Looking for something different for breakfast? Tired of eggs, toast, pancakes, bacon, home fries, etc.? Want something from some of the longest-lived people in the world, that also tastes absolutely amazing? Cretan cooking is generally acknowledged as the last bastion of the traditional Greek diet.  An integral part of that diet is a rock-hard dried whole-grain rusk (my favorite is the one made with barley). And by far the best brand is To Manna, now fairly easily available in North America at Greek specialty stores. I used to bring these into Canada in my checked luggage, usually a half-dozen bags at a time.

Try this for breakfast. Wet a whole barley rusk quickly under the tap, shake off the excess water and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to soften up. Place in a bowl. Cover with chopped fresh tomato, some crumbled feta cheese, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and oregano. Black olives and/or a sprinkle of red wine vinegar are optional. Have with a small glass of red wine. Yes, for breakfast. Hey why do you think Cretans live so long?!

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