Cretan Dakos

Cretan Dakos Barley Rusk with recipe included

Cretan Dakos Barley Rusk is an appetiser known specifically in the Western side of Crete. It consists of a Barley rusk that has been quickly dipped into water to soften it slightly and then topped with tomato, a soft white cheese such as ricotta or feta, oregano, olives and a drizzle of olive oil. You may also find it served as a salad. This would also include chopped pieces of tomato.

How to make the Cretan Dakos Barley Rusk


  • 1 rusk, large
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ricotta or feta cheese (or a combination of both)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Optional: Olives for serving


  1. Dampen the rusk with a little bit of water to soften it slightly, but ensure the rusk still retains some crunch.
  2. Place the rusk on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. Cover the whole rusk with the tomato, followed by the salt, cheese and oregano.

Optional: Drizzle the rusk with additional olive oil and olives (if using) and then serve immediately.

To read about the humble Greek Salad, click here.

The Cretan Dakos is the most iconic Cretan dish. It is found on most menu’s in Crete and even all over Greece and other parts of the world. It is such a refreshing and light appetizer that is very easy to make. The secret is to have ripe aromatic tomatoes and very good quality soft cheese and oregano that has been dried and picked up the stem. You will be offered this dish on a hot day in any Cretan home across the island. As there is an abundance of olive oil you will find it generously covered in the oil, which in Crete is liquid gold.

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