In greek mythology citrus fruits was the gift that Gea, the earth, offered at the wedding of the father of the Gods, Zeus, and Hera. The Cretan east six times more fruit thant the average inhabitant of the Mediterranean and and six times more than the inhabitant of a northern country (e.g. Netherlands), as proved by studies of Α. Keys (1970) and D. Kromhout (1989). The European travellers that arrived in Crete in the 19th century praised the oranges of the island. This divine gift, that was kept, according to Greek mythology, in the Gardens of the Esperides, away from the humans, is grown in an extensive area in the plain of Chania. There are smaller cultivations in the plain of Mesara, in Fodele of Heraklion and in Mylopotaros.
It was the main winter fruit, the fruit that existed in every Cretan home. Doctors recommend the same recipe today: The orange must always be present on our table, natural orange juice must always be present in our life, fruit must not play a secondary role in our nutrition: They are rich sources of Vitamin C (especially oranges), rich sources of Vitamin Β12 (necessary for the production of blood), and other vitamins that have antioxidant action, that is, anti-cancer and heart-disease preventing, (A, C και E). In Crete the cultivation of fruit is traditional.