Thursday , November 26 2020

For those who are living on our Island or for those who are lucky enough to spend their Christmas Holidays with us, you would all probably notice the lovely cakes or biscuit type sweets available, not only in the bakeries but throughout the supermarkets.

Greek honey biscuits.

One of these types of sweets is called “melomakάrona”.

These are only made during the Christmas Holidays dipped in a honey syrup it is every child’s delight. A best kept secret between the women of the household a tradition that all Zakynthians cherish.

The recipe, of course will be handed down from generation to generation, and at this time of the year you often see the children joining in making the long shaped balls and then full of laughter as they roll them onto the tray ready to be baked.

Traditions.

The spirit of Christmas starts early as most start making them as soon as the cold weather sets in. As the first ‘melomakaronas’ are placed on the tables, they become an offering to all the family and they are free to choose at will. Of course, for those who come to visit, a warm smile as you are greeted at the door and before you can sit down at the kitchen table a ‘melomakarona’ is placed on a napkin for you to try.
As the first batch disappears, and very quickly I might add, it doesn’t take long for the platters to be refilled. As baking over the Christmas holidays is a continual task.
This time of year is special to me, I just love the beautiful aroma of Christmas delights.

Recipe.

Somehow, it takes me back to my childhood days,the thought of my mum teaching me some odd Christmas tricks and in turn for the delight of my husband and children to praise. Merry Christmas!
This recipe is one from a γιαγιά (grandmother)

What you need.

1/2 kilo of olive oil
1/2 kilo of corn based oil
250g orange juice
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cloves
2 teaspoons soda
4 teaspoons baking
1 cup of coffee brandy
500g sugar
2 kg of flour

For the syrup:

1. kg of honey
A cup of sugar
1 cup water

For the garnish:

500g walnuts

Instructions.

step 1
1) Pour all ingredients in a bowl and knead.
step 2
2) Shape melomakarona.
step 3
3) Bake at 180 degrees turning over to get an even colour occasionally about 30 minutes.
step 4
4) Prepare the syrup. Bring all the ingredients to a boil and then turn down as syrup forms
step 5
5) add a few melomakarona to the syrup for about 5 minutes depending on how soft you want them.
step 6
6) Then the final touches, lay on a platter and sprinkle with crushed walnuts.
Let me give you a few more tips:-
For the dough to be ready, it should be firm. When add the sweets to the syrup, the syrup should seem to be simmering.
kali sas orexi !!!

About Louise Inzk

Louise is Australian born and has been a Greek citizen since 1991. She has deep cultural ties with the island, often writing about Zakynthian Traditions and Culture. She is also an active member of the Volunteer Group of Zakynthos, Giostra Di Zante and is a member of the women's choir "Rodambelos". Her love of the island and all it offers saw her joining the Zakynthos (Zante) Informer admin team in 2014.

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