Monday, August 15, 2016

MELEKOUNI - Greek Candy Recipe

Sweet, crunchy MELEKOUNI is a wonderful Greek candy, popular on the island of Rhodes. (See Rhodes blog post below.) It is often served at Greek weddings, as a symbol of a sweet life with lots of kids. All you need is two ingredients – how easy is that?


1 1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup thick honey

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the seeds into a shallow roasting pan, spreading them flat. Roast for approximately 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Boil the honey in a sauce pan over moderate heat. When it foams, remove it from the heat and add the roasted seeds. Cook for two or three minutes, stirring constantly. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and pour the sesame/honey mixture onto it, patting down with a damp spatula to make the surface flat and even. Wet the edge of a sharp knife and cut into bars or diamond shapes, leaving them in place until cool. At this point, you can add a blanched almond to the middle of each bar (optional). Remove bars (you may have to cut through the knife marks again), peel off parchment, and store in a cool, dry place. These make a nice gift, too, especially if you wrap them in colored cellophane.

Monday, August 8, 2016


If you want the breathtaking beauty of a Greek Island combined with a medieval fantasy, Rhodes is the place. The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, also known as the Kastello, was built by the Knights of St. John during the crusades (about 600 years ago). You can walk through the streets of this magnificent example of Gothic architecture, and dine and shop in the surrounding area.

This gorgeous island is said to be the birthplace of Helios, the sun god. Back in 305 BC the people of Rhodes built a giant bronze statue of Helios at the entrance of the harbor. Known as the Colossus of Rhodes, it stood 88 feet tall, but was eventually destroyed by an earthquake. 

So...what to do on Rhodes? Shop and dine around the castle - you'll find beautiful jewelry with the ancient Greek sun (the Sun of Vergina), as well as high quality leather goods. Take a tour of a ceraminc workshop if you can - Rhodes is famous for it's ceramics artisans. Buy some olive oil, too. Each island claims to produce the best!
When you're hungry or thirsty, try the wines, for which the island is famous, or the chick pea fritters called pittaroudia. Parrotfish is another island specialty. And when you're in the mood for something sweet, pick up some melekouni, a sesame-honey brittle.

Of course, like many of the Greek islands, Rhodes has golden sand beaches that will wrap you in sunshine, warmth, and the azure waters of the Aegean Sea. So go, if you can, for an amazing journey that will overflow your senses and leave you with beautiful memories.