We Are What We Eat: Crete | Nat Geo Live

( intro music ) The Mediterranean
diet is the oldest diet that is still
practiced today. You don’t see people
going around saying, “hey, you need to eat like the
Inuits, it’s really good”. ( audience laughter ) You have people…
because it’s something you can still
practice nowadays it’s very ancient.So, I went to Creteand I did not go
to one specific area.
I went all around Crete.But I ended up spending quite
a lot of time in Central Crete
where the word
“Kriti” is written.
There’s about 600,000
people living in Crete.
This is breakfast,
the first day.
And people adapt
to anything.
All these areas I visitedtraditionally if they
eat only traditional food they are all fit as hell.I was lucky, I was
there exactly a year ago.
And it was time of “Horta”.Horta means herbs,
mean the wild herbs.
And so I see this old woman
on the second or third day
walking around, you know.And I follow her and she’s
got this super sharp knife
– and I’m like, “whoa, easy”.
– ( audience laughter )And what is she doing?She just laid down under
the olive tree and
she started to
gather all this
various wild chicory,
wild fennels
All is… just goodness.
It’s just,
it was a really
beautiful scene.
And so I followed her, you know
she didn’t have enough space… into her apron, so she started
to take off her stuff and rolled all the
wild herbs in it,it was a very
beautiful moment.
Vangelio her name is,
80-something year old woman.And then she goes back
and her daughters are there
and they start to go
through all the hortas.
You know clean them, separate
the different kinds.
Any average Cretan
woman would give you about 20-25 names
of wild herbs and go in the field
and find them. And be able to
know that this is still part of
their knowledge. I was really blown
away by this.Then they mix
it with eggs
they make this Dolma with
stuffed grape leaves.
And then they pulled
out this dish,
geranium leaves
fried in olive oil.
Even the French fries are
always fried in olive oil there is no other
oil than olive.This is tuna
plant, I was told.
It’s beetroot, it
tastes like earth,
beautiful, with oranges
they mix that.
Driving around Crete
we passed vineyards.
Wine comes around
4,000-5,000 years ago
from that part of the world.
It has olive groves.
Olive oil is like, you know,the quintessential
stuff you think of
when you think of
Mediterranean diet.
And people in April are
trimming the olive trees
to boost productivity
when it comes,
you know, around
when they
harvest olives.
And we pass this man who
is, you know, trimming
and you can see between the
olive trees they till the soil
and they are going
to grow fava beans.
Fava beans has a lot of
nitrogen, nitrogen fixer and it will help, you
know, the soil to be… So it’s permaculture
but to, you know, very old ways
of permaculture.They harvest parsley,
which is a very ancient plant
from that part of
the world too.
They practice polyculture there’s not going to
be massive monoculture it’s always mixed around there. It helps because you don’t
need to use much fertilizer when you do that.And I meet a lot of
people that are self-sufficient
like this guy, Nikolaswho was living off his
vegetable garden more or less.
We stop in Café
Neon, they are
the coffee places,
coffee shops.
There’s this Orthodox
priest and, you know,
he’s just having, you
know, his breakfast.
These are peanuts.They roll a lot of
cigarettes, this crisis
they don’t buy cigarettes,
they roll all their cigarettes.
Oranges, a little
glass of grappa.
Ten o’clock in the
morning, “It’s okay, don’t worry about it”. ( audience laughter ) They live happy,
these people are… I mean, in Crete
what I experience was a very
happy bunch.And, we drive around,
there is this guy
you know, in the field there
is a fridge, you know, I stop,
I get out, you know, I get
fed by very healthy looking man.
( audience laughter )It was cool, I’m
always game for that.
I love it. – I love to be fed anything.
– ( audience laughter ) And we ended up
in Central Crete,in this village
called Meronas.
And you head out
to the church.
And there’s this grandma,
“yeah, what do you want?”
I say, “hey…you know, show me the way to
the stomach, to the food.”
I need to see stuff
you know, “food, food, food.” She said, “okay,
go over there.” ( speaking in Greek ) Matthieu:Ah, these guys.( speaking in Greek ) All are like,
“he’s taking a picture.” “No, I think he’s
doing a video.” “No, I don’t
know, man.” ( audience laughter ) You know,
this is Saturday afternoon at the Moschonas,
in this little village. And they just eat, man. There is wine
everywhere and drinking. They’re coming back from the
field, people are going There is so much noise. Could be in Italy! You know, in my mind I was like “Wow, my God, the
noise level in here!”And, so they are
having chicken from the farm.
They are having lots of snails,
all the time, all year round.
They have wild asparagus,
they have fava beans, sardines.
You know, wine,
wine, wine!
And they eat a lot of snail
there, all the time.
And when you
think about it
when you think about
the evolution of food
seashells, snails, you don’t
need much hunting skills.
You don’t even need
bow and arrow. You just walk there
and eat them. So, when you think of some of
the oldest food we have… we must have been eating I am thinking it’s there. It’s full of Omega-3,
there’s no fat in it. It’s super good for you.So, very joyous atmosphere,
very nice
and the wine spills overand I’m like, “ah, great, you
know, Crete, I love you!”
(audience laughter)

