Traditional Grape Spoon Sweet from Crete
A magnificent way to end any lunch on the island is by dipping your spoon in a bowl of fresh Greek yogurt topped with a generous amount of sweet, lavish, grape spoon sweet…
Easy to prepare, this unique spoon sweet can be served alone, paired with a shot of local tsikoudia, but it is also great to garnish cakes, pastries, and even a slice of toasted breakfast bread..
Enjoy your grape spoon sweet maybe gazing at the Cretan sea, maybe dreaming about coming back to the island!
Crete is an incredible wine destination, where over a dozen of different grape varieties produce some of the most distinctive wines in Greece.
The wines of Crete have often (and very rightfully) received lot of publicity, however, it looks like the old table grape has been left to occupy a second, less important place.
Well, it’s about time to give table grape the status it deserves. Crete grows top quality grape varieties not just to drink also to eat! Starting from the most common and spread grape Sultanina.
However, and specially in the region of Heraklion, varieties such as the white Thompson Seedless, the red Crimson Seedless, and Autumn Pearl are just a few of the varieties that are cultivated on the island.
What is Arbaroriza
Bearing the scientific name of Pelargonium Graveolens, but known as arbaroriza in Crete, this plan is a distant relative to the regular geranium plant that you can find all over Greece, Cyprus, and many other Mediterranean countries. And although it belongs to the family of geranium and is often confused with it, this is an entirely different plant.
Popular in Cretan cuisine, it has an amazing exceptional aroma resembling to wood, apple and even incense. It can be found in teas bu it is mainly used as a modifier of taste and aroma for homemade jams, and spoon sweet preserves. If you cannot find arbaroriza wherever it is you are, it can be easily replaced with apple juice.
Greek Spoon Sweets
Known as γλυκά του κουταλιού or spoon sweets these amazing sweet preserves are one of the most traditional gestures of hospitality still surviving intact in many Cretan villages.
This is a treasured tradition all over Greece, as well as in many Balkan countries, such as Albania, Kosovo, Croatia, but is also part of the local culture in many Middle Eastern countries, the island of Cyprus, and even in Russia.
In Greece, every region has its own preferred spoon sweet, In Greece, you will find spoon sweets made with quince, plum, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, grapes, berries, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kumquat, tangerines, pomegranates, figs, and more… Even less probable fruits, such as melon or watermelon can produce exciting spoon sweets.
They can be combined with more distinct tastes such as cinnamon or clove, or they can be flavored with subtle aromas, such as essential oils from flowers and citrus. In this terrain, imagination is the limit
Some regions are known for the delicate spoon sweets made with flower petals, such as rose spoon sweet, and even vegetables, such as carrots, baby eggplants and cherry tomatoes. Wikipedia explains more details than I do, here.
Find out more about the unique desserts from Greece heading to this section of My Cretan Recipe blog.
Serving Spoon Sweets
These decadent delicacies call for small crystal or porcelain dishes, often with intricate decorations. They are served to accompany coffee or tea, and should be rigorously homemade.
Although there are several spoon sweets to be found in stores and supermarkets, these are often made with glucose syrup rather than sugar. Spoon sweets can also be a good topping for ice cream, whipped cream, bread and butter, sot cheese, and – of course – Greek yogurt.