The close links of Crete with Europe are widely recognized, since Crete is the place where the continent received its name. In Greek mythology, lust-loving Zeus, in the guise of a white, winged bull carried off on his back the beautiful princess of Phoenicia, Europa, daughter of king Agenor, to the island of Crete where he fathered the progenitors of a magnificent civilization known as the Minoans.
One of the basic elements of this civilization has been nutrition, or the way of production and consumption of food stuff. The Cretans have developed their ancient nutritional habits with everything that the Cretan land so generously provides: olive oil, wheat, wine, honey, legumes and vegetables, mountain greens and aromatic plants, low fat cheese, meat and fish; the base of the Cretan cuisine that according to the research over the last few years proved to be healthy and of great nutritional value. You can taste this cuisine in the traditional taverns and local restaurants.
This civilization, forged on such values as hospitality, honesty, and dignity can, without exaggeration, be considered as a culture of health. For thousands of years now, the dietary habits of the inhabitants constitute an on-going, informal biological experiment, the results of which highlight the soundness of the Cretan diet, as it was formally recorded in the "Seven Countries Study" by Dr. Ancel Keys. The consumption of olive oil, wine, legumes, fruit, vegetables, honey and herb tea offers a unique privilege to Cretans. It endows them with a long, healthy life with the lowest mortality indices in the world in terms of heart diseases and cancer. In modern times scientific research has confirmed the value of this dietary prototype which is highly recommended by experts in nutrition.
Crete is proud of the fact that today, 5000 years after the rise of the Minoan civilization, is in a position to offer humanity an excellent dietary prototype that greatly improves the quality and expectancy of life.
Olive oil forms a major part of the daily Cretan diet, the average annual consumption being over 35 liters per person, the highest in the world! Most families in Crete own some olive trees, not only to meet their daily needs, but also providing a second income. Sitian olive oil has won international acclaim, receiving many awards for its excellent quality and superior taste. Most visitors will unfortunately not experience olive picking, as this takes place during the winter months, the whole family helping out.
Ancient Greeks believe that Virgin Olive Oil is beneficial to human health and recommended it for afflictions as:
Today, the modern medicine confirms that Virgin Olive Oil is beneficial for one's health and its consumption is recommended for many instances such as: