The Greek spoon sweet or the “glyko you koutaliou” is a dessert traditionally served as a gesture of hospitality to guests. Every house in Greece not only has a spoon sweet in its cupboard, but may have more than one and probably does! And each family member has a favorite. These desserts are usually homemade, and I remember in the past that a perfect “glyko tou koutaliou” was a sign of a good bride!
Besides enjoying it in the traditional way: two teaspoons of sweet on a small plate accompanied by a glass of cold water – an absolute must – and Greek coffee served on a tray, you can also add a bit of Greek spoon fruit to the following edibles:
– Greek yogurt: quince, grape, rose petal, strawberry or sour cherry are ideal toppings
– on top or inside (as filling) cakes: my absolute favorite vyssino (sour cherry), grape and strawberry all work great
– as a perfect topping for ice cream: strawberry and sour cherry do wonders over vanilla or chocolate. One of my favorite summer desserts is kaimaki ice cream made of the masticha resin from Chios and sahlep, and served with sour cherry sweet and roasted almonds – an unbeatable combination! You can also find a similar ice cream in Turkey called “dondurma”. Both ice creams should have a slightly chewy consistency
– try a teaspoonful of grape or sour cherry sweet over rice pudding (rizogalo) or panna cota
– as a slightly tart topping for cheese cake. Sour cherry or strawberry work wonderfully
– why not add a bit of a Greek spoon sweet to your pancakes or waffles? A “touch” is more than enough because “glyka tou koutaliou” are very, very sweet
– as a delectable accompaniment to cheese. Ideal are fig and orange sweets. Believe me this is a match made in heaven! Very popular in Greece nowadays is making Cypriot haloumi cheese accompanied by orange spoon sweet.
Remember, if you have a sweet tooth, like I always seem to have after dinner, Greek “glyka you koytaliou” are a healthier choice because they are fat-free and usually one spoon of your favorite fruit sweet is enough to get you through the day!
-A very unique-tasting spoon sweet is “triantafyllo” made of rose petals. This brand goes very well with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt.
-And one of my absolute favorites: “pergamonto” or bergamont – a bitter orange preserve and one of the hardest to make. This one here is a good choice and has no preservatives.