The inhabitants of Crete, consume a large amount of various fruits. As proved by studies, the Cretans eat six times more fruit than the average inhabitant of the Mediterranean and and six times more than the inhabitant of a northern country.
The orange is the main winter fruit. 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, while there are smaller cultivations in the plain of Mesara, in Fodele of Heraklion and in Mylopotaros. Fruit, especially oranges, are rich sources of Vitamin C, 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.
The trees are completely adapted to the environment of the island and produce tasty products, without chemical additives. The main summer fruit of Crete, grapes, are considered to be ideal for a balance diet. The substances contained in the skin of the grapes are antioxidant (anti-cancer) and this tasty fruit offers a large number of trace elements for the good function of the organism. The grapes of Crete are different from the grapes of other, even Mediterranean areas, because of their distinctive aroma and taste.
Citrus fruits are an essential part of the agricultural production of Crete. Particularly in the western part of the island where the climate conditions favour the growing of oranges, mandarins, lemons etc. The fruit trees blossom in spring, but the vivid colours of the fruits in winter determine the Cretan landscape.
Bananas, melons, water melons, figs, pears, pomegranates, prickly pears, strawberries are some more of the fruits that grow on the island.