On our culinary experiences, there’s always that sweet tooth person who waits (im)patiently for the final food spot dedicated to local desserts. Even though our guests soon fill up with tons of Greek goodness, they always keep a “separate stomach” for that last delightful bite!
Here’s five finger-licking Greek desserts to start with, and we promise to come back for more.
The most well-known Greek dessert has a controversial history that could easily start a war in the Eastern Mediterranean 🙂 In Greece, baklava is made with walnuts – as opposed to pistachio baklava you mostly find in the Middle East. Layered with crispy thin fillo dough, brushed with butter (or olive oil for vegan baklava), drenched in honey or sugar syrup, spiced up with cinnamon and clove and baked till golden brown. What more can you ask for?
Oh yes, to actually eat it! Enjoy ice cream baklava in our evening food tour and follow that famous Greek movie line that says “I don’t want to know about it, I want to eat it!”.
Greek donuts? Yes please. The local alternative to doughnuts are loukoumades – Greek fried dough balls (a.k.a. little bites of happiness) topped with honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. This is the most traditional version still to be found in Krinos, a truly vintage cafe-pastry shop in Athens, growing up to be almost 100 years old, (along with its sweet and loyal clientele). Recently our traditional Greek dessert got a “revamp” and in newly-established businesses like Lukumades, you can even find an extensive variety like vegan loukoumades with chocolate praline or savoury, with cheese and pepper jam.
Surely not to miss during our Day & Night Athens street food tour.
Greek yoghurt has taken the world by storm eaten as healthy breakfast, but few people know that in Greece we eat as dessert too topped with honey or fruit preserves. Even fewer know that what we consider real Greek yogurt is not strained cow’s milk yoghurt but sheep’s or goat’s milk yogurt, with the thin layer of fat skin on top of it. Don’t be surprised if it is brought to you for free at the end of your meal at a restaurant, it’s a Greek hospitality gesture, saying thank you for coming. Don’t skip it, no matter how much you’ve already eaten. It will help you digest your lovely meal, offering beneficial probiotics and enzymes to your body.
Food is a way to connect with our past and history, a timecapsule that links us to our ancestors who lived ages ago on the same part of the world. Pasteli is a super healthy honey sesame bar – or nuts, prepared pretty much the same way in Greece since ancient times. Back then, the bee was deified and honey was considered the food of the Gods. Unlike processed sugar, honey is pure and natural, as all healthy foodstuff in the Mediterranean diet, playing a significant role in our traditions and rituals. Together with nuts and sesame, they make up a match made in heaven and give you a boost of energy for the rest of the day!
Whenever we have guests from Turkey, Northern Africa, Middle East and the Balkans, with whom we share a common culinary culture, it’s always hard for us to find something new and “exotic” for them to try. Still, there are slight variations in our foods and we all have a different story to share.
Tahini halva is ours and our neighbours’ super food. In Greece you will find it plenty during Lent, when animal-derived products are not allowed for believers. It is a simple recipe made with sesame paste (tahini) and sugar as basis, and then you can add either nuts, like for almond or pistachio halva, or cocoa for chocolate halva (vegans in Athens, this is your thing!). Another healthy version is semolina halva, the kind we share with our Indian guests as this is the main halva in India.
Do you think what we think? Yes, a Greek dessert tour will indeed send your taste buds to heaven! Drooling already? Contact us to organise a mouthwatering food tour in Athens exclusively for you.