Greek Food Odyssey, Bourdain style.
Thank you Anthony Bourdain...
if WE didn’t watch your show (even though it was a really old repeat) we wouldn’t have experienced the most scrumptious traditional Cretan breakfast!
The episode we watched was filmed in 2008, showing a small shopfront with a couple of tables, things have changed a little since then, there are now lots of tables and a big awning but the shop it self looks mostly unchanged. The food we can only assume has not changed as we certainly share Mr Bourdain's love for this little gem.
The food is Bougatsa Chanion. For the uninitiated, this traditional local breakfast is made by speciality shops, the shop featured only makes bougatsa, starting in the wee hours of the morning making them fresh daily until sold out.
It is common for the flaky pastry of the Bougatsa to be filled with semolina custard but here they make a savoury version, filling it with the local Mizithra cheese. The other stand out for this place is that they make the gossamer thin pastry by hand. We loved watching the owner rolling and then stretching the flour and water pastry by hand in front of our eyes, pretty incredible.
We ordered a serve with Greek Coffee. It was weighed & cut up and delivered to our table. Realising we were tourists we were instructed on how to eat it, basically a liberal sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon and then dig in.
Oh my! The pastry was so incredibly fine and crisp, the Mizithracheese salty and unexpectedly creamy & oozy.
The Cinnamon and sugar takes this already amazing pastry to the next level. Salty, gooey, oozy, sweet and savoury all at the same time. So good we quickly despatched the first serve and ordered another.
If you ever find yourself here in Chania, Crete make sure you try the Bougatsa. Bougatsa aside there are lots of other reasons to visit this beautiful Venetian seaport. Seafood to die for, delicious local produce awith a strong organic focus, amazing beaches, proud Cretan history and wonderful hospitable and friendly people. Yes we like Crete!
One thing we have learned about Cretans is how proud they are of their local produce and will promote and use it wherever they can. For example when visitng Olive Oil producers almost none of them export as they want the best for themselves.