October 1st, 2012
The Sunday Times reveals Crete’s food credentials

This week’s Sunday Times Travel section backed our Made In Crete campaign with a stunningly written piece entitled ‘A Winter Feast’ by Susan d’Arcy.

‘The Greek islands’ best foodie experiences are to be had out of season’ she writes, ‘while temperatures in mid November reach the mid twenties’.

Several Greek entrepreneurs plan to highlight the charms of low-season travel. Manolis Saridakis of Eleonas Cottages agrotourism resort in Zaros, says “Islands with a strong agricultural heritage, such as Crete, remain busy year round. Actually, outside the peak summer season, the countryside comes to life. There are great festivals and celebrations for the olive harvest and the making of the raki.

“In autumn, the weather is perfect for walking our famous gorges and the Med is at its warmest – ideal for swimming and kayaking.”

Saridakis is part of the new Made in Crete campaign, which promotes a slowfood and wine trail around the island. As part of the initiative, he will open the island’s first cookery school in October. It will be based at his hotel in Zaros, within the pristine Unesco-listed Psiloritis Natural Park, which provides Greece with much of it bottled spring water. Students will learn the regional dishes that have been recognised by the World Health organisation as part of one of the healthiest diets in the world.

Made in Crete also offers the chance to help out at the annual olive harvest, from November until March as well as viists to organic farms and food markets.

A similar scheme, Made in Corfu has just been established (by Three Sixty Degrees) in the Ionians. Sadly Corfu’s weather isn’t quite as impressive as Crete’s in autumn – while it will be mild enough to wear a T-shirt, you’ll probably need to slip a raincoat over it every now and again.

Elsewhere, one of the country’s well known food and cookbook writers, Effie Gialousi, is getting in on the act. In January she plans to open a cookery school at the Loriet, her hotel in Mytilini, on Lesbos. She will also host wine classes with tastings of regional vintages as well as ouzo and raki.

“Mytilini, Lesbos’ capital is home to the University of the Aeagean” she says. “Students ensure it is a lively city, even in January, and its tavernas serve really good authentic food.”

To read the full article: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/travel/Destinations/Europe/Greece/article1135066.ece