Follow the scent of warm loukoumades
After talking about the Churro, I felt it was worth sticking with another popular fried dough pastry. As if someone can complain about having another dessert! Loukoumades are little bite-sized donut puffs or golden fried balls of dough covered in honey. I remember from a young age, the aroma hitting my nostrils from miles away as my grandma would always prepare a handful in a frying pan. I would race to the kitchen and as long as everyone would eat, she would continue making more. And let me tell you, you never end up eating just one.
Loukoumas is considered to be the oldest recorded dessert in the world! This popular Mediterranean treat takes its origins from Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Turkey. This sweet dates back to the Antiquity Period in Ancient Greece. Actually, it goes as far as the first Olympic Games back in 776 B.C. The recipe spread across the Ancient World like Persia and Egypt and it’s still popularly served until today. In Turkey, it’s called Lokma and the recipe is similar. Frankly, these treats have been prepared for over 2500 years to an almost perfect crisp.
If you know your history and think back to the Ancient Olympic Games, most people associate the games to the olive wreath. It was awarded to the winners of sporting events, similarly to the way gold medals are handed out today. The olive wreath was a small branch taken from a wild olive tree and was grown near the Temple of Zeus in Olympia. Notice how olive oil still remains significant until today, as it’s one of the most popular ingredients in Mediterranean and Western cooking.
What you might not know is that Olympians were also served “honey tokens” aka "loukoumades" as they were referred to back then, based on their traditional honey topping. Basically, these little cake balls were fried in olive oil and handed to the winners along with the wreath. Most people lived in poverty those days and receiving this reward was a great honour. Now that’s something special!
Loukoumades are deep-fried in oil.
The dough is made from basic ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and oil.
These donuts are best served warm and crispy on the outside.
The traditional recipe is soaked in honey syrup and sprinkled with sugar or cinnamon.
They can be glazed in chocolate sauce or garnished with walnuts.
1) Pronounced (lu-ku-ma-the-s or loo-koo-MAH-thes)
2) They're best served with cold coffee such as a frappé or iced cappuccino.
3) They can be found in pastry shops and served as dessert in Greek and Turkish restaurants worldwide.
4) They taste great with Greek yogurt or ice cream.
5) You can easily eat a handful of this amazing dessert.
6) Use a toothpick or a fork as it can get a bit messy to eat and you don’t want sticky fingers.
7) These treats can be made at home.