Take Your Palate on an Island Adventure
The notion that food is at the heart of any cultural experience reaches exceptional levels in the Greek Isles. This complex of thousands of islands celebrates cuisine and the experience of enjoying it with friends and family in a big way. And while the cuisine of the Mediterranean overall boasts similarities from one destination to the next – showcasing the mountainous olive and orange groves set against blue seas – each island of Greece proudly serves up some specialties unique to itself. Yes, this region is famous for a diet of light, nutritiously balanced fare that has been linked to reduced rates of Alzheimer’s, heart disease and several types of cancer, but it can be a challenge to think past the incredible flavor of it all.
Crystal Esprit explores several of the most beloved Greek Isles on yachting escapes in the summer and autumn this year and next, and you won’t want to miss one delectable bite during your travels. While the mantra of any Greek getaway should be “taste it all,” there are a few local dishes that cannot be missed when you’re in some of the most gorgeous locales in Greece.
When in Santorini, the agriculture of the island takes center stage. Sweet Santorini tomatoes – which are only found here – are transformed into domatokeftethes, fritters of diced tomatoes, onion, peppers, mint and flour and are a classic Santorini appetizer. Another local favorite is baklava. Yes, this syrupy pastry is an iconic treat all over Greece, but in Santorini, you’ll find the island’s specially grown pistachios at the center of each bite. Wash all of this down with a glass of Vinsanto wine, made from Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri grapes that are sun-dried for nearly two weeks.
When in Mykonos, spice things up a bit. The locally-made kopanisti cheese is not only famous on the island for its salty, spicy flavor and deep aroma, it’s a protected culinary treasure here, designated with Cycladic PDO. Pair with olives, chopped tomatoes, bread and ouzo, of course. Another cheese-based favorite adding to Mykonos’ complex flavor profile is kremidopita, an onion pie made with dill and tirovolia cheese. Thick, flaky crust makes this comfort food at its best.
When in Crete, it’s all about the olive oil. This is true throughout most of the Mediterranean, yes, but olive oil is the foundation of the entire Cretan diet, as the island’s top produced product. You’ll also find that most specialties here are flavored with herbs more than spices, as Crete grows an abundance of botanicals including rosemary, mint, cumin, fennel and other aromatic plants. During your visit, seek out a serving or two of local kreatotourta, a meat pie special to Chania that blends four different types of cheese, lamb and mint in a flaky crust.
Crystal Yacht Cruises are culinary adventures wherever in the world they travel. Explore Greek Isles cuisine with Crystal’s Destination Discoveries shore excursions highlighting the islands’ flavors with wine tastings, hands-on Greek cooking lessons and other tastes of the destinations. Book your next delicious journey today!