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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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gliko or glyko, the Greek name for a preserve of fruit in syrup, to be served with a spoon. In Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and the Balkan region this is the standard offering to a newly arrived guest or to a traveller needing refreshment. Patience Gray (1986) evokes a typical scene:

[Gliko] often greets the traveller after a laborious journey on foot across the mountains, served with ice-cold water from the village fountain and sometimes followed by a dose of rakí, a powerful spirit distilled from pressed grapeskins, akin to marc or grappa.

The glikó is presented on a saucer with a spoon and is consumed under a fig tree in the courtyard. The lady of the house provides you with a rush-seated chair to sit on, and another on which to rest your legs. She sprinkles the courtyard floor with water from a water jar to lay the dust and cool the air, and presents you with a sprig of basil and a glass of spring water while you despatch the glikó.