The custom of tea drinking was brought to Europe by Dutch and Portuguese traders in the 17th century and rapidly spread to Ottoman Empire. However in Ottoman occupied Greece it never became popular. Its high price, the dominance of herbal teas and infusions and the growth of coffee consumption excluded tea from the list of favorite nonalcoholic drinks.
- When Greece escaped from Ottoman rule the drinking of tea was put in a context of luxurious goods. The cookbooks of the late 19th and early 20th century, which had been written for the new emerging middle class, provided detailed instructions for the preparation, serving and drinking tea. Thus tea became an opportunity to practice good manners and civility.
- If the drinking of tea in upper – class establishments was agreeable relaxation, a social event, a chance of gossip, even an opportunity for the promotion of charity, among highly educated Greeks was blended with political, philosophical and literary talks.
- The lower classes and the very poor used it as a panacea for high-fever diseases, dysenteria or as drink for old people.
- What should be served for an early 20th century Greek tea party? Cakes, cookies, fresh bread, rusks, butter and marmalade.
- The old cookbooks mention that someone should never dip a piece of buttered bread into his tea.
1 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups orange juice
2 tb cognac
1 tb baking powder
flour as much as needed
1 cup sesame seeds
Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
Cream the olive oil and sugar together.
Add congac, the orange juice and 1/3 cup sesame seeds. Mix well.
Add the flour and mix well. Preheat the oven to 375 F and oil a baking sheet.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead until smooth.
Take small amounts of dough and shape into little fingers.
Dip each cookie into the cold water and then roll in sesame seeds until well coated.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
Let cool on a rack.
(Er. Yogaraki, Arta 1930)
This is my entry for Spring Tea Party hosted by The Skinny Gourmet.