Flour, Cheese, and Honey

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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Fried sweets vary by region and budget. By simply combining flour and water, with or without leavening, cooks with limited means always managed to create delicious treats like tiganites, frying spoonfuls of the mixture and serving the crunchy bites drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame or nuts. See fried dough. For the pancake-like laggites of Thrace and the laggopites of Cyprus, the batter is cooked on a heated stone or griddle, much as was done in antiquity. With the addition of yeast, the mixture becomes loukoumades (fried dough puffs); when more flour is added, the dough can be shaped into little balls that are flattened before frying to make the Cypriot pisia. With more skill the dough is rolled into thin sheets of filo (phyllo), which can take myriad forms: diples, large or smaller pieces of thin dough, or kserotigana, the elaborate swirled filo ribbons of Crete, are fried in olive oil and again served drizzled with honey and nuts. Sheets of filo become the crust that encloses all kinds of seasonal ingredients: Cypriot kolokotes are small pies stuffed with grated squash or pumpkin, bulgur, and raisins. See filo. A similar filling is used for the pan-size kolokythopita, or for cigar-like rolls that are baked all over the country as festive winter treats. Kolokythopita often hovers between sweet and savory with onions and aged cheese mixed with sugar, walnuts or almonds, cinnamon, and cloves.