From the sun kissed fields of the Greek land to the heartwarming embrace of a Greek home, fruit is harvested when firm, handled with care and made into spoon sweets that are served to guests as a gesture of hospitality.
Spoon sweets are a flavoursome tradition of the Greek culture and Cycladia welcomes you to embark on a sweet journey to the blooming fields of Greece.
The name derives from the way these sweet preserves are served, “in a spoon”!
Since ancient times it is said that spoon sweets were the ultimate test for the brides to be. Before an engagement could be arranged the mother along with the groom had to be invited to the bride’s home and be properly served the bride’s handmade spoon sweet. If the mother in law was satisfied then she would give her blessing to the couple to be wed.
Types of Spoon Sweets
• Whole fruit, such as grapes and berries
• Pieces of fruit such as bergamot, apricots, quinces and figs
• Several types of nuts like pistachios and walnuts
• Rose petals
• Citrus peels and blossoms
• Vegetables as, for instance, eggplants or tomatoes
• Vanilla Spoon Sweet (or made of mastic resin)
Fruit must be collected when still firm, washed and slowly boiled in water and sugar for several hours until the syrup finally sets and the fruit is chewy. The magic trick is to add just a bit of lemon juice to preserve the fruit’s colour and prevent oxidation. In order to enhance the flavour and aroma of your sweets you may add some mint, a cinnamon bark, some leaves of apple geranium or frankincense from the Ionian Islands during boiling.
Spoon sweets are traditionally served in a spoon on a small crystal dish along with Greek coffee and a glass of ice water. Only a spoon full is usually enough. The Vanilla Spoon Sweet on the other hand is served on a spoon, submersed in ice-water thus also called “vanilla-submarine”, Ipovrixio in Greek.
Spoon sweets are served as a welcome treat to home guests, as an after dinner dessert, as topping on ice-cream and cakes or even as stuffing to sweet pies.
You have learned the process and are now probably wondering of this dessert’s uniqueness. Be our guest and savour the sweet essence of Greece!