Spoon sweets are sweet preserves, served in a spoon as a gesture of hospitality in Greece, the Balkans, parts of the Middle East, and Russia. They can be made from almost any fruit, though sour and bitter fruits are especially prized. There are also spoon sweets produced without fruit.
Some of the fruits that are used include seedless grapes, mulberries and other berries, bergamot, apricots, apples, pears, sour and sweet cherries, oranges and kumquats, lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, pomegranates, quinces, figs, prunes, etc. Even soft fruit like melon or watermelon can be thus prepared, although retaining a relatively firm texture is challenging. Other varieties include green, unripe walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and other nuts, or even flower petals like rose. Many fruits or parts of fruits that are normally inedible, such as the various citrus peels and blossoms, or sliced citrus fruits with their peel intact, can be made into sweet, flavorful preserves, as can some vegetables such as baby eggplants or cherry tomatoes. A well-made spoon sweet retains the original shape, color, aroma and taste of the fruit.
Spoon sweets are usually offered to guests served by the teaspoon in a small china or crystal dish or bowl, with coffee or tea and cold water. Most of the time they are homemade, but nowadays they can also be easily found in most supermarkets; these are more likely to be made with glucose syrup rather than sugar, for reasons of cost.
They can be used as ice cream or yogurt topping, or in the Western way as a spread on toast for breakfast. Spoon sweets are commonly eaten alone or with cheese.
... Spoon sweets (γλυκό του κουταλιού 'sweet of the spoon') are popular in Greece and Cyprus, usually served with Greek coffee and a glass of cold water ... One typically Greek spoon sweet is the snow-white and intensely aromatic vaníllia (βανίλια, ) which is not made of vanilla, but of mastic resin, for which the Aegean island of Chios is ... This is usually served as a spoonful of sweet on a table spoon dropped into a tall glass of ice-cold water and popularly called "βανίλια υποβρύχιο", a "vanilla submarine" ...
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