August 25, 2004

Mediterranean Diet Crete, located in the Southern Aegean Sea is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. It’s also just about equidistant from three continents--Asia, Africa, and Europe. This rugged island is said to be the birthplace of Zeus. Visions of hiking in the White Mountains through orange-scented breezes and olive groves while listening to goats bray are starting to build. Or possibly I could squeeze in a lesson at Cooking in Crete and conquer my fear of filo. Cretan food is uncomplicated and simple. It reflects the natural abundance found on the island--olive oil, lemons, oranges, wild greens, lentils, beans, barley, snails, and fish. Interesting food note is Crete was also the source of that catch phrase “Mediterranean diet”, derived originally from a case study in the late 1940s. Clifford Wright has historical notes on the history of this island’s food culture. He writes: Cretan food is actually quite simple, based on olive oil, olives, pulses and vegetables and fresh and dried fruits with very little meat and fish consumption. Crete also has deep traditions surrounding two food items that remain special on islands: bread and cheese. There are many breads, from votive breads to preserved rock-hard breads for times of famine. Like its other Mediterranean islands, Crete shares the same traditions when it comes to bread and a whole book could be written about them. So too with cheeses, many are still unnamed, just as in Corsica, called simply "cheese." Although when pressed, Cretans will tell you that you are...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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