I have the same problem every year… I can’t help myself and start eating Christmas desserts daily from very early in the month. By the time Christmas comes, I have to look for trousers one size bigger to wear haha
But, looking at this picture from my local bakery, can you really blame me? Especially if you’ve tasted Greek Christmas desserts and know just how yummy they are.
Now, let me introduce you to these three fine specimens, which happen to be the most famous Christmas treats! From left to right in this picture, they are:
KOURABIES (Plural: KOURABIEDES)
These tiny round cakes have a solid dough that’s rich in almond chunks, and they are dusted heavily with icing sugar. They can also be found in the shape of a crescent. A classic festive prank in Greece is to offer someone a kourabies and dare them to say ‘Thothoros’ as they chew. This is just the Greek name for Theodore. It’s not the meaning, but the making of the sound that matters here. The result is always the same! A sprinkle of icing sugar emitted from the person’s mouth to dirty their own clothes. Not recommended in the times of covid – but it has to end sometime, doesn’t it? So keep in mind for later, if you’re a prankster. Trust me. It’s priceless.
MELOMAKARONO (Plural: MELOMAKARONA)
These golden delights can easily become a favorite, especially as in the recent years bakers and sweet shop owners have gone a step further to coat them with milk chocolate or dark chocolate! Personally, I never go for those, as I find them sickly sweet. The classic melomakarona of this picture are more than adequately sweet on their own. The taste is all in the honey syrup and the heavenly woody spices (cinnamon and cloves). Melomakarona come in soft and harder varieties. The softer the better, in my humble opinion.
DIPLA (Plural: DIPLES)
These pastries are fried, then sprinkled with chopped walnuts and drizzled with honey or syrup. The ones my mother used to make looked like short ribbons with serrated edges, and sometimes she’d fold them in thirds. The classic shape one can find in the shop, though, is the rolled up one you see in the picture. After all, the name Dipla is derived from the word Diplono, which means “To fold”. I have to admit that diples, being fried, are not the healthiest option, but they are definitely my favourite of the three, with melomarona following closely behind. Diples are crunchy and fluffy – a temptation I personally find impossible to resist!
Note: This is not a recipe post, as you can see, mainly owed to the fact that I’ve never tried my hand at making any of these desserts. It’s hassle-free at the bakery, if you ask me LOL! But, if you’re feeling eager to try, just google the name of the dessert with ‘Akis’ next to it, and it should take you to the site of famous Greek chef Akis Petretzikis. All his recipes are awesome! This is the one for melomakarona, for example!
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