By Soren Rivero
We all know of Greece’s extraordinary cuisine, right? It's extremely popular for the Mediterranean-inspired foods that make a person's mouth water, like Moussaka, Gyros, and Tzatziki. To top it off, there are tons of sweet treats native to Greece that one simply must try. Here are 7 of the best Greek desserts to eat on your next trip!
The most famous Greek dessert by far is Baklava. They're small, flakey, airy, crunchy, and just the right amount of sweetness. This staple Mediterranean dessert is found in different variations all across Europe and the Middle East. Greece’s version in particular involves using phyllo (filo dough) that’s coated in butter then layered on top of walnuts. A sticky citrus-honey syrup binds everything together and makes it all the more delectable.
More phyllo, anyone? Kataifi is another one of the easy to make Greek desserts that has been adapted in surrounding countries similar to baklava. The two desserts might even sound the same, if you’re only given the ingredient list, that is. But kataifi is instead made with shredded phyllo. The texture is more fluffy and stringy, almost like vermicelli noodles. Nuts, butter, cinnamon, and sweet syrup are rolled into the shredded phyllo to make one of the most delicious desserts to eat in Greece.
Here’s another easy Greek dessert to make: Loukoumades. If you’re familiar with donut holes, Loukoumades will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. These little morsels are made from flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Other ingredients might be used for consistency and texture. Loukoumades are then deep fried to a golden crisp in oil. After cooling off, they are then bathed in a warm sweet honey glaze and topped with nuts. Careful eating these Greek pastries, as once you have one, you’ll probably want a hundred more!
Although it might be difficult to pronounce, Galaktoboureko is an easy Greek treat to enjoy. This traditional Greek dessert is also sometimes referred to as Greek custard pie. Again, the dessert is made of phyllo dough which is then mixed with a semolina custard. This perfect combination of an ooey-gooey center and flakey crust is then topped off with a spiced syrup. What makes this popular Greek dessert even better is that it can be served warm during the winter months or cold during the summer months!
Simplistic yet fancy, spoon sweets are an outlier among other popular desserts to try in Greece. The dessert is served just as the name suggests: on a spoon. But first, thick cuts of fruit (or sometimes other produce) are boiled with sugar and water to create a consistency similar to jam. The mixture is flavored with lemon juice and occasionally other ingredients before cooling down. Not only is it easy, but this is also one of the few vegan-friendly desserts in Greece!
If you’ve got a major sweet tooth, Kourabiethes are just the thing you need to satisfy your cravings. Decadent in taste and appearance, these traditional Greek cookies are similar to Mexican wedding cookies. They’re made from all the typical ingredients of a cookie with the addition of rosewater. Kourabiethes come in the shape of a little snowball and are finished off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar for the ultimate sweet experience. You’ll mostly find these cookies sold around Christmas time, as they’re more of a traditional holiday sweet than anything else.
Karidopita is the perfect dessert for anyone who likes exquisite taste and texture combinations. The base of the dessert is a fluffy spiced cake with an airy quality and delicate flavor. Aromatic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and clove fill the cake and surround the senses of anyone around. Ground walnuts are topped on the cake to give it some crunch with an extra savory note. And just like many other popular Greek desserts, Karidopita is topped with a light syrup to give it some moisture. It’s typically served straight out of the oven and is the perfect way to finish a meal.
Which of these delicious desserts are you excited to try on your trip to Greece?