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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

The Cretan dakos salad: recipes and traditions

ByMaria Chalou

Apr 2, 2022

What does Cretan dakos consist of?

Cretan Dakos is a Greek salad that is also known as koykoyvagia (owl)-it takes this name from its resemblance to the eye of an owl when viewed from above. Also, in eastern Crete, the locals use the name of kouloukopsomo (from koulouki + psomi, pup + bread, allegedly the bread given to puppies). It is a Cretan meze, consisting of a slice of soaked dried (called paximadi), topped with tomatoes and feta or mizithra cheese. Of course, oregano is necessary for better flavor. Olive oils and peppers can be added. This dish is so similar with pa amb tomaquet from Cataluna and frisella from Foritally.

Why are Crete cretan dakos so popular?

The island of Crete is the largest and one of the most popular in Greece. The capital of Crete is Heraklion– there are also three more cities (Chania, Rethymno, and Agios Nikolaos). Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage. Also, the capital was one of the centers of the Minoan civilization, which is regarded as the earliest civilization in Europe. Furthermore, this island combines the sea and at the same time has such a huge history, for this reason, attracts people of every age. In addition, young people prefer Crete for the nightlife that also has and prices are affordable, middle-aged people spend their holidays there because there are unique beaches (Elafonisi, Balos, etc.) and they love greek cuisine (Cretan dakos).

If you are curious, stay with us and we let you know the recipe.

The famous greek cheese, Feta
The famous greek cheese, Feta

Feta, the famous cheese

Greek white cheese

An interesting fact about Feta is that it means ‘slice’. Feta is, also, a greek white cheese made from the milk of sheep and goats. It has a salty taste and it is soft, often with holes. Except for that, feta is used in most foods as the main ingredient, such as the greek salad, spanakopita (spinach pie ), and tyropita (cheese pie). It can also be served cooked with honey and sesame- another Cretan recipe. Greek people also can try it with olive oil and oregano as an appetizer.

What is Paximadi?

the greek paximadi
the greek paximadi

The history of paximadi

The name Paximadi comes from Paxamus, a Greek author, who wrote among many things, a comprehensive book with recipes. It is a hard bread of greek origin, prepared with a whole wheal and bearly flour. You can find it In Greek bakeries that serve it as a breakfast with jam or creme cheese. Also, people prefer to eat it with the traditional drink called Raki before lunch.

What about raki?

In Crete, there is an alcoholic beverage that the Greek people call  tsikoudia or raki. It is made of grapes Cretan’s origin that contains 40% to 65% alcohol by volume. Raki is often served cold from a bottle kept in a freezer. Also, you should know that it is, mostly, offered in a shot to welcome every tourist.

cretan dakos side
tsikoudia by the sea

Let’s go to check the Recipe for cretan dakos :

You will need:

  • 1 Paximadi, cut in the middle
  • 1 Tomato
  • white wine
  • 1 mg vinegar and 1 mg granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • 1 m. Basil, chopped
  • thyme
  • 1/2 fresh onion, chopped
  • 100 gr. Greek cheese Feta, cut into pieces
  • For serving:
  • critic olives
  • olive oil
  • pepper

Method of execution:

Firstly, put on two different dishes, the two pieces of Paximadi with their outside side down. Then, cut the tomato in the middle and rub half in the grater inside a bowl. Then, cut the other half into cubes. After that, we put in a bowl the grated tomato, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, chopped basil, chopped thyme, and stir. We share the mixture above the bargainers. Add the cut to tomato cubes, chopped onion, and slice cut into pieces. We serve with critical, olives, olive oil, and pepper.

If you prefer eating healthy…

paximadi of carob
paximadi of carob

Cretan dakos variation

To begin with, you should try the paximadi of carob. Let’s see the recipe.

  • 120 gr. olive oil
  • 100 gr. honey and 100 gr. of sugar
  • 100 ml Red wine and 100 ml Orange juice
  • Orange zest, from 1 orange
  • 1/2 mg baking soda
  • 1 mg baking powder
  • 1/2 mg cinnamon
  • 1/4 spoon cloves
  • 120 gr. flour of carob
  • 400 gr. Flour

Method of execution:

First, we put olive oil, sugar, honey, and spices in a mixer bucket. Then, stir with the feather at moderate speed until mixed. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, we put the juice from oranges, wine, zest, and dissolve the soda. We need a large bowl because our juice will leave as soon as it comes into contact with soda. Mix well and pour the juice into the mixer bucket and homogenize with other materials. In a bowl, mix the flour with baking and mulberry.

Further, we lower the speed of the mixer and gradually throw our flours. Then, we stir until we have a soft dough that does not stick to our hands. We take care not to hit our dough because it will harden a lot and will not be easily clasped. If we want to make nuts we create bread rolls and cut them into 1cm thick slices without cutting them up to a fee.

After that, bake them in a preheated oven at 140 ° C in the air for 20 minutes and just cool down them to the feathers we had cut from the beginning and then back to the oven at 100 ° C until they dry and become nuts (about 30-40 minutes). Another way is to lay a loaf and divide it into pieces by cutting with the knife without cutting it up to a fee. Thus, baking will divide the pieces on their own. Baking time remains the same as the other 2 ways.

Rethymno, Crete
Rethymno, Crete

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