Herbs of Crete
The unique climate of the Mediterranean Sea Basin has been particularly generous when blessing the island of Crete. The islands soil is rich in nutrients and the constant sunlight help the vegetation flourish and offer its treasures in abundance. Walking in the Cretan countryside, you will find yourself elated by all the mystical fragrances of the land, of the herbs and spices that float through the sands of time and transfer you to another land, the island of Crete. Let’s get to know some of the herbs of Crete in a story full of aromas and flavors.
Oregano: Perhaps the most famous of all Cretan herbs and spices. This herb blooms in rocky, sun drenched areas and is prime for picking during June and July. Its’ leaves are sun dried and used in countless Cretan recipes, flavoring fish or meat dishes with its distinctive sweet and peppery aroma. And let’s not forget the world-famous Greek salad with the unsurpassed dressing of nothing else but extra virgin olive oil and oregano.
Thyme: Alongside oregano, thyme has a rich, slightly hot flavor that elevates meat and fish, but is also found in many favourite Cretan recipes poultry and even soups and sauces. Its blue-white flowers are in fact favored by bees; therefore Thyme honey is one of the best worldwide! Thyme is also known for its antiseptic properties, and you might recognize it as an ingredient in many organic toothpastes as well as the famous liquer “Benedictine”.
Basil: Well known to Italian food lovers as the base of the amazing pesto, basil is yet another herb found in surplus all around Crete. Its fragrant leaves compliment all tomato based dished, whereas its anise-like aroma deters mosquitoes, making basil the number-one potted plant in every Cretan garden and balcony.
Rosemary: Another bee favorite herb, used to enhance the taste of the syrup in the traditional welcoming treat, the spoon-sweets of Crete. These desserts are made with seasonal fruits and a sugary syrup, and no Cretan household is considered fully stocked without its supply of homemade, traditional spoon-sweets. Rosemary is also considered to combat hair loss and strengthen the hair follicles, hence its wide use in organic shampoos and other hair products.
Taking a trip to Crete will travel you through time and space, through history and tradition, through taste and smell. The herbs of Crete will help you understand what makes this island different, more fragrant and spicier than any other place you have ever visited. If you want to know more about the ingredients of the Cretan cuisine the visit www.galaxy-hotel.com/ingredients for a complete gastronomic journey around the island of Crete!