Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sweet Part of Greece

One of the things that make you remember Greece even a long time after you left it is the sweets. Most people say that you can't just like them a little; you either love them or hate them, there is no middle ground. Although I must admit that most of the people I know love them
So, let's start with my all time favorite:

Galaktoboureko - milk pie with syrup.

The name comes from the Greek word γαλα which means milk and the Turkish word "burek" meaning pie.

The sweet lemon or orange flavored milk cream is covered in Phyllo dough or it can be rolled in it.

 Kourabiedes - almond biscuits
They are usually made for special occasions like baptizing or Christmas. It is not uncommon to for the recipe to be improved from time to time with  Metaxa.
The most popular flavors are vanilla and rose water.

Revani - Semolina Cake

The main ingredients for this cake are semolina and a lot of strong syrup. The main flavors could be rose water or orange water.  It may also contain coconut.

A place renown for it's Revani is a town called Veria in the northern part of Greece, Makedonia.

Loukoumades - honey donuts
They are made of fried dough soaked in syrup or honey or why not both because they are very sweet.
The traditional flavor used for loukoumades is Cinnamon. After being fried they are rolled in either nuts, sugar or sometimes sesame. 
Vasilopita  - The New Year's Cake
The name comes from Ag. Vasilis (Saint Basil) who's anniversary is on the 1st of January.  The cake is traditionally round and it contains a hidden coin.  After midnight, on New Year's Eve, people cut the cake and whoever finds the coin will be lucky the whole year.


Is a sweet made of Phyllo dough filled with crushed nuts and strong sugar syrup or honey.  The traditional flavor used is vanilla.  Crushed pistachios are also used in the recipe. 
Baklava is known all through the Balkans and every country there has a variation of the recipe as a traditional sweet.

Melomakarona - Biscuits with walnut syrup

The main ingredients for this sweet are flour (or semolina), olive oil, honey and of course walnuts. The recipe may be improved and it typically is with orange zest, orange juice, brandy or Cinnamon.
after baking they dive for a few seconds in warm syrup made of a combination of sugar and honey and covered with pieces of walnuts or dark chocolate.

The list is obviously incomplete, there is also halva, tzoureki, milopita, kolokithopita and so on. But I guess the best way to know them is to actually try them so stop drooling now, go to the nearest Greek cookie store and start tasting. If you can't find one let me know and I'll send you from here:))))
Bon appetite!

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