Summer in Crete means delicious food prepared with fresh seasonal products, and the best way to enjoy a variety of Cretan specialties is by indulging into meze culture at one of the local taverns or ouzeri.
Cretans don’t believe in drinking without eating, so meze culture basically refers to the practice of accompanying your drink with a number of small plates or a large dish with a variety of local specialties to share with your friends and co-drinkers!
Thus, meze culture is an ode to food sharing and good company, and one of the best ways to enjoy food in the summer, when the weather is hot and a heavy meal is probably not the best option. In fact, there is even a scientific basis behind this cultural practice, as it has been proven that food slows the absorption of alcohol in the bloodstream by keeping it in the stomach for a longer period of time. In this way, if you keep munching while drinking, the effects of alcohol will not hit you hard!
The dishes usually served as meze vary from a simple plate with olives and cheese to a small plate of meatballs, marinated fish or stuffed vegetables. However, there are at least 5 meze dishes that you must try in Crete and share with your friends together with your favorite alcoholic drink!
Cretan Dakos: based on Cretan rusk, freshly trimmed tomato, white cheese, oregano or thyme, and olive oil, Dakos can be prepared in several variations and is perhaps the most well-known Cretan meze and the most refreshing summer appetizer, made with some of Crete’s best products.
Tzatziki: the truth is that this popular Greek specialty needs no introduction, but Cretan tzatziki is even tastier as it is prepared with high quality local products. A mouthwatering spread with yogurt, trimmed cucumber, garlic and olive oil, tzatziki goes well with fries or fried zucchini or even on its own with some pita bread!
Fried zucchini: finely cut zucchini, deep fried in olive oil and served with some yogurt dip or tzatziki is perhaps the best treat for hot summer nights. Fried zucchini can be eaten as a side dish or even as chips with your beer or wine!
Aubergine salad: local aubergines are especially tasty, thanks to the ideal climate and soil of Crete, and the best way to try them is as a spread with freshly cut parsley, tomato, garlic and feta cheese. Absolutely delicious!
Cretan meatballs: the ultimate meze for meat-lovers to enjoy with their beer or wine, Cretan meatballs are prepared with top quality meat and fresh tomato sauce. Try them, and we guarantee you will ask for more!
Too many options? Can’t decide which meze to choose? Thankfully in most places you can just order a plate with a variety of meze that will perfectly accompany your drink.
The place to try top quality Cretan meze in Malia is Taverna – Ouzeri Meltemi, serving a variety of local specialties and cold or hot plates in a pleasant environment!