Apart from philosophy and architecture, the Greeks are also famous for their sweet tooth! Over the centuries, they have developed a range of mouth-watering desserts. Thanks to cultural exchange and globalization, these Greek delicacies are now popular over the world. Greek desserts contain an abundance of nuts, creams, fruits and honey. Here is a list of the top five Greek desserts that will melt the heart of even the most hardened food critic.
The Greeks gave the Baklava, which has Byzantine origin, a twist of their own. The Baklava is the most popular of all Greek desserts. In Greece, Baklava is also made from filo, like its Turkish counterpart. It consists a cinnamon-flavored filling of nuts (walnuts, almonds and pistachio). Sometimes, the Baklava is drenched in lemon scented sugar syrup or honey.
Food for thought: Did you know that in Greece, Baklava is made with 33 layers of filo, in remembrance of the 33 years of the Christ’s life
Other filo-based Greek desserts include the Galactaboureko (custard pie), Bougatsa me Krema (breakfast pastry) and Kolokythopita (pumpkin pie).
Karidopita (Greek walnut cake)
If you like walnut cake, you will love this Greek version of one of the world’s favourite desserts. In Greece, the walnut cake or Karidopita is made from bread crumbs (instead of dough) and is fused with a syrup containing powdered clove, a combination guaranteed to make your mouth water. You can serve the dish with chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream to make it more appetizing!
Melomakarona (Greek honey cookies)
Melomakarona is the best known Greek cookie. It is an oil-based (olive oil or corn oil) semolina or flour cookie, flavored with brandy and orange. Once the cookies are baked, they are dipped in honey syrup and garnished with a topping of chopped walnuts. The cookies are usually baked around Christmas, but don’t let that stop you from giving the recipe a try. Note that Melomakarona should not be refrigerated as it hardens the cookies. Store them in room temperature inside an airtight container.
Greek lemon cake
Though you may not associate cake with Greece, the Greeks served the first lemon cake. The Greek lemon cake contains lemon juice, lemon zest, Greek yogurt and eggs. The result is a moist, soft and creamy cake with a lingering lemony flavor. Make sure that you do not substitute Greek yogurt with normal yogurt. Greek yogurt does not consist whey.
Ryzogalo (Greek rice pudding)
Ryzogalo is made from short grain rice, granulated sugar, whole milk, cornstarch, egg yolks and ground cinnamon. Ryzogalo is a creamy pudding (it sometimes looks more like cream than pudding). It is the easiest Greek dessert to make at home because it does not require any special, rare or seasonal ingredients and can be prepared in as little as 35 minutes.
The list, featuring a filo-based pie, a cookie, cakes and pudding, is just a small part representing the vast Greek cuisine. There are many other scrumptious Greek desserts waiting for you to be savored.