The Cretan livestock farming tradition has resulted in a variety of dairy products, among which excellent cheeses, yogurt, and a sort of crumb-like pasta called ksinochondros, all made from goat and sheep's milk .
Cretans are particularly fond of dairy products, and no meal is complete without at least one kind of cheese. Cheese is even popular as a dessert when combined with honey. Cheese can always fit into variations of traditional pie recipes - sweet or savory (they go by names like kaltsounia, mizithra pies, sfakianes, lichnarakia, anevata etc.).
Apart from high-quality milk, the defining factor which makes Cretan cheese a top-notch gourmet product is -and will never cease to be - the human factor, i.e., the producer. Cheese makers have preserved traditional cheese-making methods, even in the context of modern, safer facilities, to offer unique traditional cheeses to present generations.
Four cheeses have been awarded PDO status so far: Cretan graviera, ksinomizithra, pichtogalo from Chania, and ksigalo from Sitia.
Apart from PDO cheeses, make sure to discover plenty of other white and yellow cheeses, such as anthotiro, mizithra, kefalotiri, malaka, staka, and tirozouli.