Posts Tagged with…

Reader Comments

  1. cnjohn34

    agean and meditarrenean food are the best and oldest in turkey it also has some splashes of middle eastern and caucasus cuisine mixed up with a little bit persian.
    i also love greek food.
    anybody reading this comment I advice you to visit greece and west turkey and eat all you want were cheap countries haha


    Most look overweight…. maybe to much oily food?  I prefer the Asian diet.  Looks like they use more olive oil because it is the most easily accessed.

  3. _overcome_[-LXN-]

    Greek people have great culture. Like in every place the city people and the new generations are fixated to the common stuff brought about from globalization and the internet and lose this connection.
    I come from a village in south Albania and now it is transformed into a tourist village. I remember as a child, eating fruit from my grandparens garden and then going in the beach and bathing, and after getting hungry i would eat a sort of scallop from the rocks. It is a small village and i was the youngest child of one of the biggest families lets say, so i knew everybody and i hanged out with first second third and even fourth cousins. Just a bunch of kids, eating and playing through the summer. And what amazing people the villagers are(at this point were), eventhough they live through property problems whithin families (because the parents die unexpectedly, or suffer mentally at an old age so they never really divide their heritage. Then some of the children emigrate so the ones who stay try to work the whole land and… You get it.. )Still, however the circumstances, the children are never brought into these problems and that is just great. I remember sleeping at my grandmothers sister house one night, and the other night i would head on the top of the mountain to sleep at my great grandfathers house, and then at my uncles…. Amazing but now ruined from the greedy politicians and businessmen (they have most of the money) building 14 floor buildings in a village where nothing exceeded the third floor. The sas thing is that these people also originate from that very village. And people bringing fancy boats and cars, in a place meant to be enjoyed in peace instead of pointless luxury. And then most of the people behave like animals, polluting the water and fishing excessively, even using dynamite. The ignorance and the greed that drove that paradise (in my eyes it beats every place on earth) into an ordinary place for tourists to crash and lay their waste has made me angry (they do not appreciate it, in their heads if they pay for something, they can trash it). I remember promising myself to work hard and make enough money to buy the beaches and support the villagers to live their life like they used to, but how realistic is that, old people die, and with them go their ways. The young that remain rather see themselves on the boats with the pretty yet shallow bimbos, rather than with their families. Destroying and selling heritage and land just to live two or three beautiful years and then seeking azil and cleaning bathrooms in foreign countries. Shameful, all i want is for the souls and memories of those great men and women to rest in peace. I kept working hard and i am successful now and keep growing day by day, but that place is hopeless. Thankfully my interests have shifted from my village and my memories, to my wife and my two sons, but the bad taste remains and i try to show them that every summer, eventhough bitter. They have to learn and be very hard on themselves as i was and my father before me and his father and so on, so eventhough our land is polluted and degeneraed, at least our history and our name stands proud.

  4. ColKorn1965

    My girlfriend gained 10 lbs. on Crete because a Granny-lady at a local restaurant kept bringing her free food to try. Now my girlfriend looks like a pregnant pencil.

  5. dulcinea agar

    dont know why u loughing. this peopple live normal-healthy , in natural land. when im watching how english peopple live, i fell like crying, womiting. . so- stop loughing and start thinking about happy -healthy life.

  6. 4surprisingly

    The biggest dream I have is to live in Greece when I retire. It's an absolute heaven. I fell in love with it the first time I visited from France.

