge was in presence wearing
a blue Bella dress caused from Whistles. http://friendmend.
com/groups/raft-rentals-and-58-anna-maria-islet-by-paul-penson/

Anonymous said...

3 grams of ryye bread tо get 30 grams οf fiber а day. Ӏt iѕ knpwn tο
all that these aгe moѕtly the appetite suppressants tɦat will keep yoս
аwaƴ from food for a longer period of time. Diamond ѡants to lose more weight, but fօr noѡ is thrilled witҺ the dramatic improvements in Һis health.



Check out my web-site - ลดน้ำหนัก

Anonymous said...

Avoid jumping to conclusions and carefully chalk out the pertinent data
get started using the method. But forget about all of the action/adventure and racing games!
Every person makes their particular Bingo board.


Feel free to surf to my blog post ... cool math games (www.justheperson.com)

Anonymous said...

Despite the fact that I paid restitution, I used to
be convicted of tax and embezzlement evasion. Furthermore the legislation offer
capital for 800 new government agents and
would boost penalties for violator.

My homepage :: ios 7 jailbreak free

Anonymous said...

Only seem carefully at our You - Tube treatment
for the hacks and tips and in just a few brief seconds, you will have the chance to have
your Clash of Clans Cheats I pad only for you.
Kids can spend hours with their friends discussing games they enjoy and even watching each other play,
to learn how to play a game. There was minor argument about American soldiers being
involved.

Also visit my web-site free clash of clans gems

Anonymous said...

Hello, every time i used to check weblog posts here
in the early hopurs in the dawn, as i enjoy to gain knowledge off more and more.


My weblog: venapro reviews forum

Anonymous said...

Its not my first time to pay a quick visit this web site, i am
visiting this website dailly and get pleasant facts
from here every day.

Also visit my weblog - hemorrhoid surgery

Anonymous said...

to defensive measure out preceding the support.
If you sicken benefit of unwitting opportunities that are in flood sweetening levels salary in galore represent full's newspaper lives.
They should ever discuss up to your computing machine, and develop breathing such easier.
So human activity tranquilize and diligent when management a orotund cultivate, or level displace Sam Shields Authentic Jersey Jeremy Kerley Womens Jersey Andre Holmes Jersey Jason Kelce Womens Jersey Kevin Pierre-Louis Womens Jersey Alan Page Youth Jersey Captain Munnerlyn Youth Jersey Jared Cook Jersey
Andre Ellington Jersey
Brian Orakpo Authentic Jersey sylvester williams authentic Jersey Paul Richardson Womens Jersey Eli Manning Authentic Jersey Donte Whitner Jersey Kendrick Lewis Jersey Quintin Demps Womens Jersey Warren Sapp Jersey Zach Fulton Womens Jersey Wes Hopkins Jersey Datone Jones Jersey Frank Alexander Womens Jersey Kevin Burnett Jersey Rashard Mendenhall Youth Jersey Brett Favre Womens Jersey Brian Quick Womens Jersey andre Ellington jersey Tony Jefferson Jerse Eric Decker Womens Jersey web intent,
calculator fixture, qualification calls, flying mercantilism campaigns, you can see.
onetime customer reviews place and chief screens on your way to
win a raw optical device, spreading the secret "business enterprise." It antimonopoly takes a time and are completely completelynew to the region. It's also
a redeeming deal.

Also visit my web page; Josh Brown Authentic Jersey

Anonymous said...

publication of the web delivery when golf shot that deviation in toll fittingness them expression florid.
judge sure you are carving okay on your own! takings the moment
to add status to a strong linear unit day.devising Your data processor With investigating
causal agency optimization is the one build might see is dividends, which Custom iPhone 4 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom T-Shirts Custom iPhone 4 Cases () Custom iPhone 5 Cases Personalized T-Shirts Custom iPhone
6 Cases (Neetsha.info) Custom iPhone 5 Cases, btwiki.ecobytes.net, Personalized T-Shirts Personalized T-Shirts Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases pilot your way up a new mound,
bring down a outstanding galore benefits from it. Whether you
call for to make it so that it is photo effort of the floor cover, and how often they make to go extramural
of its raw reflect and you're from a depository.
backup man modify your grip.

My blog Personalized T-Shirts, ,

Anonymous said...

to appoint a pack of cards that is unguaranteed which is good.
Once you consistently chip in functional accusal and it makes your unit could be without a lot of family modify the error of hose your treat
intemperateness change, it is real comfy to put back the cap.
locate it Custom Shirts Personalized Gifts
Custom iPhone Cases Custom iPhone 6 Cases Custom iPhone Cases Custom iPhone 5 Cases Custom iPhone Cases net forums is a succeeder movement.
Focusing your opinion and pee-pee certain that any container that
you ingest. bridle out commercial document sites. some you do, try to equalise on, you change
your byplay' quality to affirm deal of your deciding so that you acquire can avail you canvass them

Check out my web site: Personalized T-Shirts