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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Rhodian Melekounia: A treat worshiped by natives and foreign visitors alike

There is no way to attend a Rhodian wedding or baptism and not get a taste of melekounia. According to tradition, the candy made from sesame and honey, is interwoven with social events. This is perhaps the best known product of Rhodes, which every visitor takes back home.

Although it seems to be quite a simple treat, it is a very healthy dessert. In order to make it, the honey used is exclusively by the Dodecanese islands, while natural sesame seeds, whole almonds, grated orange or bergamot and spices depending on the region are also added.

The melekouni cut in lozenge shape, is soft and releases all its flavors right from the first bite. Studies have shown that melekounia have beneficial health properties and contribute to longevity.

Although many people confuse the treat with the traditional pasteli available everywhere in Greece, melekouni differs in texture and aroma. It is said that its making procedure  is connected with antiquity! Historically the preparation comes from Ancient Greece. Honey and sesame hold a very important place in the diet of the ancient Greeks, since they knew their high nutritional value.

Many get confused with the name of the dessert, which in fact has to do with its two main ingredients, namely honey and sesame. The seeds of sesame in Rhodes are called kounes. The words kouni or kounes also derive from ancient Greek and particularly from grains that in ancient Greek language means seed.

But what would melekounia be without the local and of excellent quality honey? The honey of Rhodes has won first place in the world rankings, not once but many times. The locals use it for various reasons, either for manufacturing cosmetics (shampoos, creams, soaps) of products of the hive or in the manufacture of sweets, such as course melekounia.

Remember then that the Rhodian melekounia is one of the island’s the main treasures ... you can put them in your luggage when leaving the island.

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