I’m a big believer in the idea that food can give you an insight into a country’s culture. When on holiday with my family in Crete, we weren’t sure exactly how much culture we were getting. We were sure the locals had entertainments other than just shopping and sunbathing.
One evening we decided to drive out of the town we were staying in and get up into the hills in search of some traditional, local cuisine. I’m not entirely sure how we found the place- it may have been a recommendation- but we ended up in a small, hillside village.
As we sat at our table outside, tucking into lamb kebabs, and in my case mac-n-cheese (admittedly this may not sound particularly cultured but I think the goat’s cheese on top added a little something different), the village started to buzz. Ladies came to sit on chairs outside their houses, children played and men shared a drink. There was chatter and laughter.
I may have felt a little out of place, a tourist in the midst of the locals gathering, and whilst I loved our town of Agios Nikolaos, this was the night I felt I saw the real Crete.