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Traditional Greek Strawberry Spoon Sweet
Bound by the Ancient Greek cultural law of hospitality, known as Xenia, Greeks show generosity to strangers and guests up to this day! Offering guests spoon sweets accompanied by Greek coffee and cold water is the ultimate Greek gesture of hospitality. In my recipe, I have used the traditional method for making strawberry spoon sweet. It is not too surprising to find a sense of nostalgia in its unforgettable aroma of strawberries, its ruby colour attraction, its true taste of spring. This recipe is a treasure trove of history, culture, and gastronomy.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 13 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 13 hours
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. How to select the best strawberries for your spoon sweet: 1. Pick seasonal fruit. 2. Choose fresh, ripe and firm strawberries with ruby red colour and distinct aroma. Their stems should be bright green.
  2. Wash the strawberries under cold running water; drain them thoroughly, remove them to a paper-towel lined plate to dry. Stem and hull them just before cooking, but do not cut the entire top off them in order to remove the hull — with a paring knife, pierce the strawberries just under the stem and cut in circular motion.
  3. In a large bowl or a saucepan put multiple several layers of sugar and fruit, one after another. Coat the last layer of fruit with the remaining sugar and place plastic wrap over the bowl or put the lid on the saucepan. Leave them to macerate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours; sugar is dissolved in the liquid that the strawberries exude, the strawberries do not disintegrate, they maintain a vibrant red colour.
  4. Place the bowl contents in a large saucepan. The saucepan should have a thick base for a good slow simmer. Bring to boil over medium heat and simmer for 2’-3’. If necessary, you can use a wooden spoon to remove any scum that floats to the surface. Remove from heat; allow the fruit to cool in the saucepan.
  5. Remove the strawberries with a skimmer spoon and gently place them in a bowl. Wash the apple thoroughly. Do not peel or core the apple, only chop it into chunks. Wrap the chunks in a muslim cloth and tie with kitchen twine.
  6. Put the muslim bag in the saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and simmer for 20’, until it begins to thicken. Use a wooden spoon to remove any scum that floats to the surface.
  7. When it thickens, remove the muslim bag. Place the strawberries back in the saucepan very carefully and gently. Pour the fresh lemon juice over the strawberries. Bring to boil over medium-low heat and simmer for 5’. Remove from heat.
  8. Allow the spoon sweet to cool in the saucepan. Store your traditional Greek strawberry spoon sweet into sterilised jars.
Recipe Notes

Greek spoon sweets and Philoxenia

The ritual of Greek hospitality

Greece has a long tradition in hospitality due to its history. The Greek word Philoxenia is actually a synonym for hospitality. According to the Ancient Greek tradition of hospitality, called Xenia, Greeks show courtesy and generosity to strangers; bound by this cultural law, Greeks offer guests spoon sweets accompanied by Greek coffee and cold water — the ultimate Greek ritual of hospitality. The most enthralling element of the Greek custom of offering homemade spoon sweets as a gesture of hospitality is that this historic bond that links gastronomy to hospitality has endured for centuries in Greece; from the king of the Ancient Greek Olympian gods, Zeus Xenios, the patron of hospitality and guests and the Ancient Greek gastronomy,  the Graeco-Roman gastronomer, Athenaeus of Naucratis, and his work Deipnosophistae, the wide range of Byzantine Greek spoon sweets, the Pontic/Constantinopolitan/Smyrna Greek custom of offering guests spoon sweets as a welcome treat to the Cypriot kerasma (treat) of spoon sweets, there is a timeless thread connecting hospitality and gastronomy.

Jars sterilisation process

You should make sure that your jars are clean to maintain the freshness of the spoon sweet. Sterilise your jars by washing them (and their lids) thoroughly in hot soapy water. Rinse them well. Heat oven to 100°C. Place the jars and their lids on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 20'. Using a funnel, ladle the strawberry spoon sweet into the hot jars, filling to just below the rim. Spoon sweets can be stored in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator.

Zero Waste

After you consume a jar of traditional Greek strawberry spoon sweet, if there is any leftover syrup you can use it to brush over cake layers and pastries.

 

Traditional Greek Strawberry Spoon Sweet

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