LoveChania - Wine & Coocking
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Wine, Cuisine and Typical Products

Traditional cuisine

For the Cretans food is fundamental, all the dishes arrive at the table simultaneously and follow the recipes handed down from generation to generation, making Crete a very attractive destination for food lovers. Its cuisine is simple and based on fresh seasonal products, strictly balanced to ensure a healthy and balanced diet, now known worldwide for its longevity qualities. Its roots are very old and despite the fact that Crete was influenced by many cultures, his soul remains tied to the land products, olive oil and honey. Among the most famous traditional dishes are:

The stew (rabbit or chicken)
This dish is often served with potatoes, baked or fried, and you can taste it in most taverns and restaurants in Crete. You can also prepare it at home using our recipe.
Recipe for 4 persons - Preparation 12 hours – Cooking 120 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 cut rabbit or chicken into pieces
  • 1 kg of small onions
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • (6-8) rosemary leaves
  • spices
  • 500g cherry tomatoes cut into slices
  • (1/2 tsp) sugar
  • dry red wine (1 glass)
  • salt
  • black peppercorns
  • vinegar
  • olive oil
  • parsley
Preparation:
Marinate the rabbit or chicken, letting it for at least 10 hours in wine, vinegar and water (1/4), oil, chopped onion, crushed garlic, parsley, rosemary and pepper.
Cooking:
Drain the rabbit or chicken and brown in a pan with half a cup of olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the marinade, tomatoes, spices, bay leaves and sugar. Bring to boil and simmer for one hour. Add peeled onions and cook for another hour.

Eggs with Staka
The Staka (cream sheep's milk or goat's milk, boiled and mixed with flour, salt and water) is a Cretan specialtie and is mainly used to accompany meat dishes, rice, soups... We strongly recommend try it with fried eggs and a pinch of pepper.
The Kalitsounia
The Kalitsounia of Crete can be sweet or savory. In Chania, Kalitsounia is a fried turnover, stuffed with spinach or wild herbs or cheese (mizithra). In Heraklion is a delicious cheesecake. Below you will find the recipe of the Kalitsounia from Chania.
Recipe for 20/30 pieces - Preparation 2 hours – Cooking 5 to 10 minutes

Ingredients for the dough:
  • 1 kg of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • water
  • 1/2 cup tzikoudia (grappa)
Ingredients for the topping:
  • 2 kg of spinach
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mint
  • 1 onion
  • 1/4 glass of oil
Preparation:
Mix all ingredients for the dough, knead the dough and let rise for 1 to 2 hours. Then roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it reaches a ½ cm thickness and cut out circles with a tea saucer.
Cooking:
Sauté for 5 minutes chopped spinach, after removing the roots and having washed carefully. Put oil in a bowl, salt, pepper, mint, the chopped onion and spinach, mix well until a homogeneous mixture. Fill in the circles of dough with the mixture, although closing the turnover and fry.

The rooster in red wine
The rooster in red wine can be served with pasta or french fries or baked potatoes. Like all Cretan dishes there are several methods of preparation and cooking, we decided to share this recipe we find really delicious.
Recipe for 4 persons - Preparation 12 hours – Cooking about 120 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 rooster 1.5 kg
  • 500 g of small onions
  • 1 large onion
  • 500 grams of white mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 300g bacon
  • 200g cherry tomatoes cut into slices
  • flour
  • red wine (750 ml)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • parsley
Preparation:
Marinate the rooster in red wine for about 12 hours.
Cooking:
Drain and cut the rooster into pieces, flour them lightly and fry in a pan with oil until a nice color on both sides. In another saucepan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil and add the onion, garlic and bacon, season it with the red wine for 2-3 minutes and add the rooster with 1-2 glasses of water. Cook for 20 minutes, then add the onions, tomatoes, after 20 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes. At this point, remove the rooster of the pan and simmer until a paste and homogeneous sauce. Once ready, add the rooster and chopped parsley and serve.

The Gardoubakia
It lies on the Cretan tables especially during Easter. This dish is done mainly with the intestines of lamb and can be cooked in many ways ... baked, fried or in soup.
Vlita and Avronies
Two herbs with slightly bitter taste. They grow throughout Greece and in Crete they are very consumed. They are boiled and seasoned with the olive oil or fried with onion. They go well with dishes of fish or meat.

Wine

According to Greek mythology, Dionysus (god of wine), married to Ariadne, daughter of Minos brought in Crete the art of wine making. Since ancient times, Crete was known for its excellent wine, exported all over the world, as evidenced by many ancient writings. Today Crete continues to impress... alone produces over 20% of the country's wine and thanks to the many qualities of grapes on the island, can produce a wide selection of fine wines, including: Moskato Spinas, Vilana, Loisima, Acominato, Valetis, Voidomatis and Gemira.

Typical Products

The island of Crete is known worldwide for being one of the best producer of high quality olive oil. The unique climate and the natural way of extraction is the key to its success. Also, in Chania, the production of extra virgin olive oil respects the Cretan traditional production method. Crete and the Peloponnese are the regions with the highest production in Greece. Cretan honey is an absolutely natural product and its treatment is made in a natural way, without high temperatures that destroy vitamins. The biome of the island is rich in endemic plants and especially in aromatic plants such as thyme, offering to Cretan bees their favorite food. All this makes the honey of Crete among the best in the world. Nowadays, Crete cheese production, keeps the traditional recipes of thousands years, in combination with modern methods that ensure quality. Free grazing throughout the year associated with the plants and herbs of Crete give smell, taste and exceptional nutritional value for all its dairy products. To taste absolutely, Myzithra, Graviera, Anthotyro and yogurt.
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