Mediterranean cuisine is amongst one of the most renowned cuisines in the world for its fresh natural ingredients, its nutrients of high value and for the longevity it gives to the mediterranean inhabitants. Cretan gastronomy is a cuisine very similar to the mediterranean cuisine, but uses some specific ingredients native to the Cretan soil. Genuine Cretan Gastronomy Restaurants always look for the below ingredients and we, at Olive Tree Restaurant are a proud ambassador of those original cretan delicacies. We are proud to inform you about our islands products and microclimate in this series of blogs.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
One of the core ingredients for gastronomy restaurants in chania is bio extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil is a key ingredient in the mediterranean cuisine as it is found all over the cooking process, cooked or raw. It is of paramount importance on all the mediterranean cultures from ancient years,and Crete is amongst the 3 biggest producers of extra virgin olive oil in Greece.
Extra virgin has to do with the quality of olive oil, as it has quality scaling valued on acidity. The bigger the acidity the worse the quality of olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil has acidity of 0, 3% up until 0, 8 %. Then it is virgin olive oil, from 0,8 % acidity up till 2 %, and then its labante olive oil which is not suitable for cooking (most of the time) and with acidity of more than 2 % has other uses. Cretan Gastronomy Restaurants in Chania always choose the extra virgin olive oil in order to elevate their quality.
Tomatoes are also a big factor in Mediterranean and Cretan cuisine. Not only do they come first in numerous salads, but almost always all of the mediterranean dishes start with tomato sauce. Bio Tomatoes have a distinctive taste, unique flavour and they lack all of the harmful pesticides- fertilizers most of the regular tomatoes are produced with. This is why they have a unique nutritional value that the cretan gastronomy restaurants like Olive Tree Restaurant in Platanias strive for.
Onions, dry or green, is another key ingredient in mediterranean cuisine as well as the gastronomy of Crete. Onions are used in the Cretan or Greek salad and are used most of the time in cuisine as the preparation of cooking, when we fry them in sizzling extra virgin olive oil. They have a unique flavor and when fried they elevate the taste of dishes as they have a strong aroma that everyone loves. Bio Onions have no toxins because they have no fertilizers and pesticides used in the production phase. By this way, Cretan Gastronomy Restaurants have great ingredients to work with and start on a good foundation for a successful dish.
Limited edition Cretan Cheese (Graviera).
Limited edition pure Cretan Cheese is also an ingredient that can elevate the taste and distinctiveness of a dish. In Crete, we have a special hard yellow cheese called Graviera which is a mature dairy product made with a mixture of sheep (primarily) and goat’s milk. It has to endure a maturing process, which in the past was made in Mitata and apart from the nutritional value, it also has a sentimental and folklore value for us Cretans. It has a strong distinctive flavour and it compliments various dishes like spaghetti, and salads. Graviera can also be eaten as a dessert served with Honey.
Except for our well known extra virgin olive oil, in Crete we tend to produce top quality wine that we also use it in cooking in Cretan gastronomy restaurants as well as for drinking. For white wine you can look for the Vidiano variety and for red wine, Kotsifali as well as Liatiko wine will sure astonish you in combination with our gourmet cretan dishes we carefully prepare for you in Olive Tree Restaurant.
We look forward to treating you to Cretan Hospitality!