Local products of Chania

Crete boasts a rich history and gastronomic culture, and the local products of Chania are definitely among the very best in the country! The rich and fertile land gives huge amounts of fruit, vegetables, legumes, cheese and other products that the locals use in their meals and sweets.

Cretan cheeses occupy a prominent place among the products of Chania. First and foremost is graviera, a hard yellow cheese whose flavor ranges from slightly sweet and buttery to a bit spicy. The local version is made with sheep’s milk, which may be mixed with a small amount of goat’s milk. Anthotyros, which is prepared by adding whey in sheep’s or goat’s milk, is immensely popular, too. Its name, which literally translates as ‘flower cheese’, comes from the wafting aroma of wild herbs. If left to age, it takes on a salty taste with a powerful sherry-like smell, but there is also a softer, fresh version. The list would be incomplete without mizithra, a soft white cheese that can be either sweet or sour, and tyrozouli, which is produced from sheep’s or goat’s milk curdled with fig sap. It is no coincidence that all of these cheeses were ranked among the top 100 in the world by the TasteAtlas Αwards 23/24!

At the same time, Chania is famous for its high-quality virgin olive oil, which is reputed to be the key to the Cretans’ longevity, its exquisite honey, its wines and, of course, its famous tsikoudia (known as raki in eastern Crete), a fragrant grape-based alcoholic beverage that is similar to tsipouro. If flavored with honey and spices, tsikoudia is the basis for another outstanding liqueur, rakomelo.

On the whole, this part of the island offers a unique culinary experience rich in handmade sweets, aromatic herbs, and meat cooked traditionally. Bakeries overflow with delicacies like kalitsounia (pies stuffed with mizithra or vegetables), lichnarakia (delicious sweets with cheese cream), bureks filled with zucchini, potatoes and mizithra, as well as various kinds of rusks. Restaurants are also sure to delight visitors with mouthwatering lamb recipes, ntakos salads, Cretan skioufikta pasta, apaki (fine pork loin smoked with herbs), fried snails and much more.