In a little alleyway not far from the historic centre of the lovely town of Rethymnon in Western Crete we discovered a lovely artisan bakery. Squeals of delight were uttered as we came across this magical place steeped in tradition. The bakery named Constantinos M. Spanoudakis has been going for more than 55 years – since 1958!
The traditional sesame ring breads (Koulourakia), loaves of white bread and gorgeous intricate flower wreaths were displayed amongst a menagerie of animals. No, not real animals,-bread animals. Just an incredible array of birds- dinosaurs, fish, rabbits…The flamingos were my favourite.
I was so please my girls wanted to choose a bread and seemed so delighted. A snail for Caroline, a swan for Chloe and a dolphin for Alexia!
The lovely lady working in the shop told us that her mother makes the bread every morning by hand-hundreds of pieces a day.
The bread flower wreaths, usually made for weddings, are now made all year round as they are so popular as a souvenir. Each piece is varnished (you can’t eat it!) so people can keep it and display it as a centre piece on their table with a candle in the middle.
This little place made me realise that it is important to embrace tradition and artisanship wherever you are. It is important to be able to take time to encourage people who do and make beautiful things. Being in Crete you can live a slower pace of life with good food, beautiful scenery and lovely people…
So like this post if you embrace tradition, if you teach others little things you have been taught from your elders- traditional recipes , crafts or even songs.
see you soon