Cretans and Greeks in general love using products grown from their own land. One of these products is the simple yet delicious Sultana. You can try these dried grapes while you are having a drink at the pool bar of our luxury Rethymnon accommodation. Read more to know about the characteristics, history and recipes of this unique Cretan product.

Also known as organic Golden Raisins, the Sultanas are the most used raisins in the world. The legend says that the sultana was created when the Sultan left his grapes in the sun when he had to escape from a sudden tiger attack. The grape, once dried is seedless, succulent and sweet – almost honey-like. Its distinct sweet flavor is also compared to vanilla.

Raisins are a traditional Greek product and one of the secrets to the healthy Greek nutrition. Raisins were sun-dried from grapes as long ago as 1490 B.C. Historical figures were renowned for their love of raisins. Emperor Augustus feasted with small roasted birds stuffed with raisins, and Hannibal stored raisins in his troop rations while they were crossing the Alps.

Roman physicians prescribed raisins to cure anything from mushroom poisoning to old age. With their growing appeal came an increase in value. In fact, two jars of raisins could be traded for one slave in ancient Rome.

Today, research has shown that raisins make an important nutritional contribution to any diet. They have a positive impact on heart disease by stimulating the body to use its own cholesterol, and it is contributing to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. It also ranks among the top antioxidant foods.

The raisin is delicious as a snack but is used in plenty of Cretan dishes in many of the restaurants of the Island. Its sweet taste is delicious in all kinds of deserts, but also in meat and fish dishes. Try this secret ingredient from Crete with the following recipe:

Sultana scone
First, preheat the oven to 220C. Place 225g of flour in a bowl with salt. Add 50g of chopped margarine and mix with your hands until you can rub it to make it look like breadcrumbs. Add 50g of sultanas and 120ml of milk, one tablespoon at a time. Stir with a knife until the dough is smooth. Cut roughly round shape of 3cm thick and dispose on greased oven paper. For optimum moisture pastry, brush the tops with some milk and put in the oven for 10 minutes.

You can try this recipe at home or at one of the many restaurants in Rethymno. You can even order Cretan products online from EatCrete.com, the premier online shop for traditional and organic food products from our beautiful island. Their handmade organic Carob Biscotti and Oatmeal Biscotti are great! Stay at our hotel in Crete and discover yet another secret of the Cretan diet.

Looking for a place to stay while you visit Crete? Go ahead and check out our luxury Crete beach resort.