DOUNIAS: The taverna in Chania with the most delicious fried potatoes

Dounias taverna, chania crete

Eighteen kilometres from Chania, at the foot of the White Mountains, is the Dounias taverna. As soon as one arrives, one sees a working wood-fired oven with fire-blackened clay pots and pans extolling the grace of slow cooking – or show cooking, if you prefer...

The story of the tavern actually begins almost 20 years ago, when Stelios Trilyrakis, a professional cook in the city, left Chania and, together with his wife - and their two children at the time, now three - returned to his village, Drakona, to work their family business.

They adopted a culinary philosophy that is consistent with the principles of Slow Food.

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They decided that they would cook everything on an open fire, without electrical appliances, with their own raw materials from their gardens or from their area only. And they kept it this way ever since.

They also raise animals that live freely: chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats and goats (small cows that belong to an extinct type of an indigenous, mountain cattle breed).

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Thus, to this day, his wife, the sweet Eumorfyli, cooks in the kitchen. Her food is simple, Cretan, following the rhythms of the seasons; her (Chanio) bureki can even come with sweet pumpkin, the stew with chestnuts, the lamb steamed from the parchment paper and on other days there are snails.

Outside in the wood-fired oven, Stelios bakes in clay pots and slow-fries in the old fashioned way, in plenty of olive oil, thickly cut potatoes, which are deep-fried to perfection.

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While crossing the Therisos gorge, enjoy the ride and leave the city behind. Flip the switch and arm yourself with patience. Only then will you tune in to the slow tempo and tone of the fire melody.

Info: Drakona Keramion, Nerokouros, Chania, tel. 28210 65083

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