This is the eternal Christmas question Greeks are challenged with every year: the traditional to-die-for Greek sweets during the festive days: Melomakarona or Kourabiedes?
Melomakarona are egg-shaped calory-bombs.
They are soft and soaked in sirup made of honey or sugar and water. They are made of flour, sugar and olive oil, flavored with orange, cinnamon and cloves, sprinkled with walnuts and soaked in syrup.
This is the traditional recipe. In moderns versions, melomakarona are covered with black or white chocolate, and have whatever flavors one can thinks of inside and have become really decadent. I wonder when they will come up with Melomakarona with oreo or strawberry flavor or whatever. But there is always worse: I saw melomakarona made with beer. With Beer!!! Good Save us!
The main competitor of Melomakarona are the Kourabiedes. Round-shaped short-bread biscuits, with almonds and butter, sprinkled with a heavy coat of icing sugar. In order times, they used to sprinkle the biscuits with rose water first and then coat them with tonnes of icing sugar.
In modern times, Kourabiedes are made also with olive oil instead of butter, which is horrible as they lose their consistence, break apart while you hold them and taste a-w-e-f-u-l. A traditional Greek kourabies is made with butter, good village butter of cow and sheep or goat milk (which I personally find horrible too.)
Of course, also Kourabiedes do not escape the modernization attack and are circulating around with choco drops and or candied fruits inside.
Kourabiedes have this short-bread consistence and leave a white mustache around your lips and sprinkles of icing sugar on your festive clothes, especially when your wear black to honor the day. They can create a mess.
In contrast, Melomakarona disappear in two bites and leave no mess expect of one or two tiny walnut pieces that love to hide in your sleeves or land in your lap. And they are definitely …sticky.
Anyway, I stick with the traditional flavors and ingredients and I am a 100% Melomakarona pro.
How about you?