6/10 · Foreign Foods

Greek Kataifi

I’ve just returned from my honeymoon, a beautiful week in Crete where I didn’t actually eat many sweet things at all – it must say something when me and my husband (aaaah!!) with the worlds sweetest teeth turn down the dessert buffet in favour of more of what must be the worlds freshest fruit, vegetables, salad, fish and meats. I made sure to bring home some Cretan goodies though to make up for missing out and I’m glad I did – the ‘fresh’ food I’m buying back home now tastes like cardboard in comparison!
The first souvenir I opened was handmade nuts and chocolate Kataifi. The box describes Kataifi as ‘a sweet made of Kataifi pastry and contains a filling of nuts, usually pistachios, walnuts or almonds; it is sweetened with honey’  So really a Greek version of baklava and I chose the nuts and chocolate variety.
The box contained three decently sized rectangular blocks which were all individually wrapped.  I don’t know anything really about the company which produced these – Greek Horizons – other than they’re a Greek company based in Crete, I’m guessing their market is mainly tourists based on the types of shops I saw these boxes being sold but despite this they smelt and felt very fresh and luxurious once I’d removed them.
They smelt extremely sweet, but not artificially sugary sweet more of a lovely honey scent. The pastry was very sticky and flaky and I made more than a mess plating them up!!
The pastry itself is crisp yet still soft and chewy. It didn’t leave me with a dry mouth at all unlike other types of pastry and this wouldn’t actually need any filling to be perfectly delicious on its own. The traditional Kataifi is made with honey, this mass produced version uses a mixture of vegetable oils and sugars but a mixture of flavours, including cinnamon curiously, gave the flavour of honey though I did find it to taste extremely sweet – even for me!
The assorted nuts take up 5% and the chocolate only 3% so the flavour was mild but noticeable with each mouthful. They were overpowered by the syrupy sweetness for the majority of each bite though. At first I was disappointed there was only three in a pack but by the time I’d eaten those I was quite glad for it, anymore would be too much and these are definitely an in moderation treat or they would get too sickly.
Rating 6/10
Tasty but I’m not even really a Baklava or pastry anything fan usually.

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