Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek FoodDakos: The Specialty From Crete is World's Best Salad

Dakos: The Specialty From Crete is World’s Best Salad

The Cretan sald has the juices seep into the crunchy bread. Credit: Frente, CC BY-SA 3.0

A trademark of Cretan cuisine, dakos, topped the list of the world’s best salads according to ratings compiled by TasteAtlas recently.

Dakos has many variations but only one secret: the superior-quality ingredients of the Cretan land.

It consists of a slice of soaked dried bread or barley rusk, juicy tomatoes, xinomizithra (a creamy sheep or goat’s milk cheese), barley rusks, olives, and of course extra virgin olive oil.

British restaurant and food critic Yotam Ottolenghi once said that he developed a “not-so-mild obsession” with dakos.

Unlike most things that you come across on holiday, it tastes pretty much the same when you make it back home, said Ottolenghi.

Dakos describes Cretan cooking

“Simple is the best way to describe Cretan cooking,” food expert Lane Nieset wrote in Food and Wine magazine.

“The main ingredients may stay the same, but Cretans can concoct multiple cookbooks out of a short pantry list of items,” she added. “Barley rusks, for example, double as croutons in salad or form bruschetta-like dakos.”

Also known as koukouvagia, this Cretan meze has the juices seep into the crunchy bread, offering an experience you’ll be ready to repeat anytime.

Add the right glass of local wine to that and you’ll be somewhere near Crete’s paradise. Whether you eat it for breakfast, lunch or as a snack any time of the day, is always wholesome and filling.

Bare in mind that depending on the area of Crete in which you travel, you may meet it under different names: in Rethymno and Chania they also call it “koukouvagia” (which means owl), while in Heraklion and Lassithi the same dish is known as “landouristo”, “ladopsomo” and “kouloukopsomo”.

Salad boasts a variety of nutrients

Anastasios Papalazarou, an Athens-based dietician and nutritionist, told Olive Oil Times recently that the dakos salad boasts a variety of nutrients, including plant protein, fibers and vitamins.

“A portion of the traditional dakos dish accounts for 20 percent of the daily need of the human body for proteins and 20 percent in dietary fibers,” he said.

“The tomato, on the other hand, is rich in lycopene, a precious carotenoid, and also offers vitamins C and E, antioxidants. Additionally, the dish is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats due to the use of olive oil.”

Dakos is an integral part of Crete‘s cuisine which is based on the Mediterranean diet.

As Nieset notes “Crete checks everything off the list of Greek specialties: wine from centuries-old vineyards that is some of the best in the Mediterranean; olive oil dubbed the ‘elixir of life’ and said to be the source of the high longevity rate; and the infamous cheese, which is so specific, villages have their signature.”

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts