There’s a reason why Greece’s first loukoumades (pronounced loo-koo-mah-thes) were made for Olympic champions. Traced back to the first Olympic Games in 776BC, they were dished out to the victor as a prize in the form of ‘honey tokens’.
The old Greek proverb “all is well when the honey is sweet” rings true for Greek's culinary dessert gems. In honour of all things sweet and syrupy, we’ve compiled some of our favourite fried Greek sweets recipes, from donuts and beyond.
Fried until puffed and golden, drizzled in honey and sometimes finished with nuts, loukoumades date back to as early as 776BC. They come in a variety of shapes but are often bite-size balls, making them even more impossible to resist.
These golden puffs of fried dough live in the sweet spot between a pancake and a fritter. In Greece, they’re popular breakfast food, topped with cinnamon, fruit, nuts, sheep’s milk cheese and honey.
Traditional loukoumades get figgy with this fruity makeover. The raspberry syrup adds a tart little kicker at the end.
Also known as diples, these deep-fried pastries are finished in the classic Greek way – that is – drizzled with honey, ground cinnamon and chopped nuts, which in this case, are chopped walnuts.
With their spiced nutty filling and crisp golden exterior, daktyla are often enjoyed during Lent, but we think they make a sweet year-round treat.
Golden buttery pastry with a cheesy green filling to boot - spanakopita is always worth getting excited over. The Chefs' Line
These sweet pillows of crisp pastry, filled with a more-ish blend of honey, nuts, dates, seeds and spices, are a popular treat at Easter time on the Greek island of Crete. Serve them generously dusted with icing sugar, accompanied by a strong, dark, aromatic coffee.
This pie is one of my all-time favourites and brings together some of Greece’s most popular ingredients – silverbeet, haloumi, Kalamata olives, rice and filo pastry. It takes a little while to prepare but don’t be put off, I promise it will be well worth the effort.
Galaktoboureko is made a little differently from island to island in Greece. The thick and creamy custard sitting between two sheets of sugar-syrup-soaked filo is a Greek classic sometimes made with orange blossom but this recipe keeps it simple with traditional vanilla.