Domlades are parcels made from vine leaves stuffed with rice, fresh herbs and seasonings. Depending on the season, you can also get dolmades that are stuffed in zucchini blossoms - in a tender, beautiful flower. The size of dolmade is just right, perfectly proportioned for the human mouth - one juicy bite. Surely, Crete has the best dolmades in Mediterranean.
We love dakos! It is the most traditional Cretan starter. Likewise Greek salad in Greece, dakos on this island is an unmistakable indicator of the quality of the meal (to come) as well as the quality meter of the tavern. The more you eat, the more of the expert you become at distinguishing 'dakos to die for' from poor and quickly fixed ones. Dakos is about generous balance and bountiful mix of fresh, good quality ingredients. How crisp yet firm is barley rusk - the basis of the dakos? How ripe and juicy is tomato spread? How flavorful is the feta cheese topping? How generous and fresh is the olive oil seasoning? Dakos can tell you a lot about the overall attitude, hospitality and cooking habits of the tavern.
Crete is the right place to convert yourself from simple foodie to artichokes' gourmand. The variety of artichoke dishes is truly unique here. What can be better than softly cooked, literary melting artichokes with cold beer on a hot spring day, you might conclude (pic on the left). Only to realise that fresh, salt water-sprinkled artichokes with cold aperitivo - raki shot is probably one of the most interesting dinner starters you've ever tasted (pic on the right). The list goes on. Artichokes, however are seasonal and the peak time for the 'Artichoke Crete' is April and early May.
Green color is know to be the color of the heart and Cretans are known as heartfelt and amazingly hospitable people. Who knows maybe it all comes from eating plenty of greens? Indeed hearty wild greens picked fresh from the mountain is not only enormously healthy but also tasty. Cook slow, season with raw Cretan sea salt and lemon.
Tirokafteri is a cheese spread that include feta cheese, hot pepper, olive oil, lemon and garlic. That might sound as a very simple dish yet again - it has to be done properly. And when we say 'properly', we mean - with mastery and plenty of love. To our taste - the spicier the tirokafteri, the better. With the very spicy ones you really can get 'high'.
Having traveled for over 30 years, since 6 years now, I have found the whole world in one of the most fascinating and unique places on earth – Crete. It is a diverse, rich and inspiring island which even after so many years does not stop surprising me - its rich history and unique traditions, its people, the delicacies of Cretan cuisine, its landspace and its stunning nature. Here I reveal some of its secrets.
I see Crete through turquoise - pink glasses.
Skip the group tours, leave your rental car at your hotel and ask Joseph to accompany you on a private tour to these great spots on Crete. We did "Mystic & Rustic Crete" and "Birth of Europe". If you are a first-time visitor he will suggest an itinerary and if you have special requests he will include those. Without Joseph we would not have known about the local culture or the history of the area nor would we have met and chatted with the local people... Read more
"A great tour and experience"We spent a full day with Joseph visiting Chania, Rethymnon and an olive oil farm and we had a great time. Crete is huge so you have to make choices unless you spend a week there. We arranged this tour with Joseph discussing our options and time. Joseph was very flexible with the itinerary allowing us to customize our tour and experience the highlights of some very nice towns. Joseph was very knowledgeable and answered every question. We would definitely use Joseph again to visit the other parts of Crete that we could not get to in this visit.
"Crete showed by Joseph is unique"The experience with Joseph showing us around Crete was absolutely unique. He is Greek and speak very good Hebrew. I don't think we would had seen and experienced half of what we did with him if we'd be on our own. He told us a lot of interesting stories about the Lassithi plateau and the area. His effortless ability to chat up with locals and involve us into conversation (with some translation, of course) was amazing. Funny enough these encounters led to further invitations (for a coffee and local drink - raki). Later on, he took us to an absolutely authentic tavern in a mountain village...
"The secrets never die" Das erste Mal haben wir Joseph Batis mit einer kleinen Gruppe in Chania in einer Fischtaverne kennengelernt. Er sprach Deutsch, Hebräisch, Englisch, Griechisch und soweit ich es richtig vernommen habe auch Spanisch. Ich habe die Gelegenheit genutzt ihn über unsere Ausflugsziele zu befragen. Seine Hinweise und seine Kenntnis haben uns in die Welt von Kreta innerhalb kurzer Zeit eingewiesen. Wir haben Joseph für einen Tag engagieren können um uns zu begleiten. Joseph hat über 30 Jahre in Deutschland gelebt. Seit Jahren führt er private Reisetouren auf Kreta...
יוסי מסיורים בכרתים ויוון, הוא מדריך.... מקצוען, בעל יידע נרחב איש לבבי וסימפטי, טיילנו בשנה שעברה... היה פשוט מדהים כיף... כיף... כיף... ממליץ בחום למי שמגיע לכרתים ויוון להשתמש בשרותיו המעולים. תודה יוסי על הסיורים ,האוכל, הטברנות, היה תענוג גדול ! ! ! מאתנו: אורי אילש, אלי גנט, יגאל גרינשטיין, נטלי גרינשטיין, אור גרינשטיין
כל מי שעתיד לנסוע לכרתים או ליוון, אני חייב להמליץ על חבר יקר, מדריך מעולה, אדם חביב ונעים הליכות שידריך אתכם בכרתים בעברית, אנגלית וגרמנית, מה שתבחרו.... ל- Joseph Batis אתר בו תוכלו להציץ במה שיש לו להציע לכם כולל תכנון הטיול ומלונות וכו' הציון שנתנו לו 10+ שווה מאוד... ביקרנו במקומות שבחיים לא הגענו אליהם בכרתים ! לחצו על השם וכנסו לאתר ! בהצלחה.