The island Crete is also famous for the exceptional local cuisine, so we can book you culinary lessons as part of your private tour in Crete. The island offers 165 endemic spices and herbs, unique flora while the locals never abandoned agriculture. Crete offers amazing places to visit, off the tourist routes; there are local taverns and wineries to taste the local recipes and the unique varieties of wine. If you are also interested in cooking this is the ideal tour for you…
Follow us to teach you how to prepare Cretan delicious dishes with pure ingredients, local olive oil, meat and of course vegetables, result of organic cultivation.
The culinary lessons are organized in different local taverns, restaurants or traditional houses.
The tour for culinary lessons can be organized upon request for at least 4 participants and needs approximately 4 h (plus transportation time, depending on the starting point), in order to enjoy the experience. And don’t forget of course, that whatever you prepare, you will cook it and it will be served for lunch.
Price of the culinary lesson tour includes transportation, lunch, all ingredients for the cooking lessons of course. Just be prepared to cook!
Recipes we propose
Greek tomato croquettes
- Place tomatoes, onion (sliced quite thin) and sugar in bowl. Mix well and season (salt, pepper and oregano).
- Gradually add flour until mixture is thick but moist. We propose to add local myzythra cheese (local goat’s cheese) to add flavor.
- Pour olive oil in frying pan and heat.
- When oil is hot, drop spoonfuls of mixture in and fry on both sides until golden. Drain and serve.
Smoked pork on the grill (Venetian smoked pork)
Smoked pork is traditionally prepared on Crete, during Christmas. It was back then one of their ways to preserve meat, since they didn’t have freezers.
Nowadays the families keep the tradition of making sausages and pork smoked (apaki) , which needs to be ideally grilled on the charcoal, by the fireplace, or on a pan (without oil for few minutes). Smoking the pork meat was for the Cretan family, a way to preserve the meat, for a longer period of time.
A must during summer, can be a used a nice light dinner. Greek salad is made with pieces of tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, onion, feta cheese, and olives (usually Kalamata olives), typically seasoned with salt and oregano, and dressed with olive oil. Common additions include green bell pepper slices or berries of capers (especially in the Dodecanese islands). Notably, the Greek salad is often seen as a farmer’s breakfast or lunch, as its ingredients resemble those that a Greek farmer might have on hand.
- 2 to 3 large vine tomato, cut into irregular wedges (depends also the number of persons on the table).
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped.
- ½ a red onion, thinly sliced.
- 16 Kalamata olives, but locals on Crete use the local olives that usually are smaller than Kalamata olives.
- 1 tsp dried oregano. Oregano from the hills nearby.
- 85g feta cheese, cut into chunks (barrel matured feta is the best), on the island Crete many add soft myzythra (goat’s cheese) or Seliano feta (not salty soft feta cheese).
- 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil/some locals add a spoon of vinegar.
Dakos with tomato
A traditional veggie dish from the island of Crete, perfect for a light dinner! The secret behind the perfect Ntakos or Dakos (which is the dried break – another way to preserve the bread for a longer period of time) is to use juicy, fresh, organic, on the vine tomatoes as they are the key ingredient that brings this dish to life. Garnishing with extra virgin, good quality olive oil will give the perfect finishing touch to this traditional Cretan rusks with tomatoes and feta cheese dish.
- Moisten the rusks (paximadia), with 4 tbsps. of water each, and drizzle with the olive oil. . Tipp don’t wet them a lot, sometimes the tomatoes have enough juice and if you use more water, it will spoil the rusk, making it too soft.
- Use a grater to grate the tomatoes, into a colander and leave for 5 minutes to drain.
- Crumble the feta cheese and myzithra (soft goat’s cheese) with a fork, or grate it with a grater.
- To put the dish together, spread the grated tomato on the rusks and add the crumbled cheese. Top with the olive oil and capers. Sprinkle with the oregano and drizzle with some extra olive oil. Ready to serve.
Peel cucumbers and dice (Important – Drain as much as possible the cucumber – In some places on Crete we add carrot sliced julienne).
In a bowl mix the yogurt (whole milk – full fat ideally), add cucumbers, garlic, a spoon of vinegar and a bit of olive oil (2 spoons), dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix with a spoon until well blended. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for couple of hours before serving so flavors can blend.
Prepare a normal dough with 1/2 kg of flour, a small cup of oil, 1 glass of water, salt and a little lemon juice. Add a snaps of Raki (traditional Cretan snaps). Roll out the dough and cut in strips 8 to 10 cm wide and 25-30 cm long. Spread the sour “myzythra” (soft Cretan cheese) all along the strips and fold them. Starting at one end, twist the ribbon in a spiral. The shape is similar to a “sariki” (the traditional headdress of Cretan men, which is why the pies are called “Sarikopites”: sariki-pies). Deep fry and serve with honey.
Cretan Tour Experts Top 5 taverns
- Peskesi tavern in the center of Heraklion, close to Theotokopoulos park.
- Antipodas traditional tavern at Korai Street.
- Ambelos tavern in Archanes village.
- Parasties tavern, close to the Historical museum of Crete at Sof. Venizelou Street 19.
- O Kipos tou Deukaliona, behind the Historical museum of Crete at Sof. Venizelou Street.
- Raki Baraki, 18 Radamanthys street Rethymnon old town.
- Avli, 24 Radamanthys street Rethymnon old town.
- Prima – Plora, 8 Akrotiriou Street Rethymnon city.
- Agrimia, 23 Mavrokordatou Alexanrou Street Rethymnon city.
- Thalassografies, 33 Kefalogiannidon Str Fortezza Rethymnon city.