Monday, 15 October 2007
Crete is a mountainous island and its’ economy mainly depended on stockbreeding and agriculture.
The lifestyle of the Cretan people was hard, yet absolutely adapted to the island’s geological and financial environment.
Therefore, the general conditions, the products available in the island and the geological created special nutritional habits, adapted to the needs and potentials of the Cretan people.
One of these foods, probably the most characteristic in Crete, is the rusk.
It was created due to the need, of stockbreeders in particular, to eat bread that would be kept in a ‘’proper’’ state and would be tasty and nutritional at the same time.
Therefore, the Cretan rusk became an inserable friend for all those who had to be away from home for a long time.
Due to its’ particularly good taste and the great variety that was created with time, the rusk is always found on the Cretan table, next to the bread, and has taken up a special place in all the social and festive manifestations of the island’s residents.There are many varieties of rusks with common characteristics, such as: the materials they are made of (cereals), their dry, hard, harsh texture, the fact that they are extremely tasty and easy to digest and above all their origin, to which they owe their name = Cretan rusk.
We have the following rusks: those called horiatika and eftazima, the barley, wheaten and rye rusks, the sweet rusks and the very special ‘’boukies’’ (bites) with their pleasant, neutral taste – a fine sweet, ideal for accompanying tea and coffee.
A first – class Cretan rusk is the rusk called Eftazimo, which is made of chickpeas and wheaten flour.
It also contains salt, pepper, red peppers and bay leaves.
It has a very special taste, its’ color is bright yellow, it is very tasty and you can find it in various sizes, the most common being the square one.
It is a traditional product, exclusively made in Crete, is considered to be a formal bread and is being offered in weddings and important celebrations.