Loukoumades is a typical Greek street food dessert, very popular both in and outside Greece. Its history comes from the age of the Ancient Greece: the legend tells that this recipe had been offered as a winner’s reward during the first Olympic Games!
These simple pastry balls are deep-fried, then garnished with honey, sesame seeds, and dried fruit. Here the history and the recipe!
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ORIGIN OF LOUKOUMADES
The origin of Loukoumades is incredibly ancient: some legends tell about deep fried honey donuts offered to the winners of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC.
The first written news of a sweet similar to Loukoumades comes with the Greek-Sicilian Poet Archestratus lived in VI Century BC, and describe deep fried donuts soaked into the honey syrup called at that time Enkrides.
SIMILAR RECIPES INTO OTHER COUNTRIES
Several variations of deep fried pastry balls seasoned with honey and spices are popular in the Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
In Turkey, the Lokma recipe is very similar to Loukoumades and known since the XIX Century AC.
The Lokma are also prepared without any syrup and called Boortsog, typical of the Mongolian cuisine as well.
Another recipe that seems to derive to Lokma and Loukoumades is the Gulab Jamun. This dessert has been probably introduced in India by the Turik during the invasions in the XII Century AC. The Gulam Jamun, made with thickened milk and soaked into the rose water, has been spread quickly into the Indian Subcontinent, and thanks the migrations reached Southern and Eastern Africa and the Caribbean area.
In Italy the most similar recipes to Loukoumades are the Neapolitan Struffoli, little deep-fried balls garnished with honey syrup and candies, typical of the Carnival and Christmas festivities.
TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS
To prepare the Loukoumades to perfection, you need to follow some steps accurately. Here some useful tips:
FRYING OIL – It is possible to use any kind of vegetable oil you prefer. Personally I think that the sesame oil is the best choice. You want to maintain the temperature of the oil between 340 and 350° F (170 to 177° C). If it is your first time, prepare a little more Lokumades mixture, and test different frying times and temperatures to understand how much to cook the puffs.
HONEY – The most traditional honey to make Loukoumades is Thyme honey. I prefer to soak the donuts into a syrup made with half honey and half water, but some chefs go directly with the garnishing with pure honey.
GARNISH – Besides the honey, it is common garnish Loukoumades with toasted sesame seeds, or chopped walnuts: I love to use both of them!
SERVING – Loukoumades give their best just fried and garnished, so fry them and serve as soon as possible!
Finally, wrap the bowl and store into the oven at room temperature until the mass doubles its size.
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 244 Total Fat 7g Saturated Fat 1g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 6g Cholesterol 0mg Carbohydrates 18g Net Carbohydrates 0g Fiber 2g Sugar 3g Sugar Alcohols 0g Protein 3g
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