You wouldn’t know just by looking at it, but the matriarchal culture in Crete is still alive and kicking. Maybe not in traditional Cretan weddings or folksy open-air festivals, where men tend to take over the dance floor, kicking up their heels like kri-kris (the local feral goat variety), leaving women to play second fiddle. But venture a little further, and you’ll find the female Minoan deities have certainly left their mark. I’ve been a repeat offender when it comes to Crete, coming back again and again to dip into the macrobiotic food culture, explore the southern wilderness or attend my share of the island’s famous three-day wedding festivities. But this time it was all about serenity and a very different set of adventures. As soon as city life crossed the acceptable stress thresholds, I was on a plane flying over the Mediterranean, on my way to happy oblivion.
Never underestimate female intuition: not only did I land in the most nurturing environment any exhausted city dweller could ever hope for, I actually found myself in the middle of a Minoan food festival. I know, I thought I was hallucinating at first too. Especially when Mrs Kadianaki, my host at Elounda Gulf Villas who’s always on the lookout for interesting local accents to enhance her guests’ experience, led me to a cluster of ancient tripod clay pots cooking over an open fire. After some initial confusion, I realized I had just happened to walk in on a cooking demonstration by Minoan Tastes, a team of archaeologists-cum-chefs led by ancient cooking researcher and specialist Jerolyn Morrison.
Jerolyn and her team use replicas of Cretan utensils from the Neopalatial period (ca 1600 BC) and ancient cooking practices to revive the flavors of Minoan cuisine. The taste of this amazing feast, fired up in the open air and imbued with the purity of the Cretan sea and sun, is difficult to describe. If you’re local, it might bring back forgotten memories of your childhood. If you’re foreign, it’s like crossing the threshold into a long-lost culinary universe. If you’re human, it will bring tears to your eyes.
Provided by Minoan Tastes
Take Me There
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