Ok, I’ve felt the pressure and succumbed. Not the least of which was from my good friend Kim, who has been at me to showcase the yummy Greek sweets on offer (she also taught me everything I know about blogging, by the way). I guess this means I’m taking requests now, so if there’s anything you want to know about my destinations please just leave a comment, and of course I’ll have little food features from time to time. Hey, I’m nothing if not responsive.
First, like the bakery guy, I have to mention that there is not yet the dazzling array of sweets that are usually available (next week will be better) but I have done my level best.
Second, it’s important that you know that Greeks have a seriously sweet tooth so, like many countries in the Mediterranean, offer goodies worthy of writing home about. You’ll probably be surprised to know that one of the Greek biscuits you most often think about (the yummy curved almond biscuit covered in icing sugar – the Kourambiedes) is not as prolific here as it is in Australia. Baklava, on the other hand, is absolutely everywhere, in an assortment of different shapes, sizes and contents. From what I can tell, Greeks don’t generally get stuck into their sweets after a heavy meal (unless it’s a small baklava or yoghurt with honey) and rather devour them with their coffee, which they often also drink sweet!
Many sweets are regional (my mother has been begging me for the very same biscuits that I brought home in 2007 from the island of Spetses but, alas, they are only made there), and some are reserved for celebrations like Easter and Christmas. (Yes, yes, I’ll be doing an Easter post so you can all check out the sweet Easter bread and roast lamb…)
One yummy thing that we almost never see at home are “spoon sweets”, which are fruit like grapes or even nuts cooked in a syrup until they’re soft. They are often just served straight (and are kept for hospitality in Greek households to offer to guests) but my best encounters with them are on top of ice cream or yogurt. If you are curious, you can find these in places that stock Greek goodies, plus I have some in my pantry so feel free to nag me for a sample when I get back.
In the meantime, I have done my best to produce some photos of what’s on offer right now. This includes personally begging the sensational cook at Skiza to make my galaktoboureko and the bougatsa, even though there are almost no tourists in sight and now feel I have to order a slice each day in order to justify my requests (you will, of course, appreciate that I have done this is for research purposes only).
So, I present to you: Sweet Greek moments!