Glyko- a taste steeped in history!
Many housewives in Cyprus still make ‘Glyko’ (‘glyka’ in plural) throughout the year and it is not unusual to be served a piece of glyko at the end of dinner in a Cypriot restaurant.
Glyka is seasonal fruit that has been preserved in sweet sugar syrup, and for centuries it has been the treat offered to guests by Cypriot housewives to visitors and a similar custom exists in parts of the Middle East.
Glyka was first made in Cyprus in medieval times when sugar canes grew abundantly in large plantations along the south coast of the island in such areas as Episkopi and Kolossi. It was found that cooking the fruit in sugar syrup was a good way to preserve them and there was always been a surplus of fruit, and of course refrigeration hadn’t been invented
If you are travelling up to the Troodos along the main Limassol- Platres road (B8), it is well worth stopping at Katerina’s Home-Made Sweets is situated on the left-hand side of the main road at Dhoros.. Katerina has been making glyka since she was young and watched her grandmother making jars to sell from a roadside stall.
Today Katerina is helped by local women to prepare the impressive selection of more than 20 different glyka and 14 jams and marmalades – including several types especially for diabetics. Katerina enjoys experimenting and making new types of glyka – especially if they have proven health bonuses and her garlic glyko is particularly popular. A few years ago she decided to experiment with baboutsosika – ‘prickly pear’ and this is a glyko this is also proving particularly popular as tests in Greece have shown that eating prickly pears can help protect men against prostate cancer.
* ‘Katerina’s Home –Made Sweet shop’ is open 09.00 -5.00 p.m. daily. Tel 25-432000. During the week it is possible to watch the glyka being prepared.
* As well as plenty of different types of glyka to buy including gift packs. Katerina also sells an array of local honey and crafts.
* There is also a coffee shop and the chance to taste plenty of glyka too!