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Olive Oil, a traditional Cretan product

Written by Basil Daniel.

Olive-Oil2In the Crete Island, the cuisine is exceptionally good and traditions are what preserve its outstanding qualities. Traditions are important but the essence of the cuisine is products. Cretans are proud of their land and always use regional products in their dishes. The heart of their cuisine is Cretan olive oil. It is more than a condiment; it is an ingredient of their culture. Come to our hotel in Rethymnon and experience real Cretan culture at our restaurant in Rethymno.


Olive oil is a great product! Watch our video about Cretan olive oil.


The archaeological findings have proved that Cretans have been using olive trees and oil since 3500 BC, since the early Minoan period. They are still perpetuating this thousands years old traditions today, cultivating olives and using it for virtually anything.

Are you looking for some authentic olive oil from Crete? Here two producers of the island: Sitia Organic Olive Oil, Vaj ulliri . cilesi e pare. You can also buy a bottle in one of the many local shops of the island. Once tasted its fantastic flavour you will definitely bring home a bottle of olive oil from Crete!

olive oil2The motto of Crete could be, when in doubt, use olive oil. And that is a fact in Crete. What would be Greek Salad without a good olive oil? You will have the chance to taste lot of fantastic Cretan dishes during you stay. Three of them are a must: Octopus in Olive oil and vinegar, Kritharokouloura (Rusks with tomato and olive oil) and Aubergines with tomato sauce.

You can’t wait until the summer vacations for trying the octopus in Olive oil and vinegar? Just buy a fresh one. Wash it and place in a pan with olive oil, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook in a low heat in its own juices until tender. Once the octopus has cooled, cut into small pieces and place in a jar. Add vinegar and then olive oil scented with garlic to cover. That’s it. Don’t worry if doesn’t come out perfect, in Crete you will try the original one this summer!

olive oil3But the olive is not just for food. Extensive research, recent and older proves the many benefits of olives. You can find in the olive many properties; antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, cancer prevention, decreased bone loss, decreased risk of osteoporosis, anti allergy-related benefits, anti-histamines properties.

What it means is that regular olive oil consumption is good for you and that you will see better, think sharper, be more mobile, have suppler skin, break fewer bones, have less cholesterol and be thinner. Our grand-mothers have many cosmetic recipes about the use of olive oil for beauty products. The olive leaf was used for the around the eye care and the powers of the oil are infinite. It is used for sensitive, greasy or dry skin, to prevent wrinkles, to repair dry and breaking hair. Its benefits don’t stop at the human body and olive oil is also used to preserve wooden object and furniture, to remove water stain, nurture the wood and make it shine. At home it can be used to loosen plants soil.

olive oil4Moreover the olive tree is also a very poetic plant. Its aesthetic is outstanding and inspired many great painters and artists, to only mention the most famous, Van Gogh with “Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun”. The olive branch is full of meaning as well. It symbolized victory in battle, back in antiquity but the meaning today has shifted to represent peace from ancient Greek traditions. It is also worn by brides for happiness in her marriage. The symbol doesn’t stop there.

The tree can grow on flat surfaces as well as mountainous regions in arid conditions and it can live for hundreds of years. Because the olive tree is such a resilient plant, it teaches Cretans to adapt and thrive in difficult situations.

Olive oil is more than a regular product and it deserve your full attention once on the Island. You can also present your friends and family with an excellent traditional olive oil orange biscuits!

Come to Crete this summer and immerse yourself in the rich Cretan culture, and olive oil.

Click here for more information on our hotel in Rethymnon