In the centre of the Old Town is Avli Restaurant that offers Cretan cooking classes. We learned about the history or Cretan cuisine, the ingredients and how they are produced along with new cooking techniques to try at home!
First we started with salads where the focus was on fresh ingredients. There were no heavy dressings, just salt, balsamic vinegar and olive oil! Rusks and day old bread finds its way into the dishes as a great way to use up food in the home and make them more filling.
Stuffed vegetables were next, and with the addition of rice you have a hearty side dish to go with the rest of your meal. The rice was mixed with the flesh of our cored veggies to ensure nothing is wasted and added so much flavour to the dish.
Finally, we ended with braised goat with petimezi, a syrup made from the pressed grapes and skins after wine production. The thick, sweet syrup paired well with the wine during braising and created a rich hearty sauce. Again, nothing else but a healthy dose of salt, thyme and olive oil and two hours of braising. Simple and so delicious
Crete really surpised us with the variety in their local cuisine. It’s not the typical Greek food that we’ve had at home and we enjoyed learning so much about how food is tied to their family traditions and culture. We had such a great time here, and we look forward to visiting again! Yamas!