Thursday, 18 November 2021
Honey in Greek cuisine - recipes and customs!
Greek honey has been intertwined for centuries with the daily life, diet, and customs of Greeks.
From antiquity until today, honey has been used as a sweetener but also as a base for many dishes throughout Greece, and beekeeping has been practiced both by amateurs and professionals alike, giving us the award-winning Greek honey that we love so much.
Muses Honey invites you on a sweet journey, to see the most popular recipes with honey, but also the customs and traditions based on this superfood!
Are you ready?
Greek products based on honey
Part of many Greeks’ breakfasts, honey and its nutritional value have enthusiastic supporters – especially if you consider how well it’s paired with butter over hot-from-the-oven bread!
It is also used as a sweetener in honey recipes, as a base in a sauce or marinade, and even as an addition to a hot beverage, such as chamomile or tea, due to the beneficial properties attributed to it.
In the daily diet of the Greeks, however, honey "participates" in many different ways, not only as a sweetener, but also in savory recipes for an exquisite contrast!
You may also like: Nutritional value of honey - Everything you need to know!
Honey with sesame and nuts
Greek honey is widely used in combination with sesame, almonds, walnuts, and other nuts to create easy, healthy, and even fasting snacks and treats for any occasion.
From Rhodes and “melekouni” to Kefalonia and “mparmpoule”, honey replaces sugar and offers unrivaled tastes and aromas.
And let's not forget “pasteli”, which was known since antiquity as "sesamis"!
Further reading: Honey in Ancient Greece
Honey as an accompaniment or in pastries
Almost every region of Greece has a traditional local recipe that is based on pure honey!
It is really worth traveling across our country to taste all these delicacies and the different variations that exist from place to place.
- “Melopita” (honey pie) from Sifnos, with honey and cheese
- “Pites Sfakianes” (pies) from Sfakia, with a little raki for extra taste
- “Tiropitari” (cheese pie) from Skopelos, with twisted crispy filo pastry and feta cheese
- “Langites” (a type of pancakes) from Thrace, reminiscent of breakfast at grandma's house
- “Diples” (honey rolls) from Mani, the traditional Christmas sweet
- “Sousamopita” (sesame pie) from Halkidiki, with delicious honey syrup
“Loukoumades” and “melomakarona” hold a special place in every Greek’s heart, too – with so many variations and additions they now match every taste!
Did you know that? The average per capita consumption of honey in Greece is about 1.5 kg per year, a quantity much higher than the European average. With so many types of honey to choose from and recipes to use it on, it’s no wonder why!
Customs with honey, the symbol of well-being
Pure honey is one of the most characteristic products of the traditional cuisine of our country.
Either used as-is, or as part of various recipes, is still offered today at celebrations and social events.
The honeymoon, according to the most common explanation, began in ancient Greece, where newlyweds were offered "mead" for 30 days after their wedding, for fertility and well-being.
In many parts of modern Greece, honey with nuts is offered at weddings as a treat.
In Crete in particular, the bride and groom must eat a spoonful of honey and walnuts, while in the same area the traditional wedding cake is “xerotigano”, a fried dough with honey!
Did you know that? The thyme honey of Crete is considered by many to be the best honey in the world!
In many parts of Greece, they also offer sweet bread with honey to women who have just given birth, while in other places they place nuts, an olive branch and a cup of honey on the New Year's table to wish for a good year!
Muses Honey, a honey company with respect to tradition and the love of Greeks for honey, offers a product that is extremely rich in taste and aroma, combining types of honey from all over Greece in a jar that can be considered a treasure!
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