Mythology Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Dakos with Greek Feta

The simple, yet tasty, dish was named after the homonym traditional Cretan rusk, which is one of the most fundamental ingredients of not only this meal but also the traditional Cretan diet.

One of the island’s most famous offerings, dakos, is a Cretan meze consisting of a slice of barley rusk topped with chopped tomatoes, crumbled mizithra or feta cheese and flavored with herbs, such as dried oregano. Olives and capers are optional. The rusk is usually soaked in water, depending on preference, while the moisture of the juicy tomatoes and olive oil give it a fluffy texture that keeps it fresh and delicious.

The simple, yet tasty, dish was named after the homonym traditional Cretan rusk, which is one of the most fundamental ingredients of not only this meal but also the traditional Cretan diet. The mention of rusk can be found in ancient writing, carrying the name ‘paximadi’, from Paxamos, a gastronomic writer of the Roman era.

Rusk was perceived to be the bread of the poor, having the ability to be maintained for a long time, due to the lack of moisture the excessive roasting at low temperatures granted. In Crete, an island primarily occupied by sailors, shepherds and farmers, dakos’ durability established it as a fundamental food in the locals’ diet, a position it still holds to this day. Dakos is also known as koukouvayia, which translates to ‘owl’ in Greek, while in eastern Crete it is called kouloukopsomo (from koulouki and psomi, meaning ‘puppy’ and ‘bread’, allegedly the bread given to puppies).