A lot of tourists in Chania are desperately looking for a way to enjoy traditional Cretan food on their vacation. Enjoying an island’s traditional food and delicacies is another way of exploring the culture, history and traditions of the place you visit.

We, at Olive Tree Restaurant in Platanias strive constantly to offer traditional, nutrient and healthy food to our customers. In this blog we will show you how to make traditional Cretan Dakos, a bio, healthy , full meal with ingredients that can be classified as vegetarian. This means that its an ideal alternative for everyone, anytime of the day.

Traditional Cretan Food- Olive Tree Restaurant
Traditional Cretan Food- Olive Tree Restaurant

Traditional Cretan Food: An introduction.

Traditional Cretan food is made with carefully selected ingredients of our homeland. Ingredients that elevate your experience and offer you a full healthy and balanced meal. Dakos is made with traditional Cretan Barley Rusks and a traditional healthy Cretan dairy product called Mizhthra. Mizithra is a fresh dairy product made primarily with goat’s milk, hence its white and low in fat. It has to be consumed fast because it has no preservatives and chemical additives. Next crucial ingredient is extra virgin Cretan olive oil .

This is the pride of our island and our biggest agricultural export product. Hand picked bio tomatoes are also a crucial ingredient not only in Dakos but in Traditional Cretan Food altogether. Tomatoes are used almost always on all food preparations, and Dakos is not an exception.

Table Olives is also an ingredient that many prefer to add in the recipe. Table olives have a lot of variants (depending on the olive variety) and you may add some olives as a garnish on top of Dakos. They add to the overall flavor due to their distinctive taste characteristics.

Table Olives- Olive Tree Restaurant - Platanias
Table Olives- Olive Tree Restaurant – Platanias. Agnieszka Kwiecień, NovaOwoce OliwkaCC BY-SA 3.0 .

Cretan Oregano is another ingredient that as an aromatic herb can elevate the taste of every dish. Hand-picked and dried Cretan oregano has an original peculiar taste and is an ideal ingredient in Cretan Cooking.

Oregano- cretan cuisine herbs- olive tree restaurant Platanias
Oregano-Essential Aromatic Herb in Cretan Cuisine. anonymous, OreganoCC BY-SA 3.0

Traditional Cretan Dakos: Why it’s a full meal.

You may wonder why we, at Olive Tree Restaurant, propose Cretan Dakos as a full meal. Many of our guests in our restaurant in Platanias order Dakos as a small starter dish before their main course. However due to its ingredients you can eat it as a full , healthy and light meal any time of the day.

Mizhthra Cheese is a healthy dairy product full of protein and healthy fat, whereas barley Cretan double baked rusks offer you essential carbohydrates. Olive oil and olives offer you the necessary fat to keep you energized during your daily routine. During the hot summer months it is advisable not to overdo it with fatty and fried food, hence Traditional Cretan food “Dakos” is an adequate food option enough to keep you energized for hours to come.

Rusks- Traditional Cretan Food
Rusks- Traditional Cretan Food. DiscottOuma Rusks bowlCC BY-SA 4.0

How to Make Traditional Cretan Food- Dakos.

In order to make Dakos at home you have to do only some minor steps. After you clean the tomatoes you then use a grater in order to scrub them on top of the barley rusks. Then you apply Mihthra cheese on top of the grated tomatoes while you pour a generous amount of olive oil and olives on top of it.

Olive oil will be absorbed by the Cretan rusks and provide your dish with the necessary humidity. On top you then apply the oregano and you are almost ready to enjoy it. Don’t forget to combine it with some organic Cretan Wine for a full traditional Cretan food experience!

A tip from Olive Tree Restaurant.

We invite you to enjoy Dakos, and other traditional Cretan food in our beachfront restaurant in Platanias, Chania. Carefully selected ingredients and dishes will indulge you into Cretan Cuisine. However, you may taste Traditional Cretan Dakos in your home as well, after you follow our instructions. If you prefer spicy foods we certainly insist that you also put caper on your Cretan Dakos. Caper offers extra spiciness and crunchiness to your meal and it is also an ideal combination with oregano which is also present in Cretan Dakos.

Caper- Cretan foods and Cretan aromatic herbs and spices
Caper- Cretan food- Cretan aromatic herbs and spices- Bo BasilCaper berries in a bush on the Western Wall, JerusalemCC BY-SA 4.0 .

Bon Appetito!

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