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Sweets of the Spoon
An old story...
From ancient times, Chios was well known for the excellent quality
of its products, especially for its abundance and variety of seasonal fruits.
Grapes and figs constituted the base of this variety which was gradually enriched
by almonds, pistachios, walnuts, apples, quince, sour cherries and cherries, as
well as citrus fruits, in other words, bitter oranges, famous chian tangerines,
oranges and bergamots.
In order to extend the consumption of these seasonal fruits as long
as possible, many preservation methods were applied. The safest and simplest method
turned out to be the boiling and the preservation of the fruits in some kind of
syrup. The creation of various recipes depends on the herbs, the spices or other
flavoring substances added in the boiling water. When refined sugar came into
play, the use of the ancient Mediterranean sweetening substances, such as honey,
molasses, carob honey, etc, gradually declined.
The traditional spoon sweet recipes were primarily used in the production
of homemade sweets of the spoon. However, as time passed, these traditional recipes
formed the base of the production of spoon sweets by large and well organized
The Chian Sweet of the Spoon
The spoon sweet played a central part in social life, since there
was some kind of semiotics that associated the different facts of life with the
color and the kind of sweets offered in each occasion. Therefore, people served
white sweets at marriage announcements, colored sweets in celebrations, dark-colored
sweets in mourning and so on.
The Mastic Sweet
On its way from the East, sugar brought with it its secrets. The Persian
and Arabic recipes were combined with ours to create a delightful tasty result.
The Chios mastic, an exclusive product of the island, combined with
sugar, gave birth to the spoon sweet - mastic, also known as hyporvrychio, a different
and more intensely flavored form of vanilla. Since the last century, this kind
of mastic has been spread in the Greek Diaspora gentry’s estates and mainly
in Constantinople as the welcome sweet by the name of the "White Sweet".
It is still the official treat in the Patriarchate today.
This text is cited May 2004 from the Promoting Tourism Prefectural Committee of Chios URL below, which contains images.
- Chios Prefecture Tourism Committee web page
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