Eating habits on the largest island of Greece.


Written by: Mr. Routaki
November ’08

The Crete cuisine does not deviate much from the Greek, but has a little bit more variation, especially by adding a lot of traditional herbs. A traditional Cretan meal contains a lot of meat. You’d better go to a tavern to experience this. Originally the menu did not exist because it was a custom to point out the dishes in the kitchen. There are two different types of restaurants: the psistaria are specialized in preparing meat on a roast, like for example roasted lamb with herbs and the psaro tavern are specialized in fish dishes.

Greek food is not hot, literally and figuratively speaking. Firstly, only a few hot spices are used and secondly, the meals are not served hot, which makes that Western Europeans think the food is lukewarm. It is said that the Greeks do not like warm food, because it makes them sweat. It is unknown when the habit of preparing the food in the morning and keeping it warm until the afternoon or even the evening in a kind of ‘au bain marie’ style started. Because of this a lot of dishes are well-done.

The Greeks eat late. They usually eat lunch at about 2 o’clock and dinner is not served before nine. It is also very common to sit down for dinner at 11 o’clock in the evening, especially when it concerns a special occasion.
A typical Greek breakfast does not exist. That is the reason that most hotels serve a continental or English breakfast. Greeks usually stick to a good cup of coffee.

When you want to wish somebody ‘a good meal’, you say ‘kali orexie’.
‘Kali’ means ‘good’ and ‘orexi’ means ‘apetite’.