The Cretan Diet


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Fruit-bearing trees, especially citrus trees, thrive in many areas of Crete. Oranges from Maleme in Chania have been awarded PDO status, though other famous varieties include oranges from the planes of Milopotamos and Fodele, cherries from Gerakari, bananas from Arvi, and apples from Lassithi Plateau. At present, alternative crops have been developed and previously ignored products, such as prickly pears, have become standardized.

Dried figs, sultanas and currants have always been crucial both for the islanders' diet and as an exportable product. Their high energy value makes them more suitable for the winter period. Other vine products, such as the sweet and dense petimezi, are also important in the Cretan cuisine as natural sweeteners.

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