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Cretan cooking herbs. 3 essentials for your kitchen.

Botanical Park and Gardens Of Crete- Malotira Cretan Herb

   Cretan cooking herbs  , seasonings and spices are altogether crucial for Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine. They add the necessary spiciness, texture and flavor to authentic cretan cuisine dishes . In our restaurant  we proudly use a wide variety of Cretan cooking herbs that are found in abundance in our gardens , and in this blog we will pinpoint how you can grow your own herbs ideal for Cretan Dishes and with which foods are making an excellent combination. 

   Oregano: A Cretan Herb Cooking Essential.

   Oregano is one of the most common herbs that is found in abundance in Crete. It requires minimum attention and is ideal for your rock garden or your patio. By drying the oregano leaves you will then have fresh and strong oregano leaves for your salads  and you will be proud of your homemade herbs. 

Oregano- Cretan Herbs- Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete
Oregano- Cretan Herbs- Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete-  Thomas ThenOregano 1CC BY 3.0

  Oregano needs a lot of sun and moderation in water. It can grow even on rocky terrains, as well as in small pots. In order to grow oregano, Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete is proposing that you either buy oregano seeds or you grow oregano herb through implants by cutting small oregano herbs and then transplanting them into the appropriate location.

  Oregano herb is a  perfect seasoning with fine characteristics and it’s ideal for every salad, dishes with meat, vegetables   or even fish as it gives every food a distinctive flavor.

Basil: A Cretan Cooking king!

   Basil is a close word to the Greek word of King (i.e. “Βασιλιάς”). It is very famous in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Italian and Greek. Basil can be used widely as a decoration in numerous plates, as well as in many sauces in a granulated form. It gives Cretan dishes a colourful note and a more fresh and delicate appearance. Basil is an ideal decoration for spaghetti, fresh fish and whatever you prefer.

Basil Cretan Herb - basil herb in pot
Basil Cretan Herb – basil herb in pot- CastielliBasil-Basilico-Ocimum basilicum-albahacaCC BY-SA 3.0 

  Planting and growing Basil in your garden is not a difficult task either. It needs little amounts of water every three days and needs direct sunlight in order to thrive. Lack of strong winds is also really important, as Basil is a Herb prone to be negatively affected.

  You can either buy Basil seeds and plant them in soil rich in nutrients , or you can grow basil from another Basil plant with implants . By cutting a small section of an existing Basil plant and putting it into a glass of water, this newly cut basil will gradually start to become a basil tree, as roots will start to develop after about two weeks as shown   . After this, you will need to replant your herb into the final position and by doing it this way you will have infinite amounts of Basil Plants forever and for free.

  Thyme: An all time Classic .

  Thyme with its strong flavor is another famous herb ideal in Cretan Cooking and traditional cretan food . It is an ideal herb used in many Cretan food preparations, such as meat, fish and is an iconic ingredient for bees making Cretan Thyme Honey that is sold in many shops with traditional cretan products

Thyme herb - Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete
Thyme herb – Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete- Donovan Govan., ThymeCC BY-SA 3.0 

  Thyme loves sunspots and little water. Due to its small root system it can also grow without problems even on rocky grounds, making another Cretan Cooking Herb ideal for rocky gardens. It is better to buy ready made seeds for thyme plantation, as the success ratio will be higher and thyme will grow faster this way.

  A Cretan Cooking Herb hint.

  Thyme, Oregano and Basil are the Cretan cooking herbs that we analyzed further in our presentation. They can be used  complementary with each other in many food preparations of Cretan and Mediterranean Cuisine. Not only that, but they can also grow in the same place, and in relatively same planting conditions. We suggest that you reserve a small place  in your garden for those cooking herbs. It can be a small corner, or a rocky unused area. Not only will they sprout there, but you will have fresh herbs to elevate your cooking dishes !

Botanical Park-Gardens of Crete: Tradutional Cretan Cooking
Botanical Park-Gardens of Crete: Tradutional Cretan Cooking with herbs