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The teaspoon desserts of Andros


November 18, 2023

The oldest known desserts of Andros, similar to other Greek islands, are the ones eaten by teaspoon. It is claimed that are made by local women since Venetian times a few centuries back. The variety of fruit used to make teaspoon desserts is vast. Almost every fruit grown in the island can be used to prepare teaspoon desserts. Whole green walnuts, peel of orange, babyloni, or nerage, quince, sour cherry, bergamot, and rose petals just to name a few. The most famous is the lemon flowers and quince.

Most foreigners when first see the teaspoon dessert jars they believe they are jams; however these desserts are different from jams because typically consist of pieces of the fruit or the entire fruit they come from. Most of my US friends when received them as a gift they used them for breakfast on a piece of toasted bread. Nevertheless the traditional way of eating them is plain in a small portion, equal to a teaspoon, where actually the name comes from. In the old days, the host would go around the room with the vase of the dessert and a dozen spoons to treat guests. Each guest would take a clean spoon, dip it directly to the vase, eat the dessert and leave the dirty spoon in a glass that was seating by the vase on the tray.

Photo: D. Gardelis, Sineti village, Andros