  7. jestione

    Always loved this way of life, eating as a way of connecting with everything around you, mainly people.
    I'm a huge fan of this sight and it inspires me to really cook.

  8. ArabMagazine

    we have a lot in common with them here in Lebanon, we also pick various plants and make tons of different kinds of salads and vegetable food

  9. haskovali

    haha in Crete they eat Dolma ?:) seriously i would be surprised if greeks would name a single dish they didnt steal from others !!
    Dolma is a common Turkic dish known as Dolmeh in Iran, Dolma in Turkey, Dolma in Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, "doldurma" among Uyghurs, and Tatars. So are you telling me that "Mediterranean" people eat Turkic dishes ?

  10. Delgado smooth

    I brought this Greek country cook book a few yrs ago ..I was surprised I could find a lot of the ingredients I need to prepare most of the recipes in whole foods super market ..I found a similar Italian country cook book at Barnes and Nobles ..good recipes .. Everytime I have a lady spend the night I make her my famous frittata wit scamorza or my baked cheese and prosciutto omelette for breakfast …they love it

  11. Jack Unoversil

    i am bored here in greece i had never left an i really want to visir an other llace olso i am 14 and i know to cook to collect herbs and cook them my actual name is sifis a traditional name

  12. how u_ _doin

    This guy is hot.

    I Love Greeks, beautiful people. I'm in love with a Greek, Greek Australian actually but sadly this person doesn't know I exist! Boo hoo for me..
    Greek food is goodness!!

  13. Tasha Campbell

    What kinda of snails? I know you can't just go picking snails out of the garden, they have parasitic worms that can cause Angiostrongyliasis infection.

  14. Henrik Kunø Christensen

    Take down to sitia and enjoy. Every second. It's now. I have lived there for 7 years.and had been a guest for more than 30 years it's the best place on Crete. Greeting from Henrik. Dk

  15. Henrik Kunø Christensen

    Take down to sitia and enjoy. Every second. It's now. I have lived there for 7 years.and had been a guest for more than 30 years it's the best place on Crete. Greeting from Henrik. Dk

  16. Hungryyy Boi

    My family is cretan and this is so accurate. I love going there. The food there is made by the land. I love it. The smell,the food, the people are amazing. And also, olive oil is the only oil hahahaha

  17. Beshoy Nagieb

    I loved Crete already.. never been there but I feel they are like me or I am like them.. Social, friendly, simple, beautiful.. and Orthodox. the whole package.

  18. adam elmahdali

    Im from Northern Morocco , and Im mind blown , we have exactly the same diet we use olive oil with everything and there lifestyle is so sinilaire to ours and even the landscape is undistinguishable its awesome

  19. Telling the Truth

    Can’t u be respectfull and refer to the ‘senior’ lady…. when you are in your maturity you won’t be so happy when you are referred to as ‘old’……

  20. evolvinglight&love

    I like these videos because they aren't just about food, but also discuss how the people live, their culture, and why certain foods are so important. Great stuff!

  21. Chi-Jen Yang

    I did hear people saying Inuit diet is very healthy. Just watch those keto diet vedios you will find quite a few people making that argument.

  22. Tazzz 69 Dazzermind

    The lady told the kid "take your hand out of your mouth" obviously for the picture. Greeks are proud & grandma thinks ppl are going to make fun of the kid if picture or video is taken & kid has his hand in his mouth. Lol.😅

  23. epSos.de

    The Mediterranean diet is about 80% plants, it's not about the olive oil, which is only 2 to 4 spoons per day.
    The marketing of olive oil as the huge part of the Mediterranean oil is pure misleading for sales.

  24. David Williams

    Went to Hania in Crete last year and loved it so much that we are returning same place in October this year.!! The Cretan food is wonderful, and their Terra Creta olive oil is the very best. My favourite meals were goat, lamb, and simple sardines, fried in olive oil, delish. I'm starting to get withdrawal symptoms, and i cant wait to return. The Cretan honey and Yogurt is the best in the world, and you must try it. Met loads of Americans in Hania, and they were blown away with the beauty of everything.!! Also we loved the free Raki that they give you at the end of the meals, superb.!! If we could, we would upsticks and live our lives with the Cretans.!!!

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *