Thanks to the Schengen Agreement, we didn’t make it to Greece on this trip. After departing Hungary, we realized we had used 89 of the 90-day limit. Now that we are in the Republic of Cypress, we finally get a taste of Greece without worrying about hassles like deportation or overstay fines.
We successfully found a great gyro yesterday, and today’s mission was desserts. Lucky for us, we found Ζορπασ (which translates to Zorba’s according to Google) right by our hotel in Larnaca. We picked out three of our old favorites from Chicago’s Greektown and dug in.
1. Γαλακτομπουρεκο (Galaktoboureko)
This was our favorite of the three and is my dessert of choice at The Parthanon. Zorba’s version was much better. This creamy, custard cake was the perfect texture. It has been too gelatinous at some restaurants, but this one was just right.
Galakto…whatever..is topped with phyllo and lightly coated with a sweet syrup. The name is derived from the words gala (meaning milk in Greek) and bourek (Turkish for pastry). I think this is the only instance of something Greek and Turkish in close proximity without the United Nations’ involvement.
2. Μπακλαβας (Baklava)
We do like our baklava, so we had high hopes for our trip to Turkey. Unfortunately, we usually found a phyllo-heavy, nut-deprived square that was soaking in syrup all day. When you bit into it, your mouth was flooded with super sweet syrup, and the texture was mushy. Kim’s favorite baklava remained my mother’s.
Our prospects greatly improved in Cyprus. As you can see, there are plenty of nuts in the inner layers, and it isn’t swimming in a pool of liquid sugar. Topped with ground pistachios, it was crunchy with just the right amount of chewiness. Sorry, Mom, but you ain’t got nothin’ on Ζορπασ’s.
3. Ινδοκαρυδο Ταψιου (Coconut Cake)
This super moist coconut cake jumped out at us, but we still aren’t sure how traditional it is. Luckily, you pay by the slice at this bakery because our piece weighed about a kilo. We were pretty full from the first two desserts (yes, we ate all this in one night), so we only had a few bites. The flavor was good, but the syrup content was a little high for us. We just don’t like syrup, I guess.
Our time in Cyprus was short, but we’re glad we made it. We are flying to Cairo tomorrow and look forward to trying some Egyptian sweets. King Tut tortes, maybe? Sand pies? We’ll let you know.
Posted from: Larnaca, Cyprus
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