Greek Sweets the Traditional Kick

Pasteli ©fo.ol/flickr

Pasteli ©fo.ol/flickr

This post is for the gourmet travelers. First to introduce is the Greek Sesame Seed Candy known as Pasteli. It is a kind of honey candy from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. Tastes hard and crunchy, but the Greek made them chewy and sticky. To make them, you will surely need a non-stick bakeware liner, I would recommend the Silpat pad so as to unmold the candy with ease. If you take one and a half hour, you can make them using very simple ingredients such as mild honey, toasted sesame seeds and a little salt. Of course, you will need vegetable oil to oil the pan.

Loukoumia (Honey Puffs)

Loukoumi is an oriental sugar-based confectionary. We normally know it as ‘Turkish Delight’ in some places like Australia, it is called ‘Tom Bee’. If you are visiting Greece, its second largest port or third largest city is famously known for producing loukoumia. During the Ottoman occupation of Greece, the Greeks learn the art of making them. There are three main flavours for the traditional Patrina Loukoumia: rose flavour and you can find them in red, mastic flavour and you can find them in white, bergamot flavour and you can find them in green. Turkish delight (lokum) are made from a gel of sugar and starch. These include pistachios, dates sometimes even walnuts and hazelnuts.

Mpougatsa

Sometimes these Mpougatsa are served as breakfast in Greece. Honestly, these pie fealed with cream and topped with sugar powder and cinnamon powder are particular popular in Thessaloniki and the northern part of Greece. It is not just a breakfast item, it is also eaten late at night to recharge after a night’s dance and clubbing. You can find in the centre of Thassos town the best mpougatsa filled with custard, yellow or white cheese, spinach and mince of Northern Greece.

Gluka tou koutaliou (Spoon Sweets)

Spoon Sweets ©dmoutsop/flickr

Spoon Sweets ©dmoutsop/flickr

These are sweet preserves served in a spoon. It is like a gesture of hospitality of the Greece and can possibly be made from fruits such as citrus bitter oranges, mulberries, apricots, sour cherries, pomegranates, strawberries, figs, quinces, tangerines, lemons, you name it. Do not be surprise to find them also with vegetables or nuts, like the pistachions, walnuts and flower petals of roses. These spoon sweets are served by teaspoons in a crystal dish. Sometimes a small china is used. Guests also are offered tea, coffee or cold water.

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