Sunday, 25 December 2016

Did the greeks have fruit cake ?

Did the Greeks have Fruit Cake?

Yeah like no Xmas in Ancient Athens but they did have mid winter Dionysia  but fruit cake?

Well there was no glace cherries or dried apricots but they did have dried grapes and maybe apples or pears definitely quinces and there are many reference to honey and cheesecakes and "sweet" cheeses.

Jams and preserves were rare. No glass jars! No processed sugar!

Also no orange peel and far fewer few spices even if you could afford them.

So yes but not looking like modern fruit cake.

There may have been "cakes" of dried fruit and nuts pressed together or cheese cakes with raisins mixed in or honey cakes with dried fruit.

Cakes would have been cooked in clay pans unless you were wealthy enuff to afford metal pans.

I have not come across references to almond "meal" being used in cooking but the Greeks certainly had almonds and grinding stones so I can imagine a cake using ingredients  something like this :

Eggs from Ducks quails chicken or geese

A soft cheese with a texture halfway between curds and modern ricotta

Honey no processed sugar

Some almond meal or flour or both mixed.

Raisins or sultanas and figs maybe also  dried apple or pears possibly softened in a mixture of honey water and maybe wine?

Poorer households with no oven probably would have taken their filled pans down to a local baker to be cooked.

Yes NO ovens! For safety reasons most households lower and middle class had their cooking areas outside in the courtyard or an niche just off it. Only the wealthy would have had a room just for cooking and food preparation alone.

However they could cook omelettes pancakes and flat breads at home and did so many homes may have had winter treats of honey on pancakes.

Some things we do better than the Greeks!

Enjoy your Xmas treats!