/ Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I have been completely negligent. I never finished our full report on the tastes of Greece! One tidbit I simply cannot leave out are Loukoumades. I swear I'm not a doughnut freak. It just so happens that I've been wrapped up in fried dough lately...

Loukoumades are Greek doughnuts that are covered with honey syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon. Like everything else, they're made by the dozens! We're talking huge quantities of food. They require little more than some basic ingredients and a pot of oil to make. If you're lucky enough to have a fancy Loukoumades press, use it! These contraptions make doughnut frying a breeze and far less messy. The rest of us will survive with "free-form" Loukoumades. Do not fear - one bite of the scrumptious dough and you'll never know they weren't the proper shape :)

The day before we left for Athens, 15 days into our Grecian journey, we were invited to a "Good Bye" Party of coffee, raki and sweets at Ulga's cousin's home. The loukoumades were the stars of the night. Luckily our hostess was still frying 'em up when we arrived. I had a sneak peak of her in action. That thing that looks like a blue kiddie-pool in the middle of the table is the mixing bowl. No joke. To give you an idea of how many doughnuts were made, there was probably 20 adults and at least 20 children at the party. Each of us was given a plate of 5 Loukoumades. We're talking at least 200 doughnuts made, plated and drizzled in one afternoon. She's her own mini-factory! Watch out Dunkin...

Greek women have a distinct finesse in the kitchen. Where as the French cook "au pif", Greek cookery is anchored to an innate connection between the food, the hands and the heart. Saying that the woman's work seems effortless would be a severe understatement. They create gorgeous meals that could sustain a small Spartan army, without ever seeming frazzled or pressed for time. I wish I could translate a fraction of that culinary serenity into my own kitchen.

When my plate was set into front of me my first instinct was to pass it to my neighbors to share, but then every single person was given their own pile of tiny doughnuts. "There's no way these are all for me," I assured myself. But sure enough my mini-mountain of Loukoumades was mine and mine alone. Dig in Berry...clearly I had no trouble finishing them off. It's easy! Loukoumades have a cloud-like air to them once you nibble through their delicate crust. Unlike American doughnuts, there's nothing cakey or dense about the texture. In fact, the light dough acted like an edible sponge soaking up the honey on the plate. Each bite gave way to a little taste of that Ikarian liquid gold. (by the way, Ikaria is a blue zone - meaning an abnormal number of people live to be 90 or older - many scientists say that the honey might have something to do with it!)

One thing I did not get when I was in Greece was an original family recipe for Loukoumades. I know! I'm sorry...I'll hunt one down. In the meantime, I'll direct you to a fantastic Greek food blog Kalofagas: Greek Food & Beyond, written by Peter Minakas. He has a fantastic recipe for Loukoumades. Give it a go and tell me what you think. Enjoy!

1 comment

  1. I love these!! I used to eat them with my Yaya when I was little.


Let's chat! And be sure to check back—I make an effort to respond to every comment! xo EEP

© Hey, EEP!. Design:Maira Gall.