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The Upper Crust... pitas, pies & pastries.

Soft sour & sweet cheeses are the basis for many of the pies and pastries made in Crete, whether they are savory/piquant (as appetizers) or sweet (as desserts). In addition to those filled with cheeses, a wide assortment of the dizzying array of wild greens (collectively known as horta) and aromatic herbs are used as stuffing for small pies called Hortopites. The best are in the winter and spring due to the abundance of these fresh greens in the countryside.

Some of the pies (pitas) and pastries you may encounter include:

Kalitsounia (Heraklion area) are little round pies with a crown made from soft (either sweet or sour) myzithra cheese. In Chania, they are savory and made from fresh herbs or onions with a mixtue of cheeses and mint. Kalitsounia are baked rather than fried. If fried, they are referred to as Myzithropites or Sarikopites when they are formed into a spiral shape (named after the Cretan headband known as sariki.)

Sfakianopites are from the Sfakia region and are round, flat (pancake-like) pies with sour myzithra, most often served doused in honey.
Boureki is a baked savory pie from the Chania region only and usually consists of layers of potatoes, zucchini, sour myzithra and mint, topped with sesame seeds.
Marathopites are pies made of wild fennel and mint, originating from the Chania area.


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