There is a special ‘section’ of Greek sweets that are called “sweets of the spoon”. The name is very apt – these sweets can only be eaten with a spoon! They are very easy to make and the only thing you need is fresh fruit, sugar and a little lemon juice. They are the healthiest sweets you could possibly eat, and they are much healthier than cakes with tons of cream and butter. They are just right for appeasing the call of a sweet tooth.
Going back in time, the hostess offered guests a “sweet of the spoon”. In those years, a pretty jar containing the sweet was placed on a tray, together with spoons and glasses of cool water. Each guest took a spoon, dipped it in the jar and ate a spoonful of the syrupy sweet, and placed the used spoon on a little saucer. Then he took a glass of water, toasted the hostess and the family and drank the water. And this was repeated until all the guests were served. Later, a spoonful of the sweet was served in a pretty little dish, together with a spoon and a glass of water.
Rarely this kind of sweet is offered to guests nowadays. Perhaps it is considered old-fashioned, but women still prepare a variety of syrupy fruits. They are also sold in jars in supermarkets and you can see them at special shops in large jars – all the glorious colors in a row – where they are sold by the weight.
These humble sweets can also be used to decorate a cake, and they are heavenly on ice-cream, yogurt or even on cereal. You can think up of many uses! Do give them a try and I guarantee you will be hooked for life.Ingredients 1 kilo grapes 1 kilo sugar 1 cup water 1 cup almonds blanched (optional) A few leaves of citronella. (or vanilla ½ teaspoon) Juice of a medium lemon
Buy grapes without seeds, like raisins. If the grapes have seeds, then you will have to deseed them. Remove the stalks from the grapes, wash them, dry them and weigh them. Place the grapes in a pot layering them with the sugar. Leave them for a couple of hours, and you will see that the sugar has drawn out quite a lot of the juice of the grapes. Add half a glass of water. Simmer, stirring very carefully now and then so that the grapes don’t break up, for about 30 – 40 minutes, until they have softened and the syrup has thickened. Occasionally remove the scum that forms on the surface with a spoon. About 10 minutes before they are done, add the leaves of citronella for extra aroma or ½ teaspoon of vanilla. Test the syrup by dropping a drop on a cold plate and see if it ‘congeals’. The syrup will thicken as it gets cold, so you must not boil the sweet too much. Add the almonds, if you wish to use them and the lemon juice. Stir and remove the citronella leaves.
In the meantime, you have boiled the jars, and have placed them upside down on a clean towel to drain. When the sweet is ready, pour it carefully in the clean jars. Screw on the top and let them stand upside down until they cool down.
You could use less sugar (about 800 grams) but the less sugar you use the shorter shelf life has the sweet. In this case it is best to keep it in the refrigerator, to be on the safe side.