Livestock Breeding – Cheese-making

IN THE MOUNTAINS OF CHANIA, WHICH ARE RICH IN AROMATIC PLANTS AND HERBS THOUSANDS SHEEP AND GOATS GRAZE.

Animal farming has always been the main occupation of the inhabitants of the mountainous areas of Selino, Apokoronas and of course Sfakia.

The cultural tradition of Crete would be poorer without the “rizitika”, the songs that mainly narrate the life of these people. A life that is hard but free. A way and a philosophy of life that is simple, proud and hospitable. The real Crete continues to find ways of expression in places where the comforts of modern life and civilization do not exist.

Of course it would be impossible to produce the traditional dairy products without the knowledge and experience of thousands of years in combination with the modern methods that ensure the quality. In modern dairies the milk is pasteurised first and then, with the addition of a culture, it is warmed up to specific temperatures to make the famous Cretan “graviera” cheese, which will ripe for several months before being ready for consumption. Other famous cheese types are mizithra and athotiros (both white cheese types). Yoghurt is also wonderful, made from sheep’s milk.