Dakos or Koukouvagia
A fantastic Cretan meze -as we call it in Greek.
Meze means appetizer. Its main ingredient is paximadi, which is dried bread. The paximadia are lightly soaked in water and olive oil to soften, and then they are topped with grated fresh tomato and mizithra, the creamy sheep or goat’s milk cheese. After that they are drizzled with Cretan virgin olive oil and dusted with salt and oregano.
People say that the history of Dakos, or also known as Koukouvagia (which means owl), starts at Rethymno in the early ΄50s. In the countryside there was a tavern with a very bad reputation. People used to go there to play cards or buy illegal tobacco or find a woman to spend the night with.
The owner of the tavern had a nickname (or maybe that was his real name, no one can say for sure), they called him Owl, because the area was full of those nocturnal creatures and the owls were witnesses of the acts that took place at the tavern every night. Gentlemen of the good society of Rethymno used to say to each other: “Shall we go to the Owls tonight?” and they would mean card playing or women… The owner, Owl, used to offer to his clients paximadi (dried bread) with tomato and goat cheese. That’s how this tasty meze was named after the owner of a tavern!