Snapshots from Greece: Spoon Sweets


A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shade of figs.

While Greece is great for the salty fiends (olives, feta, and Santorini capers), there are plenty of opportunities to get cavities there too. Syrup-submerged fruits and nuts known as spoon sweets are common to eat alone or with cheese, and for years have symbolized sweet hospitality. A couple we visited wouldn't let us leave with a net-zero calorie intake, so they pulled out the coffee and little plates for spoon sweets. It was something like the Greek answer to British teatime.


Orange peel

The sweet nuggets can really be any fruit or nut—whether figs, apricots, quince, or walnuts—that eventually softens and become candy-like in the sticky bath. Even unripened fruits are inedible rinds are fair game to spoon sweetify.

Spoon sweets are found in jars at markets but most Greek families seem to take pride in making them from scratch. The preparation is similar to that of marmalade—boiling the fruit down in sugar and water—except the result shouldn't be a jiggle-wiggle texture. Instead it should be more firm and chewy, enjoyed alone or on top of yogurt, ice cream, or cake. Of course, maximum spoon sweet satisfaction happens with a spoon. Knife sweets sounds a little scary.


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