I am a foodie who is fascinated by savory and sweet foods alike. So, I make a point of visiting various bakeries and cafes when I’m traveling so that I can get a taste (no pun intended) of local fare. Fortunately, my hubby and girls are also always interested in doing the same thing. And, thanks to our trip to Greece, we’ve been able to add several more sweet treats to our list of family favorites. If you like exploring foods from different countries and cultures, I encourage you to try the below Greek treats–during a future trip to Greece or in your hometown–if you haven’t done so already. Your sweet tooth will thank you.
I knew from the moment I watched a baker making loukoumades in an online news clip last spring that I had to find some during our family’s time in Greece. Loukoumades are like donut holes made with yeast-leavened dough that are drizzled with a honey syrup after they’ve been deep fried. Bakers may also sprinkle cinnamon, powdered sugar or crushed nuts onto the loukoumades before selling or serving them. However, when they are made correctly and served hot, I actually prefer that they don’t have anything extra added to them.
Are you a fan of Italian wedding cookies? If so, you should try to get your hands on a box of Chrisanthidis’ kourabie bites with almonds because the flavor and texture of these cookies is very similar to that popular treat. If this type of cookie is not your cup of tea, you can still buy them; you can just ship them to me! Just kidding! (Not really.) All joking aside, they truly were delicious. And, thanks to the generosity of a family friend, I’ve had a chance to taste kourabie cookies made by another brand. But, they weren’t as good as Chrisanthidis’ recipe…which I became very familiar with since I finished one box during our trip and finished a second one (a last-minute purchase at the airport) about a week later.
The piece of portokalopita cake in the below photo has raised the bar regarding my expectations of how a piece of cake should taste. The moist, orange-flavored cake that I ate during our trip was one of the best pieces of cake that I’ve ever had! I haven’t been able to find it at a Greek restaurant near me, but I have located a few recipes for it online. So, I guess it’s time for me to head to the store and buy all of the ingredients so I can make it for myself and my family. (I’ll try to remember to record the baking process and final product so that I can share it with you on the blog, as well as through my social media channels.)
I spotted the below treat when we stopped at a rest stop in Greece. I don’t remember if I was even looking for anything to eat, but somehow I ended buying a box of these apple-filled baklavas by Greek Horizons and I’m sure glad I did! They were so good! I must admit something though. Since this popular phyllo-based dessert typically contains pistachios, it wasn’t initially on my list of sweets to try in Greece because I don’t really care for this type of nut. But, the presence of the sweet apple filling made me a fan of these treats and inspired me to be open to trying other types of baklavas in the future. (FYI, Greek Horizons also makes baklavas with other fillings, such as cherry, fig, grape and kumquat, among others, and all of them can be ordered via the company’s website.)
I almost didn’t include the next suggested treat, which I will call cold chocolate, in this post because it was sometimes challenging to order this beverage while we were traveling around Greece. A few times, we were told by a restaurant or cafe worker that their establishment didn’t have a beverage like the one we were requesting and then, minutes later, spot one on the menu or find out from another worker that they did indeed have what we wanted. Perhaps it was due to a language barrier or maybe it was because some places used different ingredients or equipment to make their respective cold chocolate drinks, which could be as thick as a smoothie or as thin chocolate milk. But, I decided to mention them anyway because the ones we ordered (at cafes, restaurants, at an archeological site’s snack shop, etc.) were usually so good they deserve to be included! (FYI, one of our favorites–which we purchased twice from the bakery in Kifissia where we first spotted the loukoumades–is pictured below.)
If you know of any other Greek treats you think I should try, let me know in the comments below. I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel to Greece again, but I do have a few Greek restaurants not very far from my home that I’d be happy to visit to do more research. 